7 Tips for Choosing an HVAC Technician Training Program

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Are you looking to become an HVAC technician?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of August 2021, you’ll be happy to know there’s a strong demand for skilled technicians in the HVAC field. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics’ projections show a growth of 4% for HVAC careers from 2019 to 2029. The increase in advanced climate-control systems also means a shift in demand

HVAC technicians specialize in installing these HVAC systems in people’s homes. If you intend to pursue a career in this field, get a good HVAC technician training program.

You have various training options to choose from. There are vocational schools, apprenticeships, and hybrid technical training programs.

However, choosing the best program and option may be the key to your success in the HVAC industry. Read on because here are seven tips for choosing an HVAC training program.

1. Look For a Comprehensive HVAC Curriculum

When looking for HVAC technician schools, check if a school’s curriculum is comprehensive. Employers won’t hire people without formal training to manage HVAC installations or even sales solely.  They want individuals who have good knowledge and skills. A good program should cover these topics:

  • Electrical basics
  • Heating systems
  • Air conditioning systems
  • Refrigeration
  • Water heaters and combo systems
  • Ventilation
  • Service and troubleshooting
  • Hand and power tools
  • Electrical and mechanical controls
  • Safety protocols such as OSHA
  • Blueprint reading

Check the HVAC technician training program’s course list. You can also ask admissions about the program’s topic scope.

2. Find a Program With a Good and Established Reputation

Ask around about a school or program’s reputation. See if you know people who heard about the school, graduated from a course or hired a graduate.

You can also look at the HVAC school or program up online. How long has it been training in HVAC?

Take your time in going through an HVAC college’s website and social media. Read through any reviews. Pay attention to how they respond to negative ones.

Remember not to base your decision to enroll in a program on price alone. A cheap HVAC course may not mean it’s the best option.

3. HVAC Instructors With Industry Experience

Established HVAC technician schools should have skilled instructors with a good level of experience in the industry. You’ll want instructors who can break down technical HVAC theories and concepts.

You’ll also learn more from instructors with hands-on experience in HVAC. They’ll know the trade inside-out and give you knowledge beyond theory.

Good programs hire HVAC instructors who are currently working in the field.  This allows you to understand what to expect in specific jobs. They know what employers are looking for in new hires. They can help you excel and stand out at your first job.  Many of your instructors will even give you advice on troubleshooting, handling customers, and being recognized in your profession or with your employer.

When looking at programs, research about the instructor. If it isn’t available on the website, ask admissions about their HVAC experience.

4. Attend an Accredited Program

Finally, you want to make sure you choose a trade school that is accredited. Accreditation means the programs are reviewed by peers in the industry and that the institution meets standards established by the accreditor.   

Accredited schools typically offer various services to their students, such as job placement assistance, resume support, interview techniques, tutoring, and employer referrals/interviews.  Ask about the school’s track record.  Accredited schools track the completion and placement activity of their students each year.  This is good information for you to know so you can make the right decision.

Accredited institutions will also verify the institution will provide the proper instructors with solid qualifications. Accreditation standards review if the program is effective in teaching students. 

 If you do not attend an accredited school, you may find that you are receiving the same education as an accredited institution.  Talk with a member of your program to ensure you are attending an accredited school with qualified instructors. 

A successful HVAC technician education will provide hands-on training in HVAC installation, maintenance, troubleshooting, and repair.

5. Consider the Learning Flexibility

An HVAC training program often lasts from six months to a year. However, you might have a job or a busy schedule. It can limit your time for pursuing an HVAC program.

If so, consider a hybrid HVAC technician training program. Hybrid programs blend online learning with on-campus training, giving you both schedule flexibility and hands-on training, which is essential for any HVAC program. 

You can learn at your own pace while fulfilling your current obligations. It can also help you develop better self-discipline since a lecturer won’t be around to remind you of due dates. Meanwhile, it still gives practical knowledge gained through in-person lab instruction and training.

6. Hands-On Workshop Training

HVAC theories and concepts are only one part of a good training program. Employers look for technicians with a practical understanding of HVAC systems. It includes their construction methods and how the different parts work together.

It means students should learn how to assemble units and use tools before graduating. You’ll gain this practical knowledge from your hands-on training.

Make sure the HVAC college you’re considering has a well-equipped training lab. It’s where you can practice HVAC installation and troubleshooting and become familiar with essential tools.

In hybrid training programs, there is on-campus training, usually once to twice a week. You get hands-on instruction and projects. An experienced instructor will guide you through the process.

7. Check Career Services Support

Look at an HVAC technician school’s career support services programs. Do they offer help with writing industry-specific resumes? Do they train you how to approach HVAC companies for entry-level employment?  Do they help you develop job leads and offer interview support? 

Career support can vary from college to college. Find out the extent of their support.  This aspect of your program is important to you, so be sure to ask the questions.

Look at the external certifications that are available to you. One of the most significant is the North American Technician Excellence (NATE) Ready to Work.  There’s also the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certification.

Look for these HVAC certifications in an HVAC technician training program. They should be part of the HVAC program you choose to attend.  Employers like to know that you have ETA and NATE Ready to Work certification.  This tells employers that you know what you are doing and are ready for entry-level employment. 

Enroll In an HVAC Technician Program Now

There are many HVAC schools to choose from if you’re planning to pursue a career in HVAC. However, there are important factors to consider before enrolling in an HVAC technician training program. Follow these tips before you decide.

Remember, your choice of HVAC school is essential, so do your research.

InterCoast College offers a great certificate program in HVAC Technician. We can help you achieve your HVAC career goals. Contact us today to learn more about our HVAC Technician program.

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