Blake, Brenan and Michael did some thinking about all the time they’ve been spending inside class and in the real-world from an HVAC perspective. For example: the most challenging aspect of their last year in HVAC trade school. And what advice they would give to others considering this career path.
Blake Hodge: Never the Same Day
Like any career path, HVAC has its difficulties and challenges every day. It seems that there is never a day that goes completely as planned. Whether it is a troubleshooting issue, a forgotten part at the shop, or a flat tire on your service vehicle, there is always something that goes wrong. Like working in the field, schoolwork also seems to follow this trend. While the problems are usually less stressful, there are still many that occur.
When thinking about the most challenging parts of going to school for HVAC, a few things come to mind. The first challenging part of going to school is time management. This is very important when doing homework and really understanding what you are learning. Making sure you give yourself plenty of time to finish assignments and study is crucial to your success. Many people in the world consider themselves a procrastinator. It is important to not do this in school or else the quality of your work may suffer.
The other most challenging part of school is making sacrifices in order to succeed. Sometimes you must give up something you want to do in order to stay on top of your work and not fall behind. I don’t mean that you must sacrifice all of the things you enjoy to go to school, but there are definitely times that you must make a tough decision that will benefit you in the end.
If I were to give advice to someone considering entering school for HVAC, it would be to manage your time, always go to class, and to still have fun. As I said above, managing your time is important and will contribute greatly toward your success as a student. Going to class is also very important your success. Lastly, nobody should do homework and study all day every day of the week. It is important to take breaks and have fun in order to not overly stress yourself.
While all of the things above are important, it is also important to remember that nothing will ever be perfect. Sure, there will be struggles and bumps in the road, but getting through those tough times will eventually make you a better student and worker.
Brenan Vogt: HVAC Career – Not for Everyone
There are several challenging things about this career choice, so it isn’t for everyone. Having a mechanical or electrical background can be extremely beneficial, however I didn’t have much experience at all other than some light electrical work, so I understood the basics off the bat. This was probably the hardest thing to learn in school for me anyways, was all the electrical and relays. Relays can be tricky at first to learn and understand fully, but after practicing this in trade school daily for about a week, you start to catch on rather quickly. For anyone considering this career I would highly recommend it if you enjoy working with your hands and dealing with customers on a regular basis, as this is what you will be doing day in and day out. The biggest piece of advice that I can give is to stay focused and determined throughout your schooling, there is a lot to learn but id you pay full attention, you will have no issues.
Michael Clemons: Many Routes into HVAC
There are many routes that a person could take to get into the HVAC industry. One route being an apprentice, the other being a trade school. I went to trade school at a community college. It was cheaper than any four-year college and trade classes are often more affordable than business classes. I know with most apprentices you will go to classes that are paid for by the company but will also work during this time off and on and will usually take you four to five years. Going to school gave me a lot of knowledge of how everything worked. They taught us about how relays worked and made sure we knew all the basics. After our first year we had to get an internship. I got mine at a very reputable business and got too ride with some techs that taught me a lot more than I ever had in school. in a matter of two weeks I was in my own van running maintenance calls. After the summer was up, we went back to school to dive deeper into more advanced systems as well as commercial units and refrigeration. This is where I believe going to school for HVAC shines through. You can try a little bit of each side of service to find out which one you like better. Overall my main reason to go to school is for the universal piece of paper that says you have a degree in HVAC. Every shop you go to will honor it and know that you know more than another guy off the street. I don’t feel I made ant mistake going to school it has given me a step in the door to a very successful career.