Mission: HVAC 2019 – Mission Seven: It’s a Skilled Trade

by | Oct 16, 2019 | Mission HVAC, Programs

It’s called a skilled trade for a reason. You need skills to get the job done. Thinking skills. Hands-on skills. People skills.

So, for this mission, Blake, Brenan and Michael were challenged to share three qualities, skills or characteristics that they think they’ll need to possess as they start and continue in their HVAC careers. And, why these qualities/skills/characteristics are important, and how not having these might hinder them in their careers.

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Blake Hodge: Skills Needed for a Skilled Trade

Possessing certain skills, personality traits, and qualities are all important to have for workers in the HVAC field. The three main things I believe are most important for a new worker entering the field to possess are customer service, critical thinking/problem solving, and time management. There are many more characteristics that I could name that are also very important to have, but these are the three I believe to be the most useful.

I will begin with the trait of customer service. Customer service is very important to a worker because without customers, there would be no work. Treating a customer with respect and being honest with them will get your company good reviews and will lead to more work in the future. When customers are treated properly, they are going to refer your company to others when the opportunity arises. Every company is trying to earn the business of the same customers, so it is important to give your company a good name.

Critical thinking and problem solving go hand in hand. You must be able to critical think in order to solve problems. These traits are obviously very important for a service technician to have, but they also go beyond that. The boss of a company may need these skills, an engineer may need them, and many other positions in the field may find them to be very important. There are almost no positions in the HVAC field where these two skills do not apply. 

Time management is also a very valuable trait to possess. It is important to manage your time closely because most jobs are usually on a tight schedule. A worker must know the schedule, be able to analyze what needs to be done, and when it needs to be done by. If a worker fails to complete a job within the given time, he will end up costing his company extra money. Just like critical thinking and problem solving, this skill is very important for any position in the field to have.

Every worker in the field possesses their own unique set of traits that help them when they work. For myself, the three traits I talked about are what I believe help me to become a better worker. In the future, they will be put to the test when I begin full time work. 

Brenan Vogt: Qualities of a Successful HVAC Technician

In the field of HVAC, there are several qualities and trades that you need to have in order to be a successful technician.  However, the top 3 that I believe are most important are as follows; Determination, Efficiency, and Human Relations. 

The reason that I think you need to be determined is because there will be multiple times a day where you may be hung up at a service call longer than others, and some may be more tricky than others so having a determined mindset will help you through the harder more challenging calls.  This leads me to my next characteristic which I believe is important, and that’s efficiency. 

Being efficient is extremely important in order to make money for either you, or the company you work for.  Often times prices are quoted for a certain amount of time per job and if you exceed this time, the profit margin will shrink rapidly.  Although you want to be efficient, you want to make sure that you are personable with the customer and have strong human relation skills. 

Explaining to the customer what needs to be done to save THEM money is a good example because a lot of customers think that we are out there to “rob them” from there money while all we are trying to do is save them money in the long run.

Mission HVAC Mission 1 – Brenan
Mission HVAC Mission One Michael

Michael Clemons: Skills and Traits for the Trades

In today’s workplace employees, need many skills, traits, and characteristics to give them the best chance at getting the job. Employers look for many different traits and skill depending on the job they are advertising. They wouldn’t want a receptionist that doesn’t have good people skills. In my opining for the HVAC trade I believe to be a worth wile employee you need to have good communication skills, be able to adapt yourself to the situation, and have good leadership skills.

Communication is a large part of residential work, not as much commercial. I manly do residential, so I must work directly with the customers. Being able to have a conversation and speak with words and terms they will understand is crucial to getting a sale or just keeping a customer. If the customer doesn’t understand what they might be paying for they will always think twice about purchasing it and might even want to get a second opinion. You can be extremely skilled but if you can’t explain what is being done dealing with people can be hard.

Too often doing work after hours on a Friday night with bad weather on the way you have to adapt to your situation. The customer needs heat and wants it working fast. Most of the time you will have a part on your van or at the shop but in some situations, you need to make do with what you have. A larger motor, a close to factory pressure switch, you can adapt to your situation on the fly when needed. You just have to make sure to get back as soon as possible with the right part.

Leadership ties into all of this because when you’re out on the road running calls, it’s you. You oversee yourself. You must make the right decisions because you are more than likely driving a large billboard, having leadership skills can help employers to trust you with larger tasks and a lot of times to have people work under your supervision. As an eagle scout myself I believed this has helped me out tons. When I started my apprenticeship, I rode with guys for a week until we got our first hot day. Then I was thrown into my van and told to go run some of the guys maintenance to help free up the schedule. Being my first time running alone I believe my past leadership skill helped me to work through the day and diagnose a few systems with problems.

With any of these skills plus more, can put you in a good spot for a very rewarding career and any profession. These are my three big one in my eyes, everyone is different so more than likely your sill be different. No matter what skills, traits or characteristics you have they will all help in the future.

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About The Author

Lisa Zierfuss is Product Manager for HVAC, Electrical and Specialty Building and Construction tapes at Shurtape Technologies, LLC. In this role, she tackles the ongoing product development, project management and market research for the company’s pressure-sensitive tape solutions that serve the HVAC, electrical, remodeling and abatement and general construction markets. Lisa is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Madison, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication arts.