Archive for the ‘Heating & Refrigeration (HVAC) Schools’ Category

HVAC careers in the construction industry

Monday, October 15th, 2012

If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having your air conditioner break down in the summer, or your heater go on the blink in the winter, chances are you had to hire a heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) professional to help you out. However, HVAC engineers do far more than just repair faulty units. Did you know that these professionals are an integral part of the construction industry? If you’re thinking of ways to launch a career in the building trade, you might want to think about becoming an HVAC construction specialist.

The work

When a new building is slated for construction, turning the blueprints into an actual building takes more than just bricks and mortar. The installation of heating and cooling systems is a vital part of the construction process, especially in large commercial buildings like offices where air often circulates centrally throughout the structure. HVAC construction specialists work with building companies to ensure that heating and ventilation systems are installed correctly, and that they adhere to state and federal environmental regulations.

Depending on the job in question, HVAC construction specialists can perform a variety of tasks. In some cases, third-party companies handle the installation of heating and ventilation systems, while in other instances they may be hired to serve as consultants. HVAC construction managers are often knowledgeable in areas such as thermodynamics, fluid mechanics and heat transfer.

The pay

If you’re lucky enough to land a job in HVAC after you finish up at technical training schools, you could be earning a competitive salary. According to PayScale, HVAC engineers can earn between $39,694 and $97,139 per year, depending on the level of experience. If you end up working on larger projects, such as the construction of skyscrapers and other commercial buildings, the pay could be even higher.

The outlook

Demand for HVAC construction specialists and engineers is often closely tied to the building industry in general. Fortunately, things seem to be looking up in this sector, as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the need for HVAC engineers will increase by 34% through 2020, which is much faster than the national average of 14% for all occupations.

In today’s construction industry, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and are often designed to provide maximum comfort and control with minimal impact on the environment. This means that skilled HVAC engineers are likely to be in pretty steady demand for the foreseeable future.

Even if you work in an area where the construction industry is a little slow, you could still be in luck. Many organizations are realizing the importance of environmentally friendly structures, and skilled HVAC engineers are often consulted to maximize the natural airflow of a building, especially if the company is aiming to achieve awards like the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification.

Like the idea of working as an HVAC construction specialist? Search for a school near you that offers technical training.

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Skills HVAC workers typically possess

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

Skills HVAC workers typically possess

If you’ve got your sights set on a career installing or repairing heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, there are a few things you should consider. First, think about heading to technical training schools so you can learn the ins and outs of this line of work. Next, make sure you have a few of these skills that HVAC workers are known to possess.

Whether you’re working with an air conditioning unit or a heating system, you’re going to need to be careful when working with these devices. After all, they certainly don’t come cheap – one sloppy mistake could cost you big time. So when you’re making repairs to the inner workings of a machine, it definitely helps to be detail oriented.

At the same time, not every air conditioner is identical. While one unit may be easy to poke around inside of, others could require a little extra care due to tight spaces. That’s why having good hand-eye coordination and dexterity can be useful.

If you enter this line of work following your time in technical schools, you’ll end up doing a lot of repairs for many different people. Whether you’re installing a ventilation system at a business or a school, you’re going to need good people skills when working with customers. Some will be understanding, while others will be impatient. You’ll have to remain focused on the task at hand, while also willing to keep whoever you’re working for updated of your progress. Having thick skin also wouldn’t hurt.

While you won’t pick up all of these skills overnight, spending time in technical training schools could certainly help you develop them. Can you think of any other skills you might need in the HVAC field? If you do, let us know in the comment space below.

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Make an immediate difference as an HVAC technician

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

Have you ever tried to get through a long and humid summer day without so much as a fan? What about a frigid winter day? It’s hard not to shiver when you’ve got no heat coming into the house.

While these are both extreme scenarios, they are a reality for many people. Heaters and air conditioners are not always the most reliable pieces of equipment. All it takes is one blizzard or heat wave for these machines to get pushed too far until they break down. Sure, the big box store down the road would love to sell a shiny new air conditioner, but there’s always another option in the form of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) technicians.

If you like the idea of bringing relief to people in desperate need of cool air or toasty heat, you can certainly prepare for a career as an HVAC technician by enrolling in technical training schools. However, before you enter this field, you may have a few questions about your job prospects and the type of salary you can expect.

What will you do?

Think of all the places you go on a daily basis. Whether you’re picking up a few things at the grocery store or need to run into the mall to pick up supplies, it’s likely you feel pretty comfortable. That’s because, depending on the season, either the heat or air conditioning is running. Once you’ve been properly trained as an HVAC technician, it’ll be your responsibility to make sure all those machines keep running smoothly so customers can shop comfortably.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), HVAC technicians may travel to homes, stores, schools, hospitals, factories and anywhere else that cold or hot air is blowing. Once they reach their destination, they could end up repairing or replacing defective parts, running tests on malfunctioning devices or installing whole new systems.

How much will you make?

While pay varies based on workers’ level of experience, PayScale states that HVAC technicians can make anywhere between $24,544 and $61,649 on an annual basis. Those who hold an associate degree start at an hourly rate of $12, while anyone who’s got an HVAC technical certificate could start at just under $10.

Are there any jobs?

If you want to enter this profession then you may want to thank those who came before you. The BLS says that many of the climate-control systems other HVAC technicians installed 10 to 15 years ago are going to need to be replaced by 2020. New commercial and residential building projects are also fueling the 34% increase in job opportunities that’s expected through 2020.

However, climate control systems are growing more sophisticated, so if you’re thinking about heading to technical schools, you’re going to want to find programs that will prepare you for the demands of being a modern HVAC technician.

What appeals to you the most about becoming an HVAC technician? Let us know in the comment space below.

Interview with a non-traditional HVAC student

Monday, December 12th, 2011

My name is Grant Whitehurst. In 1988, I chose to go to Griffin Technical School. I was still eligible to receive G.I. Bill benefits from being in the U.S. Army from 1977 to 1980. I took a course in HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning.)

I chose to go to Griffin Tech because it was in my hometown. I started with the intention of studying Major Appliance Repair. After learning about the refrigeration cycle, I could see it would be wiser to keep studying and get a certificate in HVAC repair.

Major Appliance Repair and HVAC repair are closely related. HVAC repair requires knowledge of the refrigeration system as does Major Appliance Repair. After studying the refrigeration system, I knew that I appreciated the knowledge of how to make simple and complex repairs to appliances. To be able to work on HVAC equipment would make me more employable.

While I was in the program, I got a job with a HVAC and plumbing company. This company installed and serviced equipment in homes, businesses, schools, and industries. Working with this company and going to school at Griffin Tech put me on the track of a trade that would carry me as far as I would want to go. My instructor at Griffin Tech was an electrician by trade and refrigeration was secondary in his knowledge. But electrical circuits are a huge part of HVAC work. The electrical portion of the course went over the principles of electricity, electrical circuits, and most of the electrical components of appliances and HVAC equipment.

This instructor was able to help me learn to read an electrical schematic and troubleshoot electrical circuits with the schematic. He also helped me to learn to read a wiring diagram and wire up a residential split system with the diagram. For me, this was the most challenging part of the course. At the start of the course, I learned the principles of refrigeration and heat transfer. These principles are essential to refrigeration and HVAC repair. Any questions I had in these departments he would answer or find an answer.

To receive the certificate for the HVAC course, students were required to take an English course that covered punctuation and proper grammar usage. These skills are helpful to the student who is looking for gainful employment. A course under the heading of psychology was also required. This course served to give the student an idea of what an employer expects in an employee and how a job seeker could use this knowledge in applying for work and interviewing with a prospective employer. HVAC technician training

I have worked side by side with employees in the maintenance field who did not get the education I had. They were learning through on-the-job training. None of these employees were as effective and knowledgeable in repairing and installing equipment and machinery as any of the employees who had technical school training. In the apartment maintenance field these service people would often come to me when they encountered problems in electrical circuits or complex mechanical issues.

Our world is becoming more globally unified. Technology is becoming more complex. But it all starts with principles. Most automobiles are still powered by internal combustion engines. Electricity is still the flow of electrons. Conductors and insulators still work the same, and series and parallel circuits are still used in electrical control work. These are some of the fundamentals a technical school graduate will learn in those fields.

The cosmetologist will learn to cut hair properly by learning certain fundamentals and through practice. The nail technician will learn the fundamentals of the sanitation of tools. The Emergency Medical Technician will learn to move a person safely without further damage to any injuries they have already suffered. The fireman will learn how to go into a dark, burning building and remove those who are injured or disoriented to safety by learning and practicing the fundamentals of fire and smoke and the techniques of how to carry people larger than them.

Technical schools are always a good choice for the person who wishes to move ahead in the world. Many technical schools also offer Associates and Bachelor’s degrees in many fields. Specialized training not only gives a person the tools they need to become successful in the working world, but they also empower a person and give them a sense of accomplishment and personal satisfaction.

HVAC & 3D Technology

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

When you think 3D, what comes to mind? Probably not heating and air conditioning. But the craze that’s swept the nation isn’t limited just to the big screen. In January 2011, a company called QA Graphics developed a library full of 3D renderings of equipment from common, big-name product lines.

The idea is to have a more accurate model to reference when monitoring a facility’s mechanical equipment, and it works with building automation system software to provide more comprehensive cutaways with animation and detail. TS-E012398

Having this kind of detail in a building automation system helps temperature controllers, which tell the heating and cooling network what to do, to more accurately maintain standardized temperature levels. I know – sounds a little like artificial intelligence is taking over the world, right? But it helps in buildings that need to be temperature-controlled and in businesses where employees would otherwise be at war over the thermostats.

At first, the equipment library included more than 40 models of air compressors, boilers, cooling towers, air handling units, rooftop units, generators, pumps and more. In September, QA Graphics expanded it to include 11 more models of chillers, rooftop units, air handling units and electrical components. The company plans to continue expanding the model line to include water system equipment, fuel oil systems and more.

It’s an HVAC technician’s dream! Imagine being able to work in a field where you didn’t always have to take apart what you were working on to find what was wrong. With this software, it could be possible to just consult an animated model representation of the equipment and perform basic visual diagnostics. Maybe that’s not too far from reality with tools like this out there!

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