Tips for Networking and Gaining Experience in the HVAC/R Industry
Are you interested in becoming an HVAC/R technician, but not sure how to get additional experience? In today’s competitive job market, work experience can be important for career growth. And it can be challenging to gain work experience without a clear plan.
If you want to start working in the HVAC/R industry, Ohio Business College can help. We have an HVAC/R program that prepares you for entry-level positions in the HVAC/R industry. In 12 months, attending full-time, you will be ready to start working in an entry-level HVAC/R position, working towards your apprenticeship and journeyman status.
What is HVAC/R?
HVAC/R stands for heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration. HVAC/R systems are used to heat, cool, improve air quality and cool items for refrigeration. These systems are commonly made up of boilers, air conditioners, ventilation systems, and refrigeration systems.
An HVAC/R technician can work on both residential and commercial HVAC/R systems. Regular maintenance and inspections are key to keeping HVAC/R systems running efficiently.
What are Some Tips for Networking and Gaining Experience in HVAC/R?
There are a few tips that will help you network your way to an entry-level position as an HVAC/R technician.
Tip #1: Attend a Technical College
Technical Colleges are a great way to learn a trade and gain experience. Ohio Business College offers an HVAC/R program with a well-rounded curriculum and hands-on training.
The training curriculum at Ohio Business College focuses on residential and commercial heating and cooling, ventilation, and refrigeration. The program consists of 64 credit hours and is offered at our Lorain County, Trades Academy campus. We offer both day and evening schedule options for those that need a flexible schedule.
Tip #2: Utilize Career Services
The best part about attending a technical college is the career services that we offer. Our career services staff will consider your skillset and passion, then identify the perfect job for you. We work with community employers to fill HVAC/R job opportunities.
Ohio Business College may have employer meet-and-greets where you can talk with HVAC/R employers to understand what they are looking for in a candidate. This is a great way to network with industry professionals and start the process of finding a job after graduation.
Tip #3: Network with Classmates
Many of your classmates will also start working in the HVAC/R industry. They may even know about open opportunities at their companies. Make sure to befriend your classmates and create study groups to improve your HVAC/R knowledge and skills. Plus, keep in touch with your classmates to help fill employment gaps throughout your career.
Tip #4: Join LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a business specific social media. Many people on this social networking website are professionals, looking to connect with other professionals. Start by connecting with instructors and fellow classmates and then branch out to others in the HVAC/R industry. LinkedIn also offers a job board for you to find HVAC/R opportunities in your community. Networking with social media can help you connect with potential employers, industry professionals and gain knowledge to improve your skills.
Tip #5: Start an Apprenticeship
Starting an apprenticeship is a great way to master valuable skills and gain experience in the HVAC/R industry. An apprenticeship can help further your training after completing an HVAC/R program. This work experience is also a requirement to become a licensed HVAC/R technician with journeyman status.
To start an apprenticeship, you must first find an employer that is willing to hire an apprentice. The good news is that most HVAC/R technicians start out as apprentices. Career services staff at Ohio Business College can also help you meet employers that are looking to hire apprentices.
Tip #6: Get Certified
It is important to join HVAC/R associations and gain certifications in the field. An important certification for HVAC/R is the North American Technician Excellence (NATE) to meet other members and gain certification to show proficiency in heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration.
Tip #7: Get Licensed
After graduating from an accredited HVAC/R program and completing the required work hours during an apprenticeship, you may be eligible to take the Ohio Construction Industry Licensing Board exam to earn a license in HVAC/R. With this license, you can work independently, work as an HVAC/R contractor and even manage other apprentice HVAC/R technicians.
Can I Teach Myself HVAC/R?
While it’s possible to learn some of the basics through Internet videos, you need formal education, certifications, and work experience as an apprentice to be fully prepared for a career in HVAC/R. The combination of refrigerant, electrical, and mechanical systems present complexity in diagnosing and repairing HVAC/R systems.
Safety. All HVAC systems are connected to electrical systems. Commercial units can have high enough voltages to injure an HVAC technician. Highly specific training and supervised field experience will keep you and your customers.
Liability. Most states, including Ohio, have strict licensing requirements. If anything goes wrong on a job site, the consequences can be catastrophic.
Knowledge. Nothing can replace formal training and working alongside licensed HVAC/R technicians. The field is too diverse. You’ll risk gaps in your education that could prove costly.
Now that you have some tips to network and gain experience in the HVAC/R industry, it is time to learn more about Ohio Business College. We offer an HVAC/R program that can help you gain the skills and knowledge to lay the foundation you can build upon throughout your career. In as little as 12 months, you can start working as an apprentice and be well on your way to becoming a licensed HVAC/R technician.
Want to Learn More?
If you have a passion for heating and cooling, working in the HVAC/R industry might just be for you. However, entering a career in a field as potentially rewarding as HVAC/R all starts with a trade school training program. At Ohio Business College, we can help you gain the skills and knowledge that can serve as the foundation of a rewarding career as an HVAC/R technician.
Contact us today to learn more about our HVAC/R technician programs.