Hvac Online CommunitiesPosted on October 24th, 2012 3 comments
Online communities are great for today’s business professionals. The web is no longer just a place for people to shop online or get the latest weather update, but a place for business professionals to exchange information and read about new technologies. Business owners and industry professionals who have undergone comprehensive training to excel in their careers can enhance their business strategies and stay up to date with current business trends simply by participating in online communities.
What is an online community? It can mean an online organization to bring together in the form of industry societies or formal groups, but it doesn’t have to be. Places such as forums and blogs provide additional contributions to an organization’s existing web site and places for professionals to connect with other professionals. A forum will allow a person to post a problem or question and get the opinions of other technicians in the field from all over the world. They may be able to offer new ideas that you or the people you work with every day have not considered. These tools are great for people in the HVAC industry.
What are the benefits of participating in an HVAC online community?
Gives HVAC Technicians a Place to Exchange News and New HVAC Technologies
After HVAC technicians have completed their education at a heating and air conditioning school, they need to find other ways to keep up on the news and technologies that continue to develop within the industry. Schools do a great job posting articles in blogs to keep their graduates abreast of new ideas. The web is a place for other professionals to share their views on current economic trends affecting their profession. It’s a place for professionals to get the word out about new equipment models and tools that will be useful in HVAC maintenance and repair. These things can be very useful to technicians in their every day work. Did you know that there has been a shortage in HVAC technicians recently? Did you know that green building designs are affecting indoor air quality control and energy consumption by Hvac units? You would if you kept up with current blog postings.
Gives Technicians a Place to Share Experiences
There are some things that must be done in a logical order. For example, you always put your pants on before your shoes. Other tasks, we are able perform in different ways. Do you pour your coffee and then add sugar, or do you put the sugar in the cup and then pour the coffee? These variations in procedures can have varying results in the final products, although maybe not so much in coffee preparation. HVAC maintenance and repair techniques may have variations in it as well. Your method for completing tasks may be slightly different than another person’s and therefore you have differing results. Online communities are great places to share your experiences and discuss successes and failures with other people. They may have better ways of doing things. They may need a little help and guidance. These exchanges of information based on experience with different HVAC technologies are incredibly useful in helping people do their jobs better.
Fosters a Sense of Belonging among HVAC Technicians
We all want to belong to a community. This is part of the reason we join gyms, go to church, play basketball, and create online profiles on so many different sites. We enjoy getting to know people and seeing things that are similar and different between us. Going to school is helpful for this as well, but often it’s hard to keep up with those relationships once your education has been completed. It’s fun to establish connections with people who have similar interests, such as a career in the HVAC industry. It not only gives us a sense of identity, but also creates an environment for networking. Networking usually ends up being an integral part of the job searching process. We meet a person through school, through school job fairs, or simply through “knowing someone who knows someone” and these relationships could potentially turn into job offers.
Gives HVAC Technicians a Place to Get Information Regardless of Time or Place
Whether you live in Phoenix, Arizona or Anchorage, Alaska, you can participate in these communities. Whether you are someone who gets up at 6 am to spend time on the computer or likes to stay up until 2 am, you can participate in these communities when it is convenient for you. Time and place are no longer a factor in your ability to exchange information within your profession. You don’t have to go to a convention in another state in order to meet someone else in the HVAC industry to discuss a problem you’ve been encountering with a piece of equipment. You can post your problem on a forum and see who responds.
See what other people are doing in order to apply new ideas to your own life and work. These communities and online organizations have been helpful to so many industries. They can be useful to the HVAC industry as well.
HVAC Certification questions?
I live in the state of CA and I have some questions about HVAC certification. I have no experience in this field at all. How would I go about becoming certified as an HVAC technician? Online course? Community College? Specialty Programs? Once I complete the proper training, where do I go to get certified? And also, is an Associate’s Degree in HVAC necessary for this career field?
HVAC certification is not a college course, so there are really no degrees for it. It is typically taught as a vocational program at a public community college that usually takes under one year of training, or in rare cases two. The school issues a vocational certificate, NOT any associates degree for this. Don’t expect to do this online , since the training should be hands -on, actually working with HVAC equipment. Avoid ANY online or for-profit schools, since many are outright scams. They are also not well accepted in the job market.
former college adviser
No an Associates Degree is not required for entry into the field. Certificates are usually expected by employers, especially EPA hazardous materials certification.
If you have no experience in the field, online courses might be a good way to ease into it, especially to learn the theory. Some localities offer union apprenticeships and classes as well. Check with the local pipe fitters union to see what they offer.
Public and Private schools offer a wide array of options. Be careful of the public institutions in that they can start you in a program and then the program disappears the following semester due to budget cuts. You can also be saddled with student loans, which stay with you forever. Private institutions, especially in California, are held to higher standards in regards to job placement rates and salaries paid to graduates. These statistics have to be reported to a division of the state’s Department of Consumer Affairs. Private schools can also be researched on the Better Business Bureau’s website. Doing a little research can help you find the best option for you.
The best way to pick a school (public or private) is to check with graduates. If an institution can’t (or won’t) give you graduate referrals, that’s a red flag. The purpose of this is to see if a program’s graduates are happy with the training they received and if they feel they were prepared enough. You can also call your local HVAC companies who tend to know which are the good programs and which aren’t.
If you are interested in moving up the career ladder, an associate’s degree in a related field is a good idea in the long term, particularly if you are interested in moving into management.
Good luck to you on your search. The Department of Labor predicts that the HVAC field is a good one to get in to compared to other industries that are struggling.
Leave a reply