By Mike Moore
In part one of this two-part series, I sat down with Kenneth Harris, technical trainer at HVAC Learning Solutions, to discuss the benefits of continuing education courses in the HVAC industry.
Today I joined HVAC Learning Solutions Technical Training Manager Jose De La Portilla to discuss his top three tips on how to make the most of your continuing education.
- Realize that continuing education comes in many different forms. You can expand your knowledge outside the classroom simply by reading the installation and service manuals that come with equipment. These documents are filled with tons of information to help you grow as a technician. Another out-of-class option is to attend training with an equipment manufacturer or supply house, or head online to The Learning Center to access hundreds of online classes, which you can complete from home.
- Know the continuing education requirements for your certification. As of last year, the requirement for keeping your NATE (North American Technician Excellence) certification active is 16 hours of continuing education every two years. That's only eight hours per year! Lennox Dealers have access to The Learning Center's hundreds of continuing education training programs which count for credit. The best part? We transmit those credit hours to NATE each night so dealers don't have to keep track! All we need is your NATE ID and we will take care of the rest. Click here for more info
- Teach it. The best way to memorize a new piece of information or skill set into your mind is to teach it. Once you've completed the course, present your learnings from your continued education course to your team in an interesting and interactive way. The preparation you put into sharing your knowledge with others will lock the data into your mind and help your retention of the new skill you have acquired. And you never know - your presentation might just inspire a fellow team member to take the same course!
Technicians know better than anyone how to tick the boxes off a checklist, but when it comes to your required continued education classes (CEC), don't let your education become a routine.