By HVAC Learning Solutions Trainers
None of the HVAC Learning Solutions Technical Trainers started out as experts. They all had their first day on the job, too. We’ve compiled some of their best advice, to help new technicians prepare for their first days and weeks on the job.
- Have a good work ethic. This applies to any work environment, but if you work hard you can become extremely successful in the HVAC industry.
- Prepare for an ongoing learning process. Keep listening, reading, and practicing your trade to gain and retain the knowledge you need.
- Expect to learn best practices. The HVAC industry has many ways of doing the same task, but usually only one or two ways emerge as the industry's best practice techniques. Learn the best ways to get the best results.
- Bring a basic understanding of the refrigeration cycle. Realizing that you are simply moving heat from one place to another is a great way to think about the cycle as you’re getting started.
- Understand or learn how to use a digital multi-meter (DMM). This will be a lifeline in the HVAC industry. If you understand how to use this tool, you can troubleshoot and repair just about anything. Resources such as the training video page, “Multimeter Hieroglyphics: How to Understand Every Aspect of Your Multimeter” can help you out quite a bit. Consider investing in a quality DMM; it’s worthwhile to have good tools.
- Learn the path of power. Understanding how power is generated, how it moves and why it is so dangerous can help you stay safe on the job.
- Develop a keen sense of when to run from a dog. No joke. One HVAC Learning Solutions trainer related a run-in with a bull mastiff who chased him down the driveway on a "no cooling" call. He and the dog stared at each other briefly, and when the dog jumped up, the trainer knew it was time to run. Dogs are one of many good reasons to keep up an exercise routine.
- Understand superheat. No, not the idea that heat is super for our business in the summer. Techs measure superheat because it's what protects compressors from liquid refrigerant, keeping it from destroying compressors.
- Know subcooling. We're not talking about cooling down a hot submarine sandwich during lunch break! Subcooling is just as important as superheat. Learn how to measure it, and soon you'll know best practices, such as ensuring a solid column of liquid enters your metering device.
- Be friendly. You'll be interacting with homeowners—often—so learn how to approach them. A friendly demeanor and attitude will serve you well. If small talk doesn't come naturally, improve your skills by setting goals each week. An HVAC Learning Solutions trainer shared that he once set a goal to make every homeowner laugh at least once.
Did you know that HVAC Learning Solutions has a 4 week training program for new technicians? From diagnostics to communication, maintenance to becoming a NATE certified technician, BuildATech® covers it all.
Feel like you’re too busy to go to a class?
Hone your HVAC knowledge at your own pace, with this online training series from HVAC Learning Solutions, Technician Learning Path 1-6.
It’s tough to know what you need when you’re new. Hand tools, testing instruments and safety gear are a good place to start.