If you’ve made the decision to go to HVAC school, you might be either nervous or excited – or a little of both! It’s unlike typical four year institutions in that you’ll spend just as much (if not more) of your time developing practical skills instead of taking courses in general subjects, such as science or language. You may take some general education courses, especially if you are in an associate’s program, but you will also learn technical knowledge that will prepare you to troubleshoot problems with heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration systems. You will also learn about the design and layout of these systems so you can install and maintain them. If you want to succeed as an HVAC student, you should try to develop as early as possible the aptitudes you will need to excel in the professional world. By working on these skills, you can perform as well as possible in your studies and put yourself in a strong position to be hired by the HVAC company of your choice.
You will need to develop time-management skills.
Overall, people who are good at time-management excel in many areas of their lives. If you know how to schedule and organize your time well, you can avoid getting stressed and overwhelmed when your to-do list feels like it’s a mile long. This will pay off in school, where you might be taking four or five classes at once and have to juggle many different subjects, all with their own sets of test dates and homework assignments. On the other hand, you might only be taking two or three classes at a time, but also be dealing with keeping your children on their own school schedule or staying on task at your current job. Many people today have to deal with extreme multi-tasking, and those who know how to use their time to their advantage often get more done. Once you are an HVAC mechanic, you will be more successful in your day-to-day routine. Technicians often have to keep up with a long string of house calls, all of which need to get done that day. If you can stay on task, you are more likely to complete your work and less likely to anger any customers who have been waiting all day, only to have you show up way outside of your projected arrival time.
You will need to develop strong communication and customer service skills.
Again, people who succeed with this skill often do well across many different parts of their lives. If you can practice relating to people and communicating will others while you are in college, you might see it reflected in your grades. You will need to know how to cooperate with classmates on school assignments and articulate yourself clearly to teachers when you have questions. If you can get a handle on this early, you will already have the foundations of customer service training when you are hired as an HVAC technician. Because you will spend time in peoples’ homes or perhaps dealing with building managers at commercial facilities, it is imperative that you can be friendly, polite, and respectful. Your abilities in this regard will especially be tested when you deal with disgruntled customers who just can’t seem to be satisfied.
You will need to develop dexterity.
As a technician you will work with a wide variety of hand tools that require accuracy and precision. Those who do not have good hand-eye coordination might end up injuring themselves or someone else, or damaging part of a system. If you already have good coordination skills, perhaps because you grew up playing sports or a musical instrument, than you will be at an advantage in your studies. If not, the hands-on components of your school program will help you develop this ability. You can also practice your dexterity on your own time, perhaps through athletics or other hand exercises. If you are not naturally coordinated, you may have a little bit more difficult time competing with those who seem to have been born with nimble hands.