As an HVAC skilled trade student, there are a number of resources available to supplement your refrigeration school training. Because HVAC systems are highly complex mechanisms, it takes in-depth knowledge and skills to properly install, service and repair them. While this knowledge is gained by attending a certified HVAC program, such as those offered by RSI, it is still a good idea to keep up with the latest advancements in your field or do some independent learning in any area you feel you need to improve upon.
Listed here are some additional educational resources that you can utilize to gain the expertise needed to become a successful HVAC technician and advance in your career.
For some light and entertaining reading that will make you laugh and help you learn from other HVAC tech’s mistakes, get yourself a copy of 101 Ways to Suck as an HVAC Tech by R.J. Schuster. The book looks back over the years, chronicling the mistakes and mishaps of the field in a compilation of short stories. This could be a great companion to have no matter which HVAC program you choose to attend, as it may help keep your confidence up when you encounter your own obstacles.
For the more visual learner, consider getting yourself a copy of HVAC Design and Sourcebook by W. Larsen Angel. More of a manual, this book visually explains the HVAC system design process using step-by-step photographs, graphics, and text. This is a guide you can refer to time and time again during your HVAC training and on the job.
North American Technician Excellence (NATE) is a great online HVAC resource. NATE offers certification for HVAC technicians but also contains information about where you can obtain the latest training materials, books, CD-ROMs, study manuals, and other relevant websites for the career-minded HVAC student during and after formal training.
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Another fantastic website HVAC tech students and employees can utilize is explorethetrades.org. Their career resource page for HVAC technicians contains a compilation of professional organizations you can join, conferences you can attend, resume writing services for when it comes time to look for employment, interview preparation guides and job search guides. At RSI, our shortest program is only six months in length; therefore, it’s important to begin preparing yourself for employment as soon as possible.
If you’re looking for free HVAC stuff to download, then check out MrHVAC.com. Mr. HVAC is a consulting firm that offers free HVAC downloads that relate to the business management side of the HVAC industry. These free resources are perfect for the HVAC student who desires to own his or her own company, or the HVAC employee looking to move into the managerial or sales and marketing aspects of the career. Aside from business materials, Mr. HVAC also offers free heat and gain loss calculators, free labor rates and parts pricing calculator, and more.
Another great site to get free HVAC learning resources is freehvaclibrary.com. This site offers free e-books, handbooks, and learning CDS on everything HVAC, along with interesting blog posts to keep up in field. They even have a guide that gives you step-by-step instructions on how to download from their website. This is a great supplemental resource to use throughout your HVAC training program.