HVAC tradesperson uses AC training to check equipment

4 Signs an HVAC Career Path Is for You

Is trade school the right choice for me? Do my interests line up with a specific trade? I think I’m interested in HVAC training, but how do I know if heating and cooling school is the right path for me?

 

If you are considering taking your education, skills and knowledge to the next level by going to a trade school, you have probably asked yourself these questions. Individuals interested in a future in the heating and cooling trade often wonder if their personality, interests and skills are a good fit. As you weigh your options and plan for the future, consider these indicators.

 

  1. I am a reliable worker.

  2.  

    You are a dependable person who understands everyone plays an important role. Family, friends, coworkers and supervisors trust you to work hard and fulfill expectations. People know you will follow through with what you say you will do—whether it is a small request or an important appointment.

     

    These qualities help students studying the HVAC trade complete their work. For example, if an air conditioning unit stops working in the middle of the night, homeowners and building managers want a trustworthy individual with the skills and knowledge to resolve the problem right away.

     

  3. I like solving problems.

  4.  

    You are a technically minded person—which means you approach a problem by locating patterns and efficiencies. You may prefer to create a system or routine when you want to be successful with work or school. Following a process gives you control over challenges, and you often break a project into smaller parts because you want to see how things work.

     

    In HVAC school, you can use this trait to your advantage. Heating, cooling and refrigeration systems have a web of inner parts, and students learn how and why things work to produce cold or hot air. When one of these important systems breaks or malfunctions, an individual in the HVAC trade is often the first person on the scene. Students who are technically minded are prepared to examine a control panel and locate patterns to complete important repairs.

     

  5. I enjoy an active lifestyle.

  6.  

    You like staying active—whether you are spending time with family and friends or learning hands-on in the classroom. You are the type of person who does not mind taking a walk or a drive with no destination in mind—as long as you are going somewhere, you are happy. A traditional desk job sounds a little boring to you, and you think you want a future that requires working on your feet.

     

    People in the HVAC trade spend time driving to job sites, working with their hands and maybe crouching into tight spaces to assess and service heating, cooling or refrigeration equipment. This active role calls for individuals to be comfortable moving on their feet for periods throughout the day.

     

  7. I like helping people understand things.

  8.  

    When you know how something works, it is easy for you to teach others to be successful with it, too. Your knowledge and passion for a topic—such as cars, cooking, or movies—sets you apart from others. You are friendly and approachable, and you feel comfortable talking to strangers.

    Individuals in the HVAC industry interact with many people throughout the day—and they are often answering important questions about their trade, skills, knowledge of various equipment, or why a replacement part is necessary and how it will improve an overall system. Homeowners, contractors and business managers want to understand what a red flag looks like—and an HVAC tradesperson is responsible for explaining various elements about a furnace, air conditioner, refrigerator or other appliance. Strong communication and patience help make these interactions successful.

If you are interested in learning entry-level HVAC skills or starting trade school classes, explore our A/C and refrigeration program and schedule a tour online today.

*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the State of New York, New York State Education Department.

Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.

An Apex Technical School student parent and his family stack their hands together in a pile

Going to Trade School: Back-to-School Tips for Student Parents

Single parents in college or technical school often wonder how they can accomplish their education goals with a family at home. While it may seem difficult, it’s possible to manage a family, work and trade classes. Here are three back-to-school tips for parents in trade school.

  1. Schedule your tasks.

    • Use a calendar. It can be on your refrigerator, mobile device or in a small planner. For example, if trade school class starts at 9 a.m. and you must finish studying and drop your son off at child care—make sure you schedule “studying” and “traveling to child care” on your calendar. Not only will you be on time for class, but you’ll take advantage of the quiet morning hours to study before your son wakes up.
    • Block out distractions. If you must study safety codes for your plumbing or electrical class, make sure you can devote time, energy and concentration to the task. Some students prefer to study as soon as they get home from class, when the material is fresh in their minds. Whenever you study, make sure you channel your attention on only one task. Ask family members not to disturb you. Leave your mobile phone in another room.
  2. Prep meals.

  3. Imagine this: You’ve just finished a class in the auto body repair shop. You learned new techniques for repairing rust on old vehicles. You’re proud of yourself, but now you’re tired. It’s time to go home and relax with your daughter who is staying with you for the weekend—except, you forgot about dinner.

    • Fix healthy meals for the week. Meal prepping can be a smart way to eat healthier foods because you won’t have to pick up fast food every night. Use an hour of your free time for prepping meals: slice vegetables, cook rice or pasta in bulk and sauté chicken that you can add to different meals throughout the week.
    • Save time and money. Eating prepared meals at home saves dollars at the grocery store and fast food restaurants, since it means you’ll be able to grab prepared food right from the refrigerator. It also gives you more time in your busy schedule to spend with family, studying or working.
  4. Ask for help.

  5. Sometimes, it seems like you must accomplish more than you’re capable of accomplishing. Maybe it’s difficult to juggle work, school and being there for your family when they need you. Or maybe time management is easy for you, but you’re afraid of falling behind in your trade classes because you don’t understand a new technique.

    • Talk to your support system. The people you surround yourself with are there to help you—whether that includes family, friends, trade school instructors, your religious community or other students in your classes. Asking questions helps everyone learn, grow and get better. When you’re learning something new—like a hands-on technical trade—you’re bound to discover your strengths and weaknesses. Rely on your support system to help you improve and finish strong.
    • Contact us. Our friendly representatives at Apex can answer your questions, from financial aid for trade school, to job placement assistance and other services offered at the school. Need help or have a question? Contact us today for more information.

     

*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the State of New York, New York State Education Department.

 

Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.

Plumbing equipment used by technical school students to learn plumbing trade

4 Signs a Plumbing Career Pathway Is a Good Fit for You

Should I pursue my goals of becoming a skilled tradesman? Is the plumbing industry right for me? How do I know if I should follow the plumbing career pathway?

It’s normal to ask these questions as you consider the next steps in your career. Perhaps you’ve repaired plumbing or pipefitting work in your home, but you don’t know if you should pursue plumbing training. As a first step, it’s helpful to evaluate what you like about the field and how to take advantage of your personal characteristics. Consider these indicators as you learn more about the plumbing trade.

  1. I’m a problem-solver.

  2. You’re a curious person with a knack for working with your hands. You like the challenge of solving puzzles, problems and collaborating with a group. Even if you’re unsure at first, you’re confident you can figure out most problems. You are both practical and creative when it comes to finding solutions.

     

    Tradespeople in the plumbing industry need to think efficiently. Installations and repair jobs require plumbers to draw on their knowledge and skills of the trade. Because there are many types of fixtures, faucets and pipes, plumbers must know how to handle a variety of tools, read blueprints and find solutions for many systems and appliances.

     

  3. I take pride in being reliable.

  4. Your friends, family and coworkers, know they can depend on you to follow through, show up on time or finish a project. You value hard work in others and you expect it from yourself.

     

    Workers in the plumbing trade need to demonstrate reliability to customers and business partners. Some individuals are responsible for several house calls per day, commercial plumbing projects and installs and repairs. A tradesperson who is consistent and trustworthy is an asset to the plumbing industry.

     

  5. I like to learn and test new things.

  6. You’re interested in the mechanics of how things work. You’re a hands-on person who prefers to troubleshoot an issue, take your time finding the right solution and complete a challenge the right way—and even if the right way takes longer, you never cut corners. You enjoy assembling pieces and parts to find out how things work together.

     

    In the plumbing trade, workers often repair a variety of pipes and appliances—some new and some old. While homeowners may do their best to fix a plumbing problem, a skilled plumber can recognize an unsafe repair job, locate the correct tools and materials and quickly correct the issue. To stay knowledgeable in their trade, plumbers must keep current on techniques, tools and housing and building codes.

     

  7. I don’t mind small spaces.

  8. Individuals in the plumbing industry often find themselves in confined spaces such as crouching under a sink, working in tight corners, and maneuvering around appliances. These areas may be uncomfortable at times and require individuals in the plumbing trade to maintain good health. In addition, manual dexterity and physical fitness help plumbers minimize their risk of injury.

    There are many exciting trade industries and countless reasons to consider a technical school to continue your education. If you’re interested in learning about our trade school classes, explore our plumbing and pipefitting program or contact Apex today.

 
*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the State of New York, New York State Education Department.

Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.

Gears with inspirational words, such as skills, knowledge and growth

Professional Work Habits of a Skilled Tradesperson

In addition to skills and on-the-job training, a successful tradesperson has a strong work ethic and a professional attitude. Good professional work habits benefit even the most experienced technicians. While you learn skills to enter the trade field, start practicing good work habits while you train or apprentice. On-the-job training exposes you to real-life work situations, testing your skills and professionalism.

 

No matter where you are in your education or training, use these four professional work habits of successful tradespeople and develop a strong work ethic.

  1. Problem solving skills
  2. In the classroom and at the jobsite, get in the habit of presenting solutions in addition to problems. Offering solutions to problems or issues shows critical thinking and leadership. Problem solving helps you earn trust from your colleagues and superiors. When you solve problems, be sure to observe, listen and ask questions so you fully understand the issue.

     

    Consider offering a few solutions when working within a team or directly with customers. Take advantage of more experienced teammates or supervisors by asking for their advice on solutions. Gain additional knowledge and understanding from others that can help you solve similar problems in the future.

  3. Continuous learning and education
  4. Keep your skills sharp and gain more experience by participating in continuous learning. As you continue to learn valuable skills for your trade or industry, you learn more techniques and get familiar with new technologies. While working on a jobsite, don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know.” Learn from others by asking for help from teammates or supervisors.

     

    A desire to learn shows passion and a commitment to doing good work. Look for new or additional learning opportunities to develop or practice skills. Consider asking instructors to connect you with industry leaders or local trade organizations. Gain access to new opportunities or learning workshops by getting involved with professional trade or networking organizations.

  5. Be kind
  6. Kindness goes a long way in every trade industry. As a skilled tradesperson, interacting and working with customers may be a large part of your job. Treat every customer, teammate and supervisor with respect and kindness. Good customer service tends to play a huge role in every trade field. Polite, clear communication helps build trust with customers, managers and project owners.

     

    If you find yourself working within a team, avoid gossiping on the job─even on breaks. A positive attitude lets others see you as a dependable team player. Keep personal issues at home, even if you become friends with your colleagues. Don’t let issues outside of work affect or influence your job.

  7. Stay organized
  8. Get in the habit of writing or recording dates and information. Learn an organization system or create your own way to stay organized using a calendar, a planner or a mobile app. Even if you use a company- or job-provided time tracking or project management system, keep your own records to prevent clerical errors.

     

    Keep your equipment organized, as well, by properly storing and cleaning tools after using them. Have tools ready to use at the start of each day or before starting a project. Good organization preserves and protects your equipment, so you can get the most use out of your tools.

 

Interested in technical school training? Learn more about the trade programs at Apex Technical School.

 
*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the State of New York, New York State Education Department.

Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.
 

tools for technical trades

Is Apex Technical School Right For You?

Start Your Journey to Learning a Trade at Apex Technical School.

Get to know Apex and learn how you can prepare for a hands-on technical education. Check out the infographic to learn more.


Is Apex Right For You? Infographic

New York City skyline showing electrical trade

A Guide to Choosing Trade Schools in NYC

Trade and technical schools in New York provide students with comprehensive, hands-on education and skills to enter the workforce. Whether you pursue a career in the heart of the city, or you take a job in a small town, New York is home to numerous trade schools for ambitious students motivated to advance their professional lives.

As you determine what type of technical school is right for you, it’s best to consider the unique ways various programs can directly benefit you. As you begin your new career journey, weigh your trade school options by examining all facets of a training program.

What Do Trade Schools Offer?

Unlike most colleges and universities that require two, four or more years of study, trade or technical schools offer a faster education. At a technical school, you take only the classes you need to hone your skills for a specific trade. Many students choose trade schools for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Specialized programs
  • Practical, hands-on training
  • Lower tuition costs compared to a four-year college or university
  • Accelerated time to graduation
  • Day and evening classes
  • The trade school culture

For students living in or near New York City, there are additional benefits to attending a technical school. The size of the New York City population provides more opportunities than more rural and suburban neighborhoods. Further, students at trade schools in NYC will also be in a booming culture that includes:

  • Sports
  • Recreation
  • Art museums
  • Music
  • Technology
  • Stores and restaurants

The city’s iconic skyline, the energy on the streets, a subway that runs 24 hours a day, and even the pizza are all specific features that students love about getting an education near New York City.

 

What are My Trade School Options?

If you’re ready to begin training for a trade you’re passionate about, it’s time to determine which technical school is right for you. To do this, ask yourself the following questions as you research possible programs:

    1. Does this school offer hands-on learning?

Hands-on learning is a critical part of learning a trade. Respected programs help you learn the skills and knowledge you need to succeed by allowing you to experience the work firsthand.

    1. Is this school accredited?

Not all schools are accredited by a federally recognized association. Choosing an accredited technical school means that you’re attending a school with well-developed programs and administration that meet specific standards.

    1. Can I get help with financial aid, job placement, or work study at this school?

Many technical or trade schools assist students with these important aspects of their education. While some students don’t require financial aid, students can benefit from financial aid if you qualify. Contact the admissions department to learn how a school can answer your questions before you enroll and after you graduate.

 

Knowing how to choose a trade school that’s best for you will help you reach your career goals. Understanding your options can help make it easier to choose a path that is rewarding for your personal and professional future.

 

 

Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.

Women in trades equipped for construction success

Why Women Are Well-Equipped for Trade-Based Careers

In the male-dominant fields of trade-based careers, women in trades can face doubts about their careers. You might wonder if you’ll be able to succeed, or if anyone will take you seriously.

With the right training and commitment to the trade, we believe women are uniquely equipped to succeed in trades like HVAC, automotive repair, plumbing and more. And we believe they should be given equal opportunity to bring their strengths to the trade.

If you’re considering vocational school or wondering about trade careers for women, use the following as motivation to pursue your dreams.

The trade customer is often female.

In her article for The Boston Globe Women gearing up for careers in the auto industry, Katie Johnston notes that female car drivers outnumber men. And for in-home trade services, such as HVAC, construction, and plumbing, the resident at home during the time of service is often female.

With an audience largely female, female trade service providers can make their female customers feel more comfortable with the service and repair process. This can often mean more return and referral-based business for the company, simply because its customers become more comfortable understanding the repairs and having the tradeswoman in their homes and cars.

Women can flourish in male-dominant fields.

In her Boston Globe article, Johnston also calls out tradeswomen’s abilities to:

  • Communicate
  • Pay attention to detail
  • Solve problems

Women are uniquely equipped to succeed in both service-oriented and problem-based trades, due to their ability to see details, analyze situations, and communicate solutions. Women in trades, particularly at the beginning of their careers, may feel pressure to conform, or even leave the field. But when they fully understand their innate potential for success, they can set their goals higher and ignore any noise that gets in their way. They can even begin to educate nay-sayers about the strengths of women in trades, creating opportunities for more females to join and further improve trade careers for women.

Mentorship from another female can help women succeed.

Because of the communication and problem-solving skills mentioned above, women make ideal mentors to those new to the industry. If possible, find a woman in your trade, and ask her to mentor you. Even if you aren’t already close, she’s likely to say yes to helping another woman succeed in the industry.

A female mentor can help you do the following as you navigate your potential in a trade career:

  • Better understand and use your strengths
  • Set expectations around female stereotypes
  • Learn how to respond to difficult situations
  • Communicate effectively in a male-dominant field
  • Set attainable goals that lead to career success

Resources for Women in Trades

As you work toward success and improving trade careers for women, we recommend pursuing resources that will help you at all steps of your journey – education, networking, job searching, and career advancement. Explore these resources, based on your trade of interest:

 

*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the New York State Education Department.
Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.

Tradesmen exhibiting teamwork leadership skills while working

5 Leadership Skills Employers Look For

It’s a common misconception that leadership belongs only to the executives and manager of a company. In fact, those people in management likely started developing their leadership skills at the same time they started their careers – the same place you are now.

Leadership skills can be considered synonymous with employability skills; employers want every person they hire to have well-honed leadership skills, no matter what job they’re hired for. Employees who master the skills of successful leaders can contribute to taking the company further, staying with the company longer, and growing their careers faster, so it’s a win-win for the employee and the employer.

Learn about the leadership skills you can start developing today, and get tips on how to begin.

  1. Team-Oriented

  2. Employers look for people who exhibit a desire to work with others. Even if your job requires you to work alone much of the time, you’ll likely need to work with a manager or small team for some critical tasks. Team orientation means you:

    • See the value in understanding perspectives other than your own
    • Are trainable and eager to learn from others in the field
    • Are willing to train others in skills you’ve already mastered

    To start honing a team orientation, look for opportunities to work with others, such as group projects at school, family decisions, and groups within any organizations you’re a part of, like a gym, church, or volunteer group. Make an effort to listen to the other people in your group, and help facilitate healthy conversation when conflicts arise. Make decisions that meet the needs of everyone in the group, and delegate work equally between team members. Once you’ve started consciously honing these skills, you can add your team-building experiences to your resume, even if you haven’t had a chance to practice them on the job.

  3. Open to Feedback

  4. An effective and well-liked leader is someone who considers the opinions of everyone involved, including teammates, managers, and those in training.You can build this skill before you even begin your career by adopting an attitude of humility. Share your opinion, but be sure to also seek out the opinions of those around you. Seeking feedback can not only help you grow but also help you make decisions for the greater good. Employers want to know that they’re hiring people who are willing to listen and make sacrifices for the good of the company.

  5. Honest

  6. Good leaders are confident in their integrity; they know they are always doing their best work, and they want what’s right for their team and company. Therefore, they’re humble enough to admit their mistakes. They’re committed enough to start difficult conversations. Leadership does not mean covering up problems or always going with the flow. It means providing honest feedback and owning your actions so the team can learn and grow.

  7. Entrepreneurial

  8. Having an entrepreneurial spirit doesn’t mean you need to invent something or start a business; it simply means you look for ways to improve things. Entrepreneurial ideas can include new ways to:

    • Make processes more efficient
    • Improve a product or academic assignment
    • Learn about a topic

    Ultimately, having an entrepreneurial attitude means you want to make experiences better and more efficient for everyone involved. To develop these leadership skills, start thinking about your everyday routines. How can you make them more efficient and enjoyable – for you and your family, friends, peers, or coworkers?

  9. Passionate

  10. Leaders must be passionate about their work. In order to keep honing all of the skills listed above throughout their careers, they must be excited to do their jobs every day. Be sure the career you choose offers a growth path that appeals to you. What can you do to get promoted? Are there learning opportunities for experienced employees? Learning often ignites passion, and your education doesn’t stop when your career begins. Always look for opportunities to learn new skills that can continue to motivate you toward leadership success.

 
*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the New York State Education Department.

Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.