Mechanic with wrenches in pocket

What Are the 7 Trade School Programs at Apex?

There’s no one size fits all when it comes to school. Some students attend a traditional college to earn a two- or four-year degree. Many others discover a combination of knowledge, skills and technical training is the right path for them. A vocation education at trade school provides students with a variety of positive benefits. If you’re interested in attending trade classes, keep reading to learn about our programs.

 

Automotive Service Repair

At Apex, the automotive service repair program helps students learn to repair vehicles, help vehicles operate safely and get specialized training for an entry-level position. It provides a foundation of technical skills students use to evaluate mechanical systems and make repairs, as well as:

 

  • Fix and maintain the inner parts of the vehicle
  • Test major components when a vehicle breaks down
  • Work on engines, transmissions and brakes
  • Perform basic car care and maintenance, including oil changes

 

Students spend time in the classroom and shop where instructors incorporate diagnostic procedures, proper tool usage and much more. Auto mechanic classes are often a good fit for individuals who enjoy hands-on learning and have a passion for cars. Discover four signs auto mechanic school is right for you.

 

Air Conditioning, Refrigeration, Appliance/Controls

This vocational program focuses on teaching skills related to repairing and troubleshooting air conditioners, refrigeration systems, electrical control panels, major home appliances and gas-fired heating systems. Students in the HVAC program at Apex learn how to:

 

  • Use the basics of electricity for installation, service and maintenance
  • Repair and maintain domestic and commercial units
  • Learn about cooling towers, piping and ductwork
  • Follow codes and safety practices

 

HVAC training classes include both basic and advanced segments where students split their learning time between the classroom and shop. Interested in the HVAC field? Learn more about

 

Auto Body Repair

From preparing a car for body repairs to learning how to weld and retexture plastic, students in this vocational program train to enter the auto body repair industry. Students not only learn to improve a vehicle’s appearance but also:

 

  • Work on collision repairs, windshields and window glass
  • Fix structural, safety and cosmetic issues, such as dented doors and bumpers
  • Use paint and welding techniques
  • Restore older cars damaged by rust and age

 

In auto body repair classes, experienced instructors teach students techniques for fixing everything from minor to major auto collision damage. Explore the differences between the

 

Combination Welding Technology

Apex’s trade classes give students hands-on experience and teach a range of welding knowledge. Students learn techniques for welding repair and maintenance as well as how to use some forms of advanced welding equipment. Apex instructors focus on helping students:

 

  • Read blueprints and interpret welding symbols
  • Perform the four major welding processes, including SMAW, GMAW, GTAW and FCAW
  • Weld plates and pipes in multiple positions

 

Welding has been used for centuries to join two pieces of material together and continues to be a viable modern career option. Interested in learning if combination welding classes might be a good fit for you? Here are three signs you should consider welding training.

 

Electrical and Advanced Electrical

This trade school program prepares students to perform a variety of electrical tasks—from reading circuit diagrams and installing wiring for lighting to learning about green energy systems and more. Apex students learn with instructors and peers, study theories in the classroom and get hands-on experiences in the shop. Students training in the electrical program learn to:

 

  • Use basic tools and equipment to repair electrical conductors and components
  • Perform splices, bonding and grounding
  • Install circuit breakers, fuses and wiring
  • Install security systems, fire alarms, intercoms and other electronic systems

 

Electrical and advanced electrical classes span six segments and help students earn 900 hours of trade school training. Interested in exploring a bright future in the electrical field? Discover four reasons the electrical trade could be the path for you.

 

Construction and Building Skills

Individuals in the construction and building trade program touch upon a variety of skills—ranging from carpentry and electrical familiarity to plumbing, kitchen and bath knowledge. These tradesmen and women use their hands-on skills to:

 

  • Troubleshoot and repair electrical boxes and fittings
  • Frame windows and doors
  • Install light fixtures, wiring and countertops
  • Use power tools and plumbing blueprints

 

At Apex, students prepare to enter the construction field by taking six segments of carpentry and building skills classes, as well as learning to build a model house in the shop. Think you might be a good fit? Explore five signs a construction career path is right for you.

 

Plumbing and Pipefitting

Students in this vocational program learn how to install water heaters, water supply and waste disposal systems found in private kitchens and bathrooms. They also learn the basics and practice real techniques, including:

 

  • Assemble pipe sections, tubing and fittings
  • Locate leaks and repair pipes, fixtures and drainage systems
  • Follow blueprints, codes and safety specifications
  • Use a variety of hand and power tools, levels and other materials

 

Plumbing classes give students the opportunity to learn how to find the source of a problem, as well as what it takes to solve the problem. Wondering if you’re ready to pursue the plumbing trade? Here are four signs a plumbing career could be a good fit.

 

*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the State of New York, New York State Education Department. Grad rates, debt and other consumer disclosures at apexschool.com.

 

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

Individuals in construction career path take measurements for door installation

5 Signs a Construction Career Path is Right for You

What career path should I pursue? What trade am I passionate about? How can I turn my natural skills into a future?

 

These are all questions you’re probably asking yourself when considering career paths. And if you’re drawn to the construction trade, we want to help you make an informed decision about a construction career path. If you find any of the following statements apply to you, pursuing the construction industry may be a good fit for your goals and interests.

  1. I work best with my hands.
  2.  

    Were you a Lego enthusiast as a kid? Do you enjoy tinkering with models, even as a teen or adult? Do you learn best when there’s something physical to build or examine?

     

    Working well with your hands indicates that you like to understand how physical objects fit and work together. Playing with Legos and models probably fostered that skill early on, which translates to both strong critical thinking abilities and physical awareness.

     

  3. I enjoy home improvement projects.
  4.  

    Many people dread fixing things around the house because they know there’s so much room for error; so they resort to hiring a professional. There’s nothing wrong with hiring someone already in construction to handle the project, but if your first instinct is to brainstorm and try to build the solution yourself, you may have a natural interest in construction-related tasks. You could foster that natural interest by working toward a construction career path.

     

  5. I like working but don’t want to be tied to a desk all day.
  6.  

    If moving around fuels your creativity and helps you accomplish tasks, you may be more suited to field work than to a desk job. While some people love the office environment, it’s not right for everyone. Sitting at a computer, answering phones, and attending office meetings can feel stifling. If you feel more productive on your feet, you may find the construction trade a rewarding fit.

     

  7. I enjoy working with tools.
  8.  

    This one may sound obvious, but many people ignore their love of using tools, not realizing that their hobby could be turned into their future. If you have fun using drills, saws, hammers, levels, and more, consider the fulfillment you could have by using those tools every day in the construction trade.

     

  9. I’m naturally curious.
  10.  

    Individuals with careers in the construction industry should be well-versed in related trades, such as electrical, plumbing, and carpentry. While those other trades can be career paths in themselves, construction ties them together into one final product. If you enjoy learning new topics and relating them to your current life or task at hand, you may have a curious, holistic mindset that could be applied to construction.

     

    As you consider your career path options in the construction industry, explore our Construction & Building Skills program.

     

    *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 student stands on a ladder and uses wood working tools

Wood-Working Tools for the Construction Trade

Tradesmen in the construction industry build frameworks and structures, and they rely on wood-working tools to craft and shape their materials. Door frames, stairwells, rafters, and many other residential and commercial building elements are made of wood. Therefore, it’s important for individuals in the construction trade to learn which basic carpentry tools help accomplish daily tasks.

Common Carpenter Tools List

Individuals in the construction trade should learn how to master common tools of the trade, from tape measures to table saws. Additionally, building up a reliable, versatile collection of wood-working tools helps carpentry tradesmen feel confident in the work they do.
 
What tools do carpentry tradesmen need? Let’s dive into a list of common carpenter’s tools.

  1. Tool Pouch
    Most tradesmen prioritize keeping their tools handy. At a fast-paced job site, you can waste time looking for misplaced tools. Stay organized by wearing a tool pouch. Select a heavy-duty leather or canvas pouch large enough to hold important supplies. Choose a pouch with a hammer loop and an adjustable waist belt.
  2.  

  3. Tape Measures
    Whether you are building a door frame, installing hardwood floors, or performing many other carpentry tasks, it’s vital to take accurate measurements. Use a small, flexible pocket tape measure for intricate projects and tight spaces. Select a sturdy, metal tape measure with both traditional and metric systems.
  4.  

  5. Nail Gun
    When tradesmen need to drive many nails quickly and efficiently, an air nail gun is an optimal tool. Also called pneumatic nailers, air nail guns use compressed air to create enough force to rapidly drive thick nails through hard materials. Tradesmen use air nail guns to install baseboards and molding, among many other wood-working tasks.
  6.  

  7. Hammer
    When looking for a quality hammer, stay mindful of three key factors: balance, material, and claw design. Hammers with proper head-to-handle weight distribution balance and swing easily, giving your tendons and muscles a rest. According to many tradesmen, high-carbon steel hammers with a wooden or fiberglass handle absorb otherwise painful vibrations. Finally, hammers designed with a double-bevel claw allow enough clearance to slip under and grab any size nail head.
  8.  

  9. Chisel
    Individuals in the carpentry industry use chisels for chopping dove tails, paring joints, and cleaning up wooden door hinges, among other tasks. Available in various sizes, chisels range from one-quarter inch to two inches. Wooden handles capped with metal withstand hammering and often last longer than chisels with plastic handles.
  10.  

  11. Hand Saw
    Tradesmen who use hand saws prefer their control and ability to produce a clean cut. While not a replacement for power saws, hand saws—including hacksaws, rip saws, and others—are simple, helpful, and cordless tools for the carpentry trade.
  12.  

  13. Sawhorse
    Like a work bench, a sawhorse provides a stable work platform. While benches or tables are bulky, sawhorses fold up for easy transport and are light enough to carry a long distance. Tradesmen who work with cables and small tools should consider a sawhorse with side hangers and deep trays to stay organized. Those who frequently work with large or heavy pieces of wood and metal should opt for a sawhorse with non-slip rubber feet and a spacious surface.
  14.  

  15. Marking Tools
    Finally, marking tools are a common item in a tradesman’s tool box and can include chalk lines and a carpenter’s pencil. Use a flat, wide carpenter’s pencil for steady, predictable lines. Flat pencils are easy to grip and can be sharpened at both ends. To mark as you measure, use a chalk line, which leaves a dusting of red or blue chalk. For razor-thin lines that won’t smudge, use a marking knife.

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

 

The New York Times Building, built by Renzo Piano who comes from an Italian family of carpenters

Meet NYC’s Famous Construction Workers

As a manmade empire, New York City prides itself on its skyline and structures. Behind those structures are the construction workers, carpenters, and architects who built them. Meet some of them who’ve risen to fame through their construction skills.

Gamaliel King

Gamliel King, a carpenter and grocer who lived in New York in the 1800s, rose to success as he used his carpentry skills to build many of New York City’s structures with partner and foreman John Kellum. Here are some of his buildings:

  • Brooklyn City Hall (Greek Revival)
  • Friends’ Meeting House (Italianate), a stop on the Underground Railroad and now the Brotherhood Synagogue
  • The Washington Square United Methodist Church (Gothic Revival), now condominiums
  • Kings County Savings Bank

Renzo Piano

From a family of Italian builders, Renzo Piano grew up under the influence of his grandfather’s masonry company. After attracting attention for his projects in Italy in the 70s, Piano expanded into international building work, eventually opening his own firm with British architect Richard Rogers. In New York City, he’s since built the following:

  • New York Times Building
  • Whitney Museum of American Art
  • Morgan Library extension
  • 565 Broome (a twin-tower residential building)

For his buildings and designs, Piano is considered an important contributor to today’s culture around the world. Among many other awards throughout his career, he won the 1998 Pritzker Architecture Prize.

The “Lunch Atop a Skyscraper” Men

A symbolic photo of New York City’s history, this famous portrait features 11 construction workers eating lunch on the soon-to-be-completed Rockefeller Center. The New York Times featured the newly identified names of some of these depression-era workers, whom many New Yorkers can identify with as their ancestors or symbols of their own hard work toward the American dream:

  • Joseph Eckner
  • Joe Curtis
  • Sonny Glynn
  • Matty Shaughnessy

AECOM Tishman

AECOM Tishman is one of the most important construction companies of today’s New York City. Daniel McQuade leads the Construction Services division, and was President of Tishman Construction before it was acquired by AECOM. The group leads the redevelopment of the World Trade Center site, and AECOM tops all NYC ground-up construction projects in square footage, according to The Real Deal. It also comes in as the fifth largest general contractor for alterations and renovations.

 

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

Student works on large window to improve natural light, one of today’s top residential construction industry trends

A Guide to the Latest Residential Construction Industry Trends

When it comes to aesthetics and functionality, homeowners usually look to incorporate what’s trending or hot on the market. Whether a homeowner is building a home or renovating a living space, there are many popular designs and construction materials to fit their unique style. Here are some of the latest trends in the residential construction industry.

 

Separate Laundry Rooms

The number one feature homebuyers are looking for in 2017 is a room for laundry. According to Kiplinger.com, 92% of homebuyers desire a room in which they can wash, dry, and stack clean laundry—and then keep it out of sight until they put it away.

 

If a homeowner doesn’t have an extra room or closet available for a laundry appliances, the basement is a great location for this addition. Utility lines are already accessible, and if the basement is unfinished, demolition won’t be necessary prior to constructing walls or doors in the space.

 

Larger Bathrooms

Constructing a bathroom is no inexpensive feat. When it comes to bathroom trends, many homeowners choose timeless designs and construction materials to stretch their dollar further. So what do homeowners want in a bathroom renovation?

 

The American Institute of Architects reports construction market trends have seen an uptick in simple, universal bathrooms. As more older Americans move in with their children, accessibility is key. Walk-in showers, low sinks, and textured tile or slatted wood floors all offer ease of use and a modern aesthetic.

 

Increased Light Inside and Outside

Sunlight delivers mental and physical health benefits, and it can make a home feel larger and more comfortable—not to mention potentially reduce energy bills. To achieve this, many homeowners turn to large picture windows that offer an abundance of daylight. According to designlike.com, insulated picture windows are not only beneficial to dark areas of the home that need an infusion of natural light, but they also have fewer gaps through which air or water can leak.

 

Similarly, homeowners desire adequate light on the exterior of the home, including walkway and patio lights, motion sensor flood lights, and outdoor wall lanterns or sconces. The National Association of Home Builders cites lighting as the most-wanted outdoor feature, with 90% of homebuyers saying they want this feature in their home. While lighting might seem like a small detail, it can increase the safety and comfort of a home tenfold.

 

Highly-Functional Kitchens

Because they are the daily site of multiple meals and activities, kitchens serve as the focal point and gathering place of the home. A generation ago, individuals in the construction industry experienced high demand for formal dining rooms and small kitchens. Today, homeowners spend much of their day plugged in to phones, computers, and TV, so when it comes to eating, they want the same feeling of casual community.

 

This means homeowners want large, eat-in kitchens where family and friends can gather to cook, eat, and spend time together. They often require walk-in pantries, double islands, and energy efficient appliances that can serve their needs over time.

 

Today’s homeowners have specific wants and needs. Staying up-to-date on the latest trends is a vital way to increase your unique value as an individual in the construction industry.

 

 

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

 

structures like the Parthenon play a role in the history of construction

The History of the Construction Industry

Construction is one of the first necessary trades in human history. Starting with the Stone Age and moving to today’s advanced construction practices, find out how humans started the construction trade, and how it has transformed.

The New Stone Age (9000 BC – 3000 BC)

Britannica.com notes that humanity needs construction to survive its environments. As one of the basic human needs, shelter allows us to adapt to changing climates, which in turn allow us to populate much of the earth that would be otherwise inaccessible.

During the Neolithic Age, also known as the New Stone Age, people pursued construction as much as they could, without the use of wood working. They made tools from mud, grass, stone, wood, and animal remains such as hide, tusks, and bone. These tools allowed them to build simple structures like temporary huts, tents, stone monuments, and tombs.

As prehistory advanced to the Bronze Age, copper and bronze allowed tool creation to advance. Durable, sharper saws allowed rocks to be more easily cut. While construction existed as a necessity for every human to survive during these periods, the advancement of tools made way for what would soon become a successful specialized trade.

The Iron Age (1200 BC – 700 BC)

During the Iron Age, iron and the even stronger steel gave way to a new tool: the first plane, which allowed for fine wood-shaping and, therefore, more complex structures. While civilizations advanced at different rates, here are some major accomplishments from across the globe during this time:

  • China:
    • Built the Great Wall of China with wood, earth, stone, and mortar
  • Egypt:
    • Credited with having the first recorded architect, Imhotep
    • Constructed pyramids from an abundant supply of stone, dragged from quarries to the construction site
  • Greece:
    • Build stone-frame temples inspired by Egypt’s use of stone construction
    • Independent skilled masons focused on detail were hired to build the Parthenon
  • Roman Empire:
    • Made the first true stone arch and created a major industry out of brickmaking
    • Advanced timber technology by mastering trusses
    • Created advanced pipe systems, including the Roman aqueducts

The Middle Ages and Renaissance (4000 – 1700)

While Rome experienced a decline in construction progress following its fall, Europe experienced some advances during the Middle Ages, including the fireplace and chimney. This led to the partitioning of homes into several rooms heated by individual fireplaces.

With the rise of the Italian Renaissance, the construction trade began to make the important distinction between designer and builder. This separation allowed each role to develop greater depth of expertise. With a greater-than-ever focus on appearance, Romans displayed their religious and cultural pride through arches and domes, particularly on churches. These stylistic choices allowed Romans to heavily influence construction and architecture across Europe, spreading all the way to England’s St. Paul Cathedral.

The Industrial Revolutions (1600-1900)

The first industrial revolution in the late 1600s was a result of the creation of large-scale iron production. Iron, particularly cast iron, was readily available to construct new building frames and strengthen existing ones. Glass also began to be manufactured, but many limitations still existed, such as a continued dependence on wood for cranes and scaffolding.

Progress accelerated in the 1800s, the most commonly referenced industrial revolution, sparked by electricity and railroads. Wrought iron structures improved, allowing the invention of high-rise buildings. Some advancements included the use of brick casing to protect the iron structures from heat caused by potential fires, and foundations filled with concrete to support the heavier loads. Electric elevators allowed for easy transportation through buildings, and daylight could be supplemented by electric light. Internal-combustion engines manufactured power the construction trade had yet to see.

Modern Construction

With continued advancements in high-rise construction and architecture, modern building practices are complex. Critical construction roles and areas include the following:

  • Carpentry
  • Electrical conductors and circuit breakers
  • Plumbing systems
  • Lighting
  • Remodeling
  • Framing of walls, ceilings, floors, doors, windows, and roofs
  • Construction management

As the practical and technical details of construction have been refined over the centuries, today’s construction focuses on the comfort of its structures’ occupants. Interior function and aesthetic are valued more than ever, widening the construction industry to include principles of design. Additionally, indoor plumbing and electricity can be considered a subfield of construction because of how critical they have become to the design, value, and function of a structure.

As style and mastery evolves, the construction field will do the same, allowing individuals in the field to explore areas of interest and provide the best interior and exterior structures for their customers.
 

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