An observation after 31 years of teaching HVAC/R
When it comes to teaching the skilled trades, one of the notable things about that workforce is they have busy lives and very little patience for anything that wastes their time. I call it “Students Vote With Their Feet”. If they are not getting what they want, they are gone! I find it encouraging that students keep walking into our program. We enjoy working with some of the most professional techs in the business, and they keep coming in. These techs are working to elevate their position in the trade – whether it be for higher wages, better types of work, or because they want to know more about the technology. Most often, it is for all of those reasons.
I’m pleased with the level of students that we work with everyday! The largest percentage of our learners are working technicians, somewhere on the planet. I had a visit with a tech on a Government contract in Africa in the middle of the Sahara Desert who was just finishing his day. He said his forehead was sunburned, his lips were chapped (go figure, the Sahara!) and that he was the Supervisor for the HVAC equipment on an Air Force base, responsible for keeping 900 Mini-Split & Multi-Splits operational.
He has been in the trade for 20 years, but has not had any formal training. He finally wants to get some credentials to increase his prospects in the jobs he can take on for the Government. He needs credentials. He specified NATE as his track, we will plug him into the program. Our success rate on certification exams is a 95% pass-rate, first attempt. We have a “Test Out” process for our courses. I expect that a 20-year veteran, even without formal training, will test-out through several of our courses and move quickly to the Certification Exam point.