Monthly Archives: May 2013
In Part One of this series, our discussion was about answering one specific question in a job interview. This segment will also be about questions…not ones that are asked during an interview, but rather four questions that a graduate of a training program should consider.
1. What do some graduates of an HVAC training program think about getting hired?
2. What should graduates of an HVAC training program think about getting hired?
3. What do some employers think about graduates of an HVAC training program?
4. What should employers think about graduates of an HVAC training program?
When it comes to question #1, some students about to graduate from an HVAC training program are of the opinion that when they get their first job, they should be paid a starting wage somewhere just a tad South of the amount that a senior or journeyman technician earns. Their reasoning is that since they have invested a given amount of time and money in completing a training program, they should expect to start out at an earning level much higher than someone who “just walked in off the street” and hired on as a helper or on-the-job trainee.
Regarding question #2, the answer is, well, different than the answer to question #1.
While it’s true that a person who has graduated from a well-structured, effective (from an administrative perspective) HVAC training program that also involves dedicated, hard-working, skillful instructors has a good deal of information about the fundamentals of refrigeration, electricity, and air flow; and some degree of experience due to lab work in their training program, what they should understand about getting hired is that their starting wage isn’t going to be somewhere in the neighborhood of the top money earned by experienced technicians.
The graduate of a training program is considered to be an entry-level technician.
That’s not to say that they won’t be able to increase their earnings at a faster pace than that of the “off the street” hire…..once they prove what they can do….. meaning, generate revenue for their employer. (Refer to Part One of this series for clarification on this issue).
Moving on to question #3, the answer is that some employers just don’t think much of HVAC training program graduates.
The reasons for this vary. Perhaps they’ve had an unpleasant experience with a graduate in the past, discovering that their new hire was unable to perform certain tasks without a lot of assistance. Perhaps, they themselves never had an opportunity to attend an HVAC training program and they are intimidated by somebody who has. Or, they’re just of the opinion that trade schools and colleges take up a lot of time to “teach a lot of stuff that a technician doesn’t need to know” when it comes to running service calls, evaluating equipment operation and performance, and troubleshooting problems in order to accomplish the proper repair.
Which brings us to the answer to question #4.
From a technical perspective, an employer should consider a graduate, even though they are fundamentally entry-level on the day they are hired, as being much more knowledgeable than an “off the street” hire because of what they have accomplished by completing an effective training program. They have gathered the background information they need to understand about HVAC equipment, and while they have demonstrated an ability to perform certain tasks without any help, they will need some guidance in order to accomplish others while they develop into a fully fledged, revenue-generating technician.
Learn From Yesterday….Live For Today….Look Forward To Tomorrow
Once a technician has a grasp of the basic structure of the the psychrometric chart (understanding that there are six separate sets of lines as we discussed in previous segments here), the next important concept to know is that the chart can be used to evaluate the performance of a comfort cooling system in regard to the removal of sensible and latent heat.
Sensible heat, since it is simply defined as heat that can be measured, relates to the change in the temperature of an air sample. Latent heat, since it is defined as heat that brings about a change in state but not a change in temperature, is related to change in the level of water vapor in an air sample.
One simple way to get a grasp on the concept of the removal of these two kinds of heat and how the psychrometric chart can illustrate the level of a performance of a system relative to comfort via both temperature and relative humidity is to consider something known as State Point, shown in Figure One.
The two temperatures plotted in this example are 80-degrees dry bulb (red line) and 67-degrees wet bulb (blue line), and the point at which the two lines converge is just above the 50% relative humidity line.
The idea to keep in mind here is that once this baseline is established, the psychrometric chart can be used to illustrate the amount of sensible and latent heat that is being removed in a given situation. If the level of sensible heat removal is too high and the removal of latent heat is too low, that won’t result in maximum comfort. (See Figure Two below)
In this example we’ve achieved a significant drop in dry bulb temperature all the way from 80-degrees down to 60-degrees, and from the state point of 67-degrees wet bulb down to 56.3-degrees, but what we haven’t accomplished is a balanced removal of heat. This is indicated by the fact that our relative humidity is now 80%.
In Figure Thee, though, we have a more balanced removal of heat that will result in a more comfortable situation.
In this example we have only dropped the dry bulb temperature from 80-degrees down to 75-degrees, and the wet bulb temperature from 67-degrees down to 61-degrees, but in the process, we have accomplished a more balanced removal of heat because our relative humidity is now at 45%.
Learn From Yesterday, Live For Today, Look Forward To Tomorrow,