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.
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