Continuing Education for Field Services Technicians

Continuing Education for Field Services Technicians

Investing in employee training is more essential for a business than ever before. According to the American Society for Training and Development, businesses that have formalized and comprehensive training programs earn 218% more income per employee than those without. Even for a small- to mid-sized business, that difference in earnings cannot be ignored.

But formal continuing education at work doesn’t just improve the bottom line. These programs are also highly-valued by employees, especially younger talent. Across all generations, 70% of employees are at least partially influenced to stay at a job due to available training and development opportunities. Among Millennials in the workforce, your employees currently aged 25-40, 87% consider professional development and job training very important to their decision to stay with the company or look for another job.

The great news for field services companies, including HVAC companies, is there are plenty of skills and talents to train on. Whether it’s education about the latest hardware and technology or soft skills and management training, there are lots of continuing education opportunities you can offer employees to grow their job satisfaction and your profit margins too.

HVAC Certification and Required Continuing Education

The state of Indiana does not have a state-level HVAC license that is required to join the industry. Instead, every city or county may have differing requirements. This offers a lot of opportunity to Indiana’s HVAC businesses to start their own apprenticeship programs and help local talent get certified to work in their area. Qualifying to receive these endorsements often requires several years of on-the-job training, as well as passing an exam.

In addition to the county- or city-level certification requirements, any individual who will be working with refrigerants will need 608 certification from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This isn’t just because refrigerants can harm the environment, but also because mishandling them can destroy HVAC equipment and injure technicians. There are different levels of EPA certification for HVAC technicians, ranging from working on small appliances to large equipment and industrial-grade appliances.

Some of these certifications will be essential to your employees launching their career but offering additional training and education to help them expand certification is also a great idea. Helping your technicians become eligible to work in the next county or expand their knowledge of services is good for both the business and the employees’ morale.

There are also many HVAC continuing education courses online. Continuing education is a requirement for maintaining lots of contractors’ and journeymans’ licenses, though these requirements may vary by geographic location. Websites such as hvacschool.org and jadelearning.com give information about and access to free HVAC continuing education to earn or maintain these licenses. Some sites charge a fee to officially claim the certification, so one perk you can offer as an employer is to pay those fees for employees who do the work.  

HVAC Engineer Skills: Beyond HVAC Certification

Outside of certifications and practical training, HVAC employees might be interested in training in other areas.

  • HVAC Technology and Software Training to help them better understand, use, and innovate with tools like field services software that are transforming how the industry does work.
  • HVAC Soft Skills Training in areas like phone skills, customer service, and writing reports can help HVAC technicians do their jobs with more confidence.
  • HVAC Leadership Training can teach more experienced technicians how to motivate trainees, help them coach new hires to do a great job, and communicate with compassion and assertiveness.
  • HVAC Sales Training empowers field technicians to be more confident about the upsell and help them better understand the products in your inventory, contract terms, and more.

Sometimes, training your employees in these skills isn’t just a matter of interest, but also of making sure everyone on the team has access to the same basic skills and techniques. Company-wide training on customer service, communication, or technology like field services software gets everyone on the same page and creates a safe space to ask questions. You might be surprised who really takes to the new ideas. Some employees might not think to ask for training but will end up deeply appreciating the investment you make in them.

Revolutionize HVAC Field Services Through Culture and Software

The US Department of Energy reports that the majority of HVAC companies have fewer than 30 employees, and many have five or fewer. At companies of this size, the decision to invest in training might not always be a priority. But the same report reveals that 20% of HVAC businesses fail every year, with 70% failing in their first year of business. In this competitive environment, nothing can be taken for granted, and that includes employee performance and loyalty. Even if you are keeping your head above water right now, an investment in the future could be the decision that keeps you in business versus a competitor.

That’s why Circle City Software Solutions is so excited to see more HVAC companies taking advantage of the Acumatica Field Services Software platform. This tool empowers HVAC teams and other field services teams of any size to better-communicate about priority service calls and the past work that has been done on-site. A real-time picture of current inventory and the customer’s warranty enables better service on-site. At the end of the work, an integrated billing and payment platform makes it  easy to finalize and pay for work onsite, keeping all the records in one place.

We would love to talk with you more about the competitive edge Acumatica could give to your HVAC business. Contact us today to talk more about your needs and set up a demo.