The education of prospective hvacr technicians

April 10, 2000
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Since 1968, the Tennessee Technology Center at Jacksboro and 17 other technology centers across the state have trained thousands of students to enter the hvacr field at the entry level and above.

Some of the more ambitious students have left these schools after training and have been very successful in starting and maintaining their own hvacr businesses.

As you might have guessed, technology and training methods have changed since 1968 and today, the program is still changing and charging ahead to ensure that our students are well prepared to enter this highly technical, evolving trade.

Our students arrive with many various backgrounds and age groups. Some have taken college courses or have a degree, some need to be retrained due to company shutdowns, and some are high school students.

Regardless of background, the students enroll because they want to be trained for this very high-tech, exciting occupation and know that attending school is the quickest, most reliable method of learning the trade.

But, they want to be able to make a comfortable living for themselves and their families. We instructors believe that the “American Dream” is still possible for our students and work together to help them and the industry, which is suffering from a shortage of technicians.

Alleviating the shortage

What has Tennessee done in the past couple of years to alleviate the shortage of qualified technicians?
  • The hvacr instructors have a strong bond across the state, meeting as needed to discuss and resolve problems as an organized group.
  • The hvacr instructors have written and adopted, as an organized group, a standardized curriculum that has been implemented in all of the Tennessee Technology Centers.
  • The state has modernized the programs, facilities, and equipment for up-to-date training using competency-based, individualized instruction.
  • Every hvacr program in Tennessee has been accredited by Hvac Excellence, Mt. Prospect, IL. This accreditation process requires an on-site evaluation performed by a visiting team. The programs must meet or surpass very strict requirements for this documented accreditation, which is designed to ensure the hvacr programs are meeting or surpassing industry standards.
  • Each program is required to have an active Advisory Committee composed of representatives from the industry who meet a minimum of twice annually to ensure that current trends and equipment are up to date. This committee also contains graduates currently employed in the hvacr industry.
  • All of the technology centers are also accredited by the Council on Occupational Education (COE) and governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents, the seventh largest governing board in America.
  • All of the schools in the state have an agreement of articulation among themselves and also among the Accredited Membership of the Hvac Excellence program, which ensures the transfer of subjects mastered from one organization to another.
  • The Tennessee Technology Centers also have an articulation agreement with other universities and colleges in the state, which allows students to receive college credits for hours and subjects mastered.
  • The instructors are Master Technicians and trainers in the industry, with various degrees of expertise in all of the required curricula.
  • Every student graduating from the program has taken Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Section 608 and 609 tests.
  • Every student is encouraged to take a proficiency test from an outside organization prior to graduation.


Let's work together

The Tennessee Technology Centers are well aware of the problems of obtaining qualified service technicians and gear all programs to meet the need.

Many hvacr service and installation companies across the United States are owned and operated by graduates from technical training programs.

This program looks to continue that trend by working with oem’s, learning media, unions, and learning organizations to supply qualified, certified entry-level technicians.

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