The refrigeration industry has a multitude of technologies that work together in order to make each system function. These technologies continue to evolve and change as systems become more efficient and as new methods are discovered to improve the refrigeration cycle. As such, the importance of continuing education cannot be emphasized enough.

Knowledge is the best tool that service technicians can carry with them. And like any tool, it needs to be continually honed in order to keep it sharp and useful. Technicians cannot efficiently troubleshoot a system if they do not understand all the technologies working within it. Technicians should never become complacent and believe they have learned all that can be learned. With all the various and rapidly changing technologies in our field, it is truly an enormous task to try and master them all.

There are numerous ways for technicians to continue their education, but one of the easiest and most convenient is to attend a webinar. Webinars offer technicians the ability to obtain education without the travel requirement associated with traditional seminars or training classes. Many webinars are also recorded, so if technicians miss the live presentation, they have the option to see the recorded version on their own time.

Another advantage, especially for the smaller shop, is the ability to listen to a webinar while working on a project. If there is a webinar that technicians cannot watch at home or in the office while it is being conducted, they can view it on a smart device, such as a tablet or phone. There have been several occasions when I have viewed a webinar on my phone while working on a job, and this is definitely a great option.

Many organizations, such as manufacturers, wholesalers, and trade groups, offer webinars. Getting on their invite list will ensure you are notified of any upcoming webinars. You do not necessarily need to attend all of them, but at least you will be able to choose those that are of interest to you. Get on as many email lists as possible — the more the better.

There are some disadvantages to webinars, such as the lack the personal interaction between the attendee and the presenter. There is definitely something to be said about being able to ask a question live and get immediate feedback from the presenter. Some webinars do offer the option to type in a question during the presentation, which the speaker can answer at the end, and this can be very beneficial.

Another disadvantage is that webinars do not allow for a live group discussion among peers, which often occurs during training classes or seminars. That is a shame, as some of the best education can be passed from technician to technician during these discussions. But the advantage of easy access to education offered by webinars still makes them a great option for technicians.

Publication date: 1/14/2019

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