CHANTILLY, Va. - The Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractor's National Association's (SMACNA's) new residential course is designed to turn out a competent HVAC service technician in approximately a year and a half. The course itself should be available to joint administered training committees (JATCs) in April 2007. Upon completion of this program, technicians may further their education by working through the International Training Institute's (ITI's) core curriculum.

Part one of the program is the Residential HVAC New Construction Installer segment. It teaches new construction ductwork installation or rough-in work. Trainees learn how to properly set the HVAC equipment.

In part two the student learns to become a Residential HVAC Finish Installer. This person is capable of performing furnace/air conditioning installations, turning the units on, putting in grilles and registers, as well as accessories such as air cleaners, humidifiers, special thermostats, etc.

Part three turns out a Residential Retrofit Technician skilled in dealing directly with the customer and working with existing conditions in a home. In addition to having communication and people skills, this person installs replacement equipment and can add an air return vent and cut into hardwood and tile, as well.

Finally, in phase four the student achieves Residential HVAC Service Technician status. At this level not only does the technician have the people skills acquired in phase three, but they also have diagnostic skills, some wiring skills, and sales skills.

The goal of the new curriculum is to have competent, independent technicians working out in the field as part of the team, as quickly and efficiently as possible.

"We tell them exactly what they need to know and do it in a way that makes learning easier and more effective," said James Shoulders, administrator of training for the International Training Institute, describing the new residential curriculum presented at the July ITI board of trustees meeting. "Not a lot of fluff."

For more information on the new residential educational program, contact James Shoulders at 703-739-7200.

Publication date: 08/14/2006