Alumni Spotlight: Eric Rosales – HVAC

HVAC technician

HVAC technician Programs Coyne College
What do a Chicago L train and YouTube have in common? They both inspired Eric Rosales to do an about-face and change careers, going from finance to HVAC. It also meant taking a big risk by quitting his full-time job to attend Coyne College as a full-time student.
“One day I had this epiphany. I was just tired of the same old thing. Same train. Same routine,” he says. As he got off the train, he saw his reflection in the window. “I asked myself, what is it I want to do next?” Rosales had studied business administration at another school and briefly worked in the music business. Something was missing.

That same week, his air conditioning went out at home. “I did what most people do and went to YouTube.” He was ready to fix the problem but realized he didn’t have the proper tools. Rosales called a friend who had studied HVAC at Coyne. The friend gave him lots of valuable information about Coyne’s program, but Rosales still did more research. “I watched videos of other technicians, and I felt really good about it,” he says. “I needed to pull the trigger and just do it.”
HVAC Technician Programs chicagoHe did and graduated from Coyne College in August 2016. “I was very surprised I was able to get a job as soon as I graduated,” he says. Rosales works in the HVAC department at the Museum of Science and Industry. “A lot of the workers have been here so many years because it’s such a good position. It’s very rare to have any openings here.” He says one colleague, also a Coyne graduate, retired after 35 years. Another Coyne alum has worked at the museum for 20 years.
Rosales is in charge of maintaining and troubleshooting the museum’s automated commercial HVAC system. “What I like about this position, too, is I’m branching beyond HVAC,” he says. “I’m getting into electrical. Here they really gear you to go toward a stationary engineer license. You have to know everything. It’s the best of every world.
“Everything that I’m able to do today I’ve learned from Coyne College,” Rosales says. Although his friend’s recommendation weighed heavily on his decision to attend Coyne, he says the commercials are what led to his decision. “They’re exactly what got me. Their reputation is exactly what they say they are.” During his time at Coyne, Rosales says he was always encouraged to excel. “Most importantly, if you really want it, they’re there to help you get it.”

HVAC Technician Chicago Coyne CollegeRosales is glad he veered away from business administration and toward HVAC. “When I was looking into the field, I saw nothing but great things,” he says. “By 2020, a lot of the units are going to be obsolete, and they’ll need to be replaced. So, in a few years, HVAC is going to be booming.” What he didn’t like about business management was that “everyone” was getting into it, and he expected it to be an oversaturated field.
“What I like about this industry is that not everyone’s rushing to get into it, so it’s not oversaturated. A lot of HVAC technicians are getting older and are retiring,” he says. “This profession is open, and you’re able to learn and really move around and move up.”

If you like working with your hands, have a mechanical aptitude, and are looking for an in-demand career, consider becoming a heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration technician. The job market for HVAC technicians is very good right now. According to O*NET Online, the projected growth of HVAC jobs through 2026 is much higher than average.
Coyne College prepares you for a career in HVAC-R in less than a year. You’ll learn real-world skills and get hands-on training and individual attention from instructors who are industry professionals. Contact Coyne College for more information or to register for classes.

Electrical Safety Tips on the Job Site

Electrical Safety

It goes without say that electricity can be incredibly dangerous, especially for electricians. Each day, they have to work around and with high voltage components. That’s why practicing proper electrical safety is important. For newbies and experienced electrical workers, here are a few tips for maintaining peak safety at electrical job sites.

These safety tips will help you avoid mishaps on the job. They also teach you these things in electrician training programs. If you’re looking for trade programs in electrical work and live in the Chicago area, Coyne College’s electrician programs are a great place to start on the way to a fulfilling career. Visit Coyne College online today at https://www.coynecollege.edu/ to learn more.

Coyne_SafetyBlog-1

Essential Traits of Electrical Linemen

Electrical Linemen Program Coyne College

electrical lineman

 

electrical lineman program chicagoWhat if we didn’t have access to the electricity that most of us take for granted? Thanks in part to electrical linemen, we don’t have to, save for the occasional power outage due to stormy weather. Electrical linemen are America’s unsung heroes. They are the ones who install power lines and restore electricity in the aftermath of storms. Electrical linemen keep power flowing to the homes and businesses across the country.
Being tasked with such an awesome responsibility requires a special set of traits.

Read moreEssential Traits of Electrical Linemen

Top 7 Reasons to Explore Electrical Trade Programs

electrical programs

We rely on electricity. Like, a lot. It powers our electronic devices, home appliances and, on a more basic level, allows us to not sit in the dark at night. As technology advances, we’ll most likely continue to depend on it for personal and business purposes. And to whom do we owe thanks for making electrical power so readily available? Electrical workers.

Electrical workers typically begin their journey into the trade by enrolling in electrical trades programs at local trade schools or community colleges. Other than maintaining power for millions of your fellow Americans, there many reasons to explore and purse an electrical trade program.

Read moreTop 7 Reasons to Explore Electrical Trade Programs

Increases in Infrastructure Budget Good for Skilled Trades

skilled trades

An increase in national infrastructure spending could end up being a benefit for laborers in the skilled trades needed to complete upgrades. In the coming years, much of the nation’s infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, buildings and other structures, will require some degree of repair or flat-out replacement.

Electrical Construction and Planning

For the electrical components of government infrastructure projects, there is detailed planning that needs to take place before any work can begin. This is where professionals who are trained in electrical construction and planning come into play. Their knowledge and ability go a long way toward ensuring the infrastructure project, be it a road, bridge, interstate or other, is executed in a way that is structurally sound and poses the lowest degree of danger for the electricians doing the installing.

Electrical Construction and Planning programs offered at vocational schools tend to take about a year and a half to complete. Many electricians enter the workforce as apprentices either through a union or independently. In apprenticeships, newly minted electricians emphasizing in planning learn the finer points of the profession from journeymen who have been plugging away for years. Apprenticeships help aspiring electricians master the trade and expand on their educational foundations they built in their respective training programs.

Electrical Construction and Maintenance

The contributions to be made by electricians specializing in construction and maintenance cover an array of projects and settings. From tollways to government buildings and even street lighting, electricians will play an important role in the renovation of America’s infrastructure. The increased use and financial possibility of solar panels and other alternative power sources will also warrant more work, as electricians will be needed to install and maintain those electrical components.

Among the many settings in which electricians worked in May 2016, those who worked for or with the government earned the highest median salaries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). While only 4 percent of electricians worked directly for the government in 2016, an uptick in infrastructure spending and the execution of projects funded by those expenditures would certainly cause that number to increase, if not result in contracts with the more than 70 percent of electricians who do contract work or are self-employed.

The BLS also notes that the “employment of electricians fluctuates with the overall economy,” and that there is “greater demand for electricians during peak periods of building construction and maintenance.” This is all to say that an increase in infrastructure spending would contribute positively to the growth of the electrician workforce and that the expected infrastructure work to be done across the country in the coming years contributes to the projected 9 percent increase in employment through 2026, as anticipated by the BLS.  

Electrician programs featuring an emphasis in maintenance tend to be shorter in length than their planning-focused counterparts. Coyne College offers electrician programs where you’ll get the hands-on electrical training and individualized instruction you need to prepare for a career as an electrician. 

Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration

Heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (otherwise referred to as HVAC) technicians are skilled trade workers who handle the installation and upkeep of heating and cooling systems within buildings and other architectural structures. Similarly to electricians, HVAC technicians will play an integral role in the construction of new government buildings, such as libraries, civic centers and others, in addition to the sustained function of the heating and cooling systems in longstanding government facilities.

Also like electricians, Coyne College has an HVAC technician training program that is less than a year in length but provides students with the base of knowledge and technical skills they need to gain entry-level employment. For yet another similarity to electricians, HVAC technicians enjoy a prosperous job outlook (15 percent growth through 2026, according to the BLS) that is expected to be predicated on an increase in construction, of which infrastructure is a part. 

Construct Your Career with a Quality Education

Now that you know how to embark on your journey toward becoming a skilled tradesman or tradeswoman, all that is left for you to do is to enroll in a quality training programs that meets your individual needs.

Coyne College is one of Chicago’s top skilled trade education institutions and is proud to offer three construction-based skilled trades: electrical construction and planning, electrical construction and maintenance, and HVAC.

Coyne College offers day and night classes for all programs to accommodate your busy schedule. The programs are offered at the Coyne College campus, located in the heart of the Chicago Loop at the intersection of State and Madison Streets.

The course content of the electrical construction and planning program’s curriculum is more in-depth than that of the electrical construction and maintenance program and can be completed in as few as 78 weeks. The electrical construction and maintenance program, on the other hand, also prepares you to enter the field, but can be finished in 42 to 56 weeks, depending on whether you opt to take day or night classes. Additionally, Coyne’s HVAC program can be completed in as few as 42 weeks. As a student in either of Coyne College’s electrical programs, you will be submerged in an array of classes relevant to your chosen field.

You will learn the ins and outs of the electrician or HVAC trades in a setting that focuses on your individual success and be taught by Coyne’s highly knowledgeable instructors who have years of real-world experience under their belts. Hands-on learning is a significant part of the program, and understandably so, but it is also mixed with theoretical components so students learn why they are doing what they are doing.

Following the completion of your Associate’s degree or diploma program, you will be ready to enter your chosen field. Most Coyne grads enter the field as non-union apprentices, maintenance electricians, maintenance mechanics, and electrical technicians. Worried about finding a job or apprenticeship that will suit you? Don’t sweat it. Coyne College offers an array of career services and job placement help for its students.

With more than 110 years of experience in helping aspiring electricians and HVAC technicians realize their dreams, Coyne College has a well-developed network of resources to help students land apprenticeships at the conclusion of their studies. 

Coyne College also offers its students career assistance, including mock interviews, externships and resume help. These resources can help students secure apprenticeships after completing the program. Students who enroll at Coyne College receive a well-rounded, first-rate education that provides them with the tools to succeed in the workforce as a skilled trade professional.

Start your skilled trade career today at CoyneCollege.Edu.

Top 5 Most Extreme Jobs for Electricians

Extreme Jobs for Electricians

Working as an electrician is an occupation that is not without its own set of dangers. Depending on the setting in which electricians work, they face conditions with the potential of bodily injury. With this in mind, below are five of the most extreme jobs electricians perform and the dangers those jobs pose to their health.

Get your hands-on training at Coyne College, located in the loop of Chicago! For more information visit us at https://www.coynecollege.edu/!

Check out this infographic on the top five most extreme jobs for electricians.

Faculty Spotlight: Ted Polowsky – Electrican

Electrician Faculty Spotlight

“I became interested in teaching because I like to help students reach their full potential in their career.” Learn more about Programmable Logic Controllers Instructor Ted Polowsky by our electrician faculty spotlight!  For more information on our electrical programs visit us at www.coynecollege.edu. Get your career started as an electrician by getting your hands-on training at Coyne College!

Find out more details on Electrical Programs at Coyne College.

Alumni Spotlight: Austin Rudnicki – Electrician

Electrician Alumni Spotlight

Austin Rudnicki’s belt buckle is a constant reminder of where he came from, what he has achieved and what he has yet to accomplish. To him, the buckle passed down from his great-grandfather says “electrician.” Rudnicki is a 2016 graduate of Coyne College’s Electrical Construction and Maintenance program and now proudly wears that belt. 

“My great-grandfather was a good electrician all his life,” Rudnicki says. “I’m sad I didn’t get a chance to pick his brain.” Even so, Rudnicki did well on his own, graduating at the top of his class at Coyne – a place, he says, that changed his life.

Rudnicki felt uninspired in high school and was confused when he graduated. “I knew my potential, but I wasn’t headed in the right direction,” he says. That changed when he saw pictures of the old Coyne building on Green Street. “I thought they were beautiful, so I had to go check it out for myself.” When he visited the school, he felt a drastic change in the way he viewed the future. He particularly loved the main staircase. “The vision I had put in my head was that one day I’ll be walking down these stairs GRADUATED and on the path of success.”

Coyne’s location changed, but Rudnicki’s feelings for it never did. He knew it was what he needed. “I remember viewing all of the classes. I saw 101 as step one,” he remembers. “I saw the residential and commercial classroom with studs, conduit, outlets and diagrams – everything in front of me for the first time – and I was amazed at this being really how it’s done.” He was always fascinated with the trades in high school and tried them all, but the electric field tugged at his heart. “I remember my first conduit bends. They were awful!” Rudnicki admits. “Now I can bend a 4-bend saddle with my eyes closed. I found the love.”

At Coyne, he tried to grasp all of the knowledge he could, and the instructors made it easy. “I was able to reach out to each teacher individually in the class, and open up and ask any question.” Rudnicki would attend classes in the morning and then go to his job in the residential electrical field right after. If the journeyman on the job couldn’t answer his question, he’d take it back to school. “The teachers were able to help me so much, and that’s what made me succeed,” he says. “They kept pushing me, and I kept learning more and more. Nothing could stop me.” Nothing did stop Austin Rudnicki. He often refers to something one of his teachers told him: “Do you just want to graduate, or do you want to know what you’re doing when you graduate?” He explains, “That same teacher said we can’t call him at 2 a.m. when we’re in the field with a question; he’s not going to be there. He’s here now to help prepare us for what’s next after classes.”

When Rudnicki graduated from Coyne, he said having his entire family there to support him and celebrate his achievement was “one of the greatest feelings I’ve ever had.” Now, Rudnicki is working as a lighting tech, working in commercial locations. “I really appreciate the stepping stone that this company has created for me. I really enjoy my coworkers. I enjoy the work I’m doing, the salary I’m getting.” Another perk is that he gets to travel. “All my good work has paid off,” he says. “I’m in no rush, but I’m looking forward to the next big chapter in my life.”

For those who are considering a first chapter in their professional lives – studying the trades – Rudnicki has some advice. “Do what you love doing,” he says. “Grab all the knowledge you can get, and don’t let anyone take it away. You’re the one who’s going to get behind the wheel of your own life.” As for advice about going to Coyne, he says to do it. “I know Coyne will always continue moving in a positive direction because they have a great staff. It was a great team – a great place for me to start my career. There’s so much to learn. It’s up to you if you want to take that challenge.” Austin Rudnicki wears his belt with his great-grandfather’s buckle every day. “I know I’m making him proud,” he says. “I have to earn this belt. He did. Now it’s my turn.”

If Austin Rudnicki’s story inspires you, consider a career as an electrician. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, employment of electricians is expected to grow by 20 percent, much faster than the average for all occupations through 2022. Coyne College can provide you with the hands-on training you need for an entry-level position in electrical construction or maintenance. You’ll learn to install and maintain electrical devices and wiring in homes, factories, offices and other structures.

Contact Coyne College today. New classes in Electrical Construction and Maintenance begin May 14.

How to Avoid the Most Common Electrical Code Violations

Electrical Code Violations

Electricity is one of the greatest commodities we’ve been able to harness. It’s hard to imagine life today without it, as electricity powers many of the tools and conventions that make our lives much easier. However, it can also be very dangerous, which is why there are electrical codes to follow when constructing buildings and installing electrical components. Complying with these codes helps greatly reduce the risk of fires caused by electricity. Learn how to avoid most common electrical code violations.

The National Electrical Code (NEC) is established by the National Fire Protection Association and has been adopted in all 50 states across America. In addition to the national code, which states have their own ways and degrees of enforcing, states and localities often have their own set of standards for electrical wiring and installation.

So what happens if you violate part of the electrical code? That depends on who you are. If you are a DIYer, you most likely won’t have to deal with the authorities unless another party is involved. Rather, you will be rolling the dice in hoping that nothing happens as a result of your violation(s). Businesses that construct homes and install electrical components, on the other hand, face higher stakes in the event that they commit electrical code violations. They may be subject to fines and legal action, depending on the severity of their carelessness.

With that being said, we’ll show you how to avoid some of the most frequent code violations and minimize the chances that you’ll have to deal with the consequences that come with them.

Overcrowding Wires

Overcrowding wires are one of the biggest fire hazards as far as code violations are concerned. Cramming too many wires into the same opening can result in the wires damaging each other. Exposed wires increase your risk of experiencing a fire. To avoid this kind of violation, be sure to run no more than three wires through one hole measuring 7/8 of an inch in diameter.

Pairing New Lights with Old Wires

The main issue with using old wires to install new lights is the difference in temperature between the two components. A most old wire can only accommodate heat up to 60 degrees Celsius. Newer lighting, on the other hand, can generate heat up to 90 degrees Celsius during use. As a rule of thumb, buildings with wiring installed before 1987 should be checked for this violation. Check the wires’ insulation jacket for a stamp, as those manufactured prior to 1987 will not have a stamp. The solution to this violation is simple. If you’re installing newer lights, be sure to use newer wiring that can handle the heat. 

Illegal Splicing

Splicing, which is connecting two or more wires, should only be done by experienced electricians for the purpose of temporary troubleshooting. Spliced wires should also be contained in a junction box to reduce the probability of fires. To avoid this violation, do not attempt it unless you are an experienced professional electrician.

Knob and Tube Wiring

Popular around the turn of the twentieth century, knob and tube wiring can no longer meet the needs of modern electrical wiring and it poses many dangers. Knob and tube wiring is a violation of the NEC and has a greater risk of fire because the wiring is ungrounded. Ungrounded simply means that this type of wiring uses two wires instead of three, the third of which is the ground wire. To resolve this issue in your home or office, contact a professional electrician.

Non-IC Canister Light Contacting Insulation

If non-IC rated lighting makes contact with insulation, it can, like many of the other violations on this list, start a fire. There should be at least three inches of space between non-IC lighting and the insulation. DIYers rejoice, as this is one of the easiest violations to inspect and fix yourself by simply checking your attic and making the proper adjustments in the location and type of insulation.

Nails and Screws Going Through Electrical Components

Nails and screws, as mentioned in the NEC, are used to secure electrical components but must meet certain criteria in order to be up to code. They must be applied to the back or one side of the component, and if they have to run through the electrical box, the wires in the box must be protected to eliminate the possibility of insulation deterioration. If the wires and insulation are not protected from each other, it once again increases the risk of starting a fire.  

Disorganized Electrical Panel

It is important to maintain the organization of your electrical panel, as it helps you know which fuse is which. Without proper labeling, you will have to resort to guessing which switch operates which part of your home. This is another violation with which an experienced electrician can be of assistance if you don’t feel comfortable solving the puzzle on your own.

In covering some of the most common electrical code violations, you may have noticed something: many of the resolutions to these violations involve calling professional electricians! If you’re interested in solving problems such as the ones in this post, becoming an electrician might just be the career choice for you.

Spark a New Career with an Education from Coyne

Coyne College is one of Chicago’s top skilled trade education institutions and is proud to offer two programs for aspiring electrical workers: electrical construction and planning and electrical construction and maintenance.

The electrical construction and planning program’s curriculum is more in-depth than that of the electrical construction and maintenance program and can be completed in as few as 78 weeks. The electrical construction and maintenance program, on the other hand, also prepares you to enter the field, but can be finished in 42 to 56 weeks, depending on whether you opt to take day or night classes.

As a student in either of Coyne College’s electrical programs, you will be immersed in classes such as:

  • Electrical and Electronic Principles
  • Electrical Test and Equipment Safety
  • Electrical Construction – Residential
  • Electrical Theory and Applications
  • And more!

You will learn the electrician trade in a setting that focuses on your individual success and be taught by Coyne’s highly knowledgeable instructors who have years of real-world experience under their belts.

Hands-on learning is a significant part of the program, and understandably so, but it is also mixed with theoretical components so students learn why they are doing what they are doing.

Coyne College offers day and night classes for both programs to accommodate your busy schedule. Both programs are offered at the Coyne College campus, located in the heart of the Chicago Loop at the intersection of State and Madison Streets.

With more than 110 years of experience in helping aspiring electricians realize their dreams, Coyne College has a well-developed network of resources to help students land apprenticeships at the conclusion of their studies. 

Coyne College also offers its students career assistance, including mock interviews, externships and resume help. These resources can help students secure apprenticeships after completing the program.

Students who enroll at Coyne College receive a well-rounded, first-rate education that provides them with the tools to succeed in the workforce as a professional electrician.

Electrify your career and electrify your life. Get started today at https://www.coynecollege.edu/. 

Alumni Spotlight: Yolanda Rodriguez – HVAC

Alumni Spotlight HVAC

While most girls her age were playing with Barbies, Yolanda (“Yoyo”) Rodriguez was trying to figure out how things worked — pulling them apart and putting them back together. As she got older, she began building things and enjoyed helping her grandfather, a Chicago landlord, with maintenance projects. That led to her career choice: HVAC.

“My grandfather was the one who actually tipped my cup toward HVAC,” Rodriguez says. “He’s like a one-man band; he does everything. I’ve worked with him on a couple fix and flips. He taught me how to put up drywall, how to do floors, how to do plaster, how to do the piping and plumbing, and how to pretty much look at the HVAC side.”

Coyne College took care of the rest of Rodriguez’s foundation in HVAC. “[Going there] was probably about the best decision I’ve ever made,” she remembers. At Coyne, she learned the basics in brazing, refrigeration, using gauges, troubleshooting furnaces and boilers, and more. She was a tutor and took advantage of everything she could. It was the people, though, who made the difference. “They were willing to help me even in my struggles.” Her other grandfather died while she was at school, but the teachers were there for her during that difficult time. “They were willing to work with me and push me to achieve my goals. It felt like family. I was fortunate that they helped me,” she says.

Yolanda Rodriguez graduated as valedictorian of her class in December of 2017 and went to work for Johnson Controls in January. “It’s very different and not what I expected,” she says. Johnson Controls sets up computerized heating and cooling points that help make commercial buildings more energy efficient. “We set up the computer so the buyer or user can apply the software and use it on their own.” It’s a PLC (programmable logic controller) integration system that uses computer schematics to control all rooms from one place. “It’s interesting because I never learned PLCs in school,” she says. “It’s new, but the HVAC side applies to it because you have to know how everything functions — the sequences of operations to make sure everything is flowing properly.”

Although Rodriguez has been a professional in the field for less than six months, she has learned — and continues to learn — a lot. She is confident in her abilities, although that was not always the case. “I used to think at first that I had to try really hard to be accepted by men or be an equal,” she says, “but I got over that fear when my classmates started to see what I was capable of.” Now, in her current job, she sees other females out in the field, which is reassuring. “A lot of companies have told me they want more HVAC women on board. It looks good for them and they believe it will also help their employees.”

“I feel confident in where I can go with HVAC,” Rodriguez says. She has a “grand plan” about what to do in the future. “I would really like to own a restaurant, and the whole deal with the restaurant is that I would like to own farmland and start growing my own crops to use in my restaurant.” Because of her HVAC experience, Rodriguez says she could learn to grow plants using solar panels, wind, and greenhouses. Her plans don’t stop there. She would also like to have a grocery store and be able to sell organic produce from her farm. If possible, she’d like to supply poorer areas and countries with quality produce. “With my HVAC background, I can keep the produce fresh still while it’s being sent.”

For Rodriguez, having a grandfather who was able to recognize her interest and potential in HVAC, and give her early opportunities to try it out, was fortunate. Others may not be as fortunate. For them, Rodriguez has some words of encouragement. “It doesn’t matter what career anybody wants to go into as long as they’re very passionate about what they feel and they’re doing the things that they love,” she says. “Do whatever you have to do because the only person that’s going to stop you from getting to that point is yourself, and the only person who’s going to get you there is yourself.”

Yolanda Rodriguez is clearly following her own advice. “There’s still a whole bunch of things I can do with HVAC,” she says. “I’m 23. I don’t want to be one of those people who sits down and thinks about all these things and only keeps them as dreams; I want to turn my dreams into reality.”

Has Yoyo Rodriguez inspired you? If you like working with your hands, have a mechanical aptitude, and are looking for a career with a tremendous future, becoming a heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration technician could be a perfect fit. According to O*NET Online, the projected growth of HVAC jobs through 2026 is much higher than average. With the diploma you will earn at Coyne College in less than a year, your chance of job placement will increase significantly.

For more information about a career in HVAC, contact Coyne College today.