Knob and Tube Wiring: What to Know

Knob and Tube Wiring - Coyne College

Unless you live in a house or building that was constructed prior to 1950, you probably do not have to worry about knob and tube wiring. In other words, knob and tube wiring is mostly a relic of a bygone age. Our energy needs have shifted and technology has been improved to where there are safer alternatives. However, there are still buildings in which knob and tube wiring still exists and it’s something electricians have to deal with removing from time to time. Here’s what you should know about knob and tube wiring:

How It Works

Knob and tube wiring is a kind of electrical wiring that consists of copper wiring, one hot and one neutral, being run through porcelain knobs and tubes. The wiring is covered in insulation. The knobs hold the wire in place, often in contact with a component of the house, such as wooden beams. The tubes, on the other hand, are used to protect the wire from fraying or being in contact with wood or drywall – anything that would start a fire from overheating even with the insulation around the wiring.

Found in Old Buildings

Knob and tube wiring was considered innovative technology during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It was a cost-effective setup that did its job in meeting the energy needs of the people of that time. However, it did have its drawbacks and is considered a safety hazard in today’s electrical codes. For example, the insulation around the wiring wears easily, which can leave the wires exposed and loose.

Limited Amperage

One of the downsides of knob and tube wiring is the limited amperage. Back when knob and tube wiring was popular, people did not use as much electricity as we do today. Knob and tube wiring can handle, at most, around 60 amps, whereas today the service panels of most houses today crank out at least 150 amps.

No Ground Wire

One of the biggest downfalls of knob and tube wiring is the lack of a ground wire. Ground wires did not become commonplace until the 1960s. Ground wires help protect against fires and other damage to electrical components by conducting excess electricity harmlessly into the ground. Knob and tube wiring can easily cause electrical fires due in large part to not having a ground wire.

Don’t Cover with Insulation

Covering knob and tube wiring with thermal insulation is a major fire hazard. It is also a violation of the National Electrical Code to have knob and tube wiring in contact with thermal insulation. The wire suspended by the porcelain knobs cannot cool if it is covered with insulation. It’s also worth noting that switches on knob and tube wiring were usually on the neutral wire instead of the hot wire. Doing that only shuts off the circuit and not the current, which can be a fire hazard too in the presence of thermal insulation.

If you live in a knob and tube wired house, it’s a good idea have an electrician come out and replace it with more modern and safer electrical wiring. There is a good chance you won’t be able to get homeowners’ insurance with it still in the building.

You can learn how to replace knob and tube wiring as a professional electrician. If being an electrician is your calling in life, there’s no better place to start your journey in the Chicago area than Coyne College.

Electrical Programs in Chicago

Learn the Electrician Trade at Coyne

Coyne College, one of Chicago’s finest trade schools, offers two programs for aspiring electrical workers: electrical construction and planning and electrical construction maintenance.

Both programs are available during days and nights at the Coyne’s Chicago Loop campus at the intersection of State and Madison Streets. At Coyne College, we’re dedicated to helping you fit an education into your busy schedule.

The electrical construction and planning program can be completed in as few as 78 weeks. The electrical construction and maintenance program, on the other hand, can be finished in 42 to 56 weeks, depending on whether you take day or night classes.

Knob and Tube Wiring - Coyne College Chicago

As a student in either of Coyne College’s electrical programs, you will be submerged 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 ins and outs of 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.

Coyne College career services department can help students with job placement, including apprenticeships.  Coyne College has more than 110 years of experience in helping transform students with dreams into qualified, skilled trade professionals.

Discover all that Coyne College has to offer and begin your journey to a new career today by visiting Coynecollege.edu.

Alumni Spotlight: Ray Proskey

electrical tradesmen
Electrical Tradesman program - CoyneCollege

Ray Proskey was studying psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago when he came across an ad in a newspaper for Coyne College’s Electrical Construction and Maintenance program. “I was attending UIC at the time and didn’t know what I was going to do with a degree in psychology,” Proskey says. “I would always mess around with things at home,” taking things apart and putting them back together. “I had a feeling electrical maintenance was a good career to be in.”

Not long after finding the ad, Proskey enrolled in Coyne College’s Electrical trade program and began his journey toward becoming an electrician. He attended class full-time for nine months at Coyne, which was then located on Fullerton Avenue in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. He attributes much of his success in his career to the quality of instruction provided by Coyne’s faculty. “The instructors know what you’re supposed to learn,” Proskey says. “They were in the field. They had real-world experience. They didn’t just read a book.”

Another aspect of his education that he appreciated was the quality of the education for the value. “Teachers told us, ‘You’re going to learn the same concepts that electrical engineers will learn in college, but for a lower cost,’” Proskey says. One of his favorite classes was electrical construction. “Bending conduit and pulling wires, that was really neat,” he says.

In February 1996 he graduated with a full complement of skills necessary to succeed in the electrical industry. Proskey held a few different electrical jobs after graduating from Coyne before returning to school for a bachelor’s degree he needed to be eligible for managerial roles.

Electrical Trade Programs Chicago CoyneCollege

Ray currently works as a product manager for Kay Industries in Plymouth, Indiana, a company that makes phase converters. He oversees any changes that are made to the products and uses his electrical knowledge to make sure they run the way they are supposed to. He enjoys his current job because he’s not tied down to a desk and he’s constantly working on things and learning. He also likes having electrical knowledge. “If you have that knowledge, people look at you like you’re a step above,” Proskey says.

Working as an electrical tradesman also presents plentiful networking opportunities. “It allows you to get your foot in the door for other positions,” he says. “I currently supply equipment for machines that I have worked on in my previous jobs.” When he’s not working, he enjoys playing guitar, traveling the Midwest and spending time with his wife of 21 years and his two daughters at their home in Culver, Indiana. He also likes to paint from time to time.

Since being in school, learning is still a big part of Ray’s everyday life. “That’s 90 percent of the job,” he says of his current role, in which he uses the skills he learned at Coyne daily. “I had a good time there, made good friends,” Proskey says. “It’s paid off for me.” His advice to current and prospective students is to take the program seriously, pay attention and give it your best effort. “It’s like anything else where you get out what you put into it,” Proskey says. “Put the time in. If you want a good career, it’s out there.”

Electrical Trade Construction Program

If you’re considering an in-demand career as a skilled electrical tradesperson, look no further than Coyne College’s electrical education programs. In the Electrical Construction and Maintenance program you can earn a diploma just like Ray did in as little as 42 weeks. Additionally, the Electrical Construction and Planning program awards you an associate’s degree in as little as 78 weeks. Both programs qualify you for entry-level work in an industry projected to see 9 percent growth through 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For more information or to speak with an admissions representative, log on to www.coynecollege.edu today.

5 Tips to Succeed in HVAC with Sandra Garza

tips to succeed in HVAC

Demand for technicians with heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC-R) training is on the rise. Tremendous opportunities for people with the right HVAC-R training continue to emerge. Learn more about our HVAC program here.

HVAC graduate and business owner Sandra Garza gives five great tips to succeed in the HVAC field!

Sandra Garza: Tips to succeed in HVAC career is knowledge, integrity, personality, continuous education or training and honesty. When you’re with a customer, it’s important to be knowledgeable especially as a woman, because when you go into a customer’s house you’ll get those customers who would say, “You’re a woman. What do you know?” Be ready to answer any questions whether it’s simple or difficult. They want to know what’s in their home. The more information they have about it, the safer they are.

Personality. No one wants to deal with a person who’s not approachable. Talking with your customers, you make them feel that they’re part of the whole repair experience. They’ll appreciate the training, reading materials, news articles, on the internet, even going to the manufacturer website. Just a short video, because this industry has changed a lot. If you’re on top of the new equipment, the new technology, the new stuff that’s coming out. There are homes that have older units. There’s homes that have newer units. If you have the continuous training, you’re able to repair anything.

You’re able to go into a home and not be surprised with something you’ve never seen before. I think the number one way to build your client base is word of mouth. I’ve done jobs just by being sociable more with people on the street or I’m in a grocery store and I will leave a business card and start talking to someone. You’ll never know that person may need something. It always turns out that way. Do a good job with one person and it will go a long way.

Trends Impacting Medical Coding Technology: 2018

Medical Billing and Coding programs Chicago

ICD 10, medical coding billing programs, Coyne CollegeTechnology is all around us and is constantly changing. Medical coding has been affected by changing technology recently in more than a handful of different ways.

Medical coding is the process of translating medical diagnoses into universal codes listed in the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Edition (ICD-10), which is published by the World Health Organization (WHO). Coders also translate medical procedures and treatments into Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes.

Read moreTrends Impacting Medical Coding Technology: 2018

Five Skills of Successful Electricians

As we as a species continue to traverse the seemingly endless frontier of technology and innovation, electricity will continue to be as important as it ever has been, if not more so. Whether it is a smartphone, laptop computer, microwave oven or an all-in-one printer/fax/copy machine, electricity is vital to so much of what we do in our everyday lives.

The Edison Electric Institute refers to the electric power industry (a near $300 million industry) as the “lifeblood” of the United States economy. Given the importance of electricity and our increasing dependence on it, it should go without saying that electricians and their trade are just as vital.

After all, they are the ones who install the components that make it all possible. Not only that, but they work wherever electrical wiring is installed or needs to be installed or maintained.

Electricians perform tasks related to the installation and maintenance of electrical equipment. This includes repairing and maintaining electrical systems, in addition to installing electrical wires and fixtures.

There are currently around 628,000 electricians across the United States, working in a plethora of settings, including residential and office buildings. Regardless of the setting, they all provide people with convenient access to electricity and all of the many devices it powers.

Electricians install the necessary wiring and circuitry required to provide electricity throughout buildings and other settings. Maintaining the electrical components after they are installed is another significant aspect of an electrician’s job.

Most professional electricians work in the electrical and other wiring installation contractors industry. Basically, they agree on a contract for a given job before they complete it, oftentimes finding work with a contracting agency. However, approximately one-tenth of professional electricians are self-employed.

The future of electricians in America looks to be quite bright. As the United States continues to become increasingly dependent on equipment that requires electricity, the places people inhabit will require more and more wiring. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects employment for electricians to increase 14 percent through 2024.

The BLS attributes this projected growth not only to the electrical needs of homes and businesses, but also to increased implementation of alternative power sources. Wind turbines and solar panels require electricians to connect them to homes and power grids.

Electricians who work in factories typically have the most stable employment. The BLS also suggests that job prospects are brightest for electricians who can perform a multitude of different tasks adequately.

Many students seeking to become electricians enroll in an electrician program at a technical school. Such programs allow aspiring electricians to begin their apprenticeships sooner than those without the training.

An apprenticeship is paid on-the-job training aspiring electricians must complete before they are able to perform full electrician services on their own. Apprenticeships typically last between four and five years.

In your apprenticeship, you’ll earn a salary while training under the supervision of a journeyman electrician to continue to learn and master the skills you need to succeed as an electrician. Apprentices tend to earn around half of what fully trained electricians earn, though they typically receive raises as they learn and hone new skills.

According to the BLS, apprentice electricians must complete “at least 144 hours of technical training and 2,000 of paid on-the-job training” every year of the apprenticeship. Classroom hours from a technical college can sometimes be applied to an apprentice’s 144 hours.

Following the completion of an apprenticeship, you may be required to pass a licensing exam depending on the state in which you plan to work. Individual state requirements can be found on the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) website.

Now that you have the general gist of what electricians do and why they are important, we will now present with some detail five skills that successful electricians have.

Troubleshooting

As mentioned above, installation and maintenance comprise the bulk of an electrician’s day-to-day tasks. That means they make sure things are performing the way that they are supposed to and diagnosing and fixing the problem when they are not.

Fixing electrical wiring and circuitry requires running tests and other diagnostic functions to pinpoint the issue and correctly fix it. This is known as troubleshooting.

Critical Thinking

Sometimes it is not blatantly obvious what the problem is or which electrical component is malfunctioning and causing problems. Other times, the installation of wiring and circuitry might hit a snag and a change of plans might have to be made.

Both of these scenarios require critical thinking to solve problems. An example of the former is an electrician using a multimeter, which measures the voltage, current and resistance, to determine the best course of action to fix a power outlet.

Customer Service

Electricians deal with people on a daily basis. For those who work in residential settings especially, they need to be approachable and willing to explain what they are doing, in addition to answering questions that customers have.

Electricians who are proficient in this aspect of the job are more frequently sought-out, as interacting with one’s customers with a friendly demeanor is good for business.

Business

Like most other occupations, electrical work is a business. To be a successful electrician, it is important for one to have the business savvy to make sure that they are being compensated comparably to their counterparts or, hopefully, better.

This is more in reference to electricians who are self-employed, who, in addition to negotiating the terms of new projects, deal with keeping track of inventory and payroll of those working under them, among other things. However, electricians who work for contractors benefit from having the skills to negotiate better terms as well.

Mathematics

As with other skilled trades whose essence is installation, maintenance and repair, it is crucial that electricians are proficient in mathematics. Mathematical competency is required for aspects of the job such as determining how much material is needed to complete a project, which size of tools to use and more.

Not only are precise measurements and calculations important for optimal electrical performance, but they are also important for safety.

Learn the Skills, Master the Craft

Does becoming an electrician sound like something you are interested in, but you do not have all of the skills listed above? Don’t sweat it, because that is where trade school education comes into play.

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 maintenance.

Coyne College offers both programs during days and nights to help accommodate the busy schedules of its students. 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.

The electrical construction and planning program’s curriculum is more extensive than that of the electrical construction 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 take day or night classes.

As a student in either of Coyne College’s electrical programs, you will be submerged 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 ins and outs of 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.

Following the completion of your associate’s degree or diploma program, you will be ready to enter the electrical workers’ field as an apprentice. As mentioned previously, apprenticeships usually last between four and five years.

Coyne College career services department can help students with job placement, including apprenticeships.  Coyne College has more than 110 years of experience in helping transform students with dreams into qualified, skilled trade professionals.

Discover all that Coyne College has to offer and begin your journey to a new career today by visiting https://www.coynecollege.edu/.

5 Perks of Working in HVAC-R

Air conditioning, heating and refrigeration are among the modern conventions that many of us might take for granted. Though we may use these systems on a daily basis without giving it much thought, there are people who make a living installing the necessary equipment and resolving issues whenever they may arise.                 

Heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (otherwise known as HVAC-R) technicians are skilled trade professionals who are tasked with installing, maintaining and repairing systems that control the temperature and air quality in buildings. These systems and their functioning are important because they can greatly affect the feasibility of a building’s use for any given purpose.

HVAC-R technicians are integral to the construction of commercial and residential buildings. Within these two categories, they can also work in a wide variety of settings, such as the following:

  • Homes
  • Schools
  • Factories
  • Office Buildings

There are many different specializations that one can work in under the umbrella of the HVAC-R technician profession.

To become an HVAC-R technician, many people enroll in technical and trade school or community college programs that offer training in the field. HVAC-R training programs are becoming increasingly prevalent to meet the demand for professionals in the field. Most programs can be completed anywhere between six and 24 months, depending on the program.

Technical and trade school education programs provide students with a solid foundation for their on-the-job training. Following the completion of a training program, students receive further training as entry-level HVAC-R workers.

HVAC-R technicians can acquire any number of certifications, such as those signifying competence in specific kinds of equipment. HVAC-R technicians who work with refrigerants are required to pass an exam administered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Certifications help make technicians more marketable to contractors and other potential employers.

Though many aspiring HVAC-R professionals enroll in trade school or community college programs, there are a few who seek entrance into the HVAC-R field by completing apprenticeships that last between two and five years. Apprentices receive training in the essential skills of the HVAC-R trade from the professionals under whom they work.

With some general information about HVAC-R technicians and the industry in tow, we will now focus on five highlights of choosing to work in the industry.  

Plentiful job opportunities

As more and more people continue to need refrigerators, heating systems and air conditioners, the employment outlook of HVAC-R technicians will remain healthy. In fact, employment of HVAC-R technicians is projected to increase by 14 percent through 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The BLS attributes this increase in demand to the continuing growth of commercial and residential construction. It estimates that close to 40,000 jobs will have been created since 2014.

HVAC-R technicians who complete accredited trade school programs or apprenticeships are expected to have a brighter employment outlook than those who do not. The BLS suggests that while the workload for technicians who specialize in installation may decline once the demand decreases, those who specialize in repair and maintenance can expect things to be steady for quite some time.

Great compensation

On top of the great job outlook for HVAC-R technicians, they also receive better pay than many other occupations in America. The median salary for HVAC-R technicians was $45,910 in May 2016, according to data from the BLS.

The highest 10 percent of earners in the HVAC-R technician profession made upward of $73,000 annually. The increased implementation of service contracts stabilizes business and their incomes throughout the year. It is not unusual for HVAC-R technicians to work overtime during peak heating and cooling seasons, and they are compensated accordingly.

HVAC-R apprentices typically earn around half of what their professional counterparts make to start. However, they often receive pay raises as they hone their skills and master more and more tasks relevant to the profession through work experience.

Ability to work almost anywhere

Heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration can be found in buildings, both residential and commercial, all across the country. The technology has become commonplace in today’s world.

Taking into account the rising demand we mentioned earlier, HVAC-R technicians and the services they provide are needed all across the United States. This presents them with tremendous flexibility with regard to where they work, which can essentially be anywhere they want it to be.

While they have the choice of working in a vast expanse of different states and cities, it is worth noting that the demand for HVAC-R technicians is greater in some places than in others. Emerson Climate Technologies conducted a study in which it concluded that the best states for HVAC-R technicians to work in are California, Ohio, Florida, Texas and Illinois.    

Make a positive impact on the environment

Many of the jobs that HVAC-R technicians perform improve the efficiency of the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration equipment, which helps reduce the amount of energy needed for the systems to function. This, in turn, decreases the carbon footprint of these systems.

Some of the tasks that HVAC-R technicians perform to achieve these ends include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Changing filters in HVAC systems
  • Installing dehumidifiers in rooms that require them
  • Installing thermostats that are designed to minimize energy usage
  • Installing specialized heat pumps that reduce carbon emissions

The Occupational Information Network (O*NET) labels HVAC-R technician as a “Green Enhanced Skills” occupation, which suggests that further training may be needed as technology changes and improves. It also signifies that environmentally friendly innovations may result in even more jobs.

HVAC-R technicians can play a big role in increasing the energy efficiency of HVAC systems and reducing their effects on the environment.

Improve the quality of life for customers

Heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration systems provide a level of comfort and improve the quality of life for people all across the United States. The job of HVAC-R technicians is important because they are not only the ones who install the systems but also the ones who maintain them and repair them when something goes wrong.

Customer service is a crucial part of the HVAC-R technician profession because they have to be able to listen to customer concerns and explain what they are doing to fix the problem, among other things. Successful HVAC-R technicians can go home at the end of the day knowing that they helped enhance the lives of their customers.

HVAC-R technicians not only improve the living conditions for the customers they serve; in many cases, they save customers money by helping their HVAC systems operate at peak efficiency.

Having established these benefits of working as an HVAC-R technician, the next thing for those interested in an HVAC-R career to do is to find a program that meets their needs.

Secure a stellar HVAC-R education at Coyne

Coyne College is one of the best skilled trade schools in the Chicagoland area. Coyne is proud to maintain this status by thoroughly training aspiring HVAC-R technicians in its diploma program in the skilled trade.

Coyne College offers its HVAC-R program both during the day and at night to accommodate your busy schedule. The program can be completed in as few as 42 weeks and is offered at the Coyne College campus, located in the heart of the Chicago Loop at the intersection of State and Madison.

Coyne College’s HVAC-R program will prepare you to perform the essential functions of an HVAC-R technician, such as installing, maintaining and repairing HVAC-R systems in a multitude of settings.

In Coyne College’s HVAC-R program, you will gain the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in the HVAC-R profession. Some of the required courses in the program’s curriculum include:

  • Gas Heating
  • Commercial Controls and Applications
  • Troubleshooting Systems and Installation
  • Air Conditioning, Electric Heat and Heat Pumps
  • And more!

In the program, you will become well-versed in the intricacies of HVAC-R by learning from experienced instructors who also have significant experience in the field.

At the end of the HVAC-R program and with your diploma in hand, you will be ready to enter the workforce as an HVAC-R technician.

Coyne College is dedicated to helping its students find gainful employment following the completion of their respective programs. To that end, Coyne offers a wealth of career services and job placement help for its students, including networking and resume advice.

With more than 110 years of experience in helping aspiring skilled trade professionals become competent members of the labor force, Coyne College has a well-developed network of resources to help students gain apprenticeships and employment at the conclusion of their training programs. 

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.

At Coyne College, HVAC-R students receive a well-rounded education that provides them with the tools to succeed as a technician in the ever-growing workforce.

Schedule a tour or get started in the exciting skilled trade of HVAC-R today by visiting https://www.coynecollege.edu/.

3 Reasons to Enroll in an HVAC-R Training Program

Heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC-R) technicians play an integral role in the installation, maintenance and repair of the indoor environmental control systems we use on a daily basis. Without HVAC-R technicians and their expertise, heating, cooling and refrigeration would not be as common as it is today.

There are a couple of options for becoming an HVAC-R technician, and we will get to that in a moment, but first we will skim the surface of this skilled trade with some background information.

As we mentioned in the opening, HVAC-R technicians install, maintain and repair HVAC-R systems and their components. Having said that, HVAC-R technicians play a vital role in the construction of commercial and residential buildings. If that seems kind of broad, that is because it is and such systems are fairly standard features among buildings of any kind.

Customer service is also an important facet of an HVAC-R technician’s job. It is imperative that they are able to actively listen to customer concerns and then explain which steps they are taking to resolve the issue.

Given that people will continue to use refrigerators, heating systems and air conditioners for the foreseeable future, the HVAC-R projects to remain healthy for many years to come. HVAC-R technician employment is projected to increase by 14 percent through 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). 

HVAC-R technicians receive better pay than many other occupations in America. Per BLS data, HVAC-R technicians earned a median salary of $45,910 in May 2016, with the highest 10 percent of earners making more than $73,000 per year.

Service contracts are becoming increasingly common, which helps stabilize business and technicians’ incomes throughout the year. HVAC-R technicians frequently work overtime during peak heating and cooling seasons.

HVACR technicians and the services they provide are needed all across the United States, which gives them the freedom to work practically anywhere they wish.

A recent study by Emerson Climate Technologies concluded that California, Ohio, Florida, Texas and Illinois are the best states for HVAC-R technicians to work in, based on job demand and other applicable factors.

Many tasks that HVAC-R technicians perform help improve the efficiency of the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration equipment, which helps reduce the amount of energy needed for the systems to function. Duties such as changing filters, installing energy-efficient thermostats and installing other specialized equipment help reduce the carbon footprint of these systems.

The Occupational Information Network (O*NET) lists HVAC-R technician as a “Green Enhanced Skills” occupation. Part of this designation suggests further training may be needed as technology continues to improve.

Environmentally friendly innovations have the potential to create even more jobs. HVAC-R technicians can play a big role in increasing the energy efficiency of HVAC systems and reducing their effects on the environment.

HVAC-R help improve the quality of life of their customers while also saving them money by ensuring their HVAC-R systems are functioning in an optimal manner.

Now that we have covered some basic information and a few other interesting tidbits, let us now discuss the paths that one can take to fulfill their dream of living the life of a professional HVAC-R technician.

HVAC-R technicians have two choices of how they enter the workforce. Those two choices are completing a training program at a trade school or community college and working under a professional HVAC-R technician as an apprentice.

There are many advantages of choosing to enroll in a program at your local community college or technical school, three of which we will examine in greater detail.

Educational training programs can be completed relatively quickly

HVAC-R training programs are growing in number to accommodate industry demand. With this in mind, it should be easy for most people who are interested in the field to find a program close to where they live. 

Once enrolled in a program, students can complete them in a fairly short amount of time. Most programs typically run between six and 24 months, depending on the school and the program. Many schools’ programs are closer to one year in duration.

HVAC-R programs at trade schools and community colleges prepare students for a career in the HVAC-R field by teaching them the skills that are essential to the profession. Following the completion of a training program, students are ready to enter the labor force, where they receive further training as entry-level HVAC-R workers.

Earn a better wage sooner

HVAC-R students can earn their certificate or degree (depending on the program) and start working sooner than people who choose four-year colleges and universities. They also earn better wages than HVAC-R technicians who forego any schooling and enter the field as apprentices.

HVAC-R apprentices earn approximately half of what their fully-trained counterparts do, though they receive pay raises as they learn and hone more relevant skills on the job. With this in mind, entry-level HVAC-R technicians who have an educational background know how to do more than apprentices, who do not enroll in such programs.

As a result of their training and advanced skill set, they can earn a higher wage sooner than their less-qualified peers.   

Apprenticeships are becoming increasingly scarce

The overwhelming majority of future HVAC-R technicians choose to complete an educational training program offered at a trade school or community college to ready themselves for life in the field.

There remain a few aspiring HVAC-R technicians who seek entrance to the HVAC-R field by solely by completing an apprenticeships, though the number of those doing so is dwindling.

Apprenticeships for HVAC-R technicians generally last between three and five years. Apprentices receive training in the essential skills of the HVAC-R trade, much like those who enroll in training programs, but only from the professionals under whom they work.

HVAC-R technicians who complete training programs also receive additional training on the job, as not everything can be taught in an academic setting. It is advantageous to have an education background in order to cut down on the time spent on basic skills and spend more time learning specialized skills that are more pertinent to the technician’s current job.

HVAC-R technicians who complete accredited trade school programs or apprenticeships are expected to have a brighter employment outlook than those who do not.

There are many certifications that HVAC-R technicians can achieve to signify competence in a certain aspect of HVAC-R work. HVAC-R technicians who work with refrigerants are required to pass an exam administered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Certifications can make technicians more appealing to contractors and other potential employers.

Having established a few of the benefits and advantages of completing a trade school or community college training program versus opting for an apprenticeship, the obvious next step for those interested in an HVAC-R career to do is to find a program that meets their needs.

Start your HVAC career the right way at Coyne

Coyne College is one of the best skilled trade schools in Chicago and Chicagoland. Coyne is proud to maintain this status by thoroughly training aspiring HVAC-R technicians in its diploma program in the skilled trade.

Coyne College offers its HVAC-R program both during the day and at night to accommodate your busy schedule. The program can be completed in as few as 42 weeks and is offered at the Coyne College campus, located in the heart of the Chicago Loop at the intersection of State and Madison.

Coyne College’s HVAC-R program will prepare you to perform the essential functions of an HVAC-R technician, such as installing, maintaining and repairing HVAC-R systems in a multitude of settings.

In Coyne College’s HVAC-R program, you will gain the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in the HVAC-R profession. Some of the required courses in the program’s curriculum include:

  • Gas Heating
  • Commercial Controls and Applications
  •  Troubleshooting Systems and Installation
  • Air Conditioning, Electric Heat and Heat Pumps
  • And more!

In the program, you will become well versed in the intricacies of HVAC-R by learning from experienced instructors who have significant experience in the field.

At the end of the HVAC-R program and with your diploma in hand, you will be ready to enter the workforce as an HVAC-R technician. There are also additional resources out there that can help with obtaining your HVAC license.

Coyne College is dedicated to helping its students find gainful employment following the completion of their respective programs. To that end, Coyne offers a wealth of career services and job placement help for its students, including networking and resume advice.

With more than 110 years of experience in helping aspiring skilled trade professionals become competent members of the labor force, Coyne College has a well-developed network of resources to help students gain employment at the conclusion of their training programs. 

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.

At Coyne College, HVAC-R students receive a well-rounded, first-rate education that provides them with the tools to succeed as a technician in the ever-growing workforce.

Schedule a tour or get started in this exciting skilled trade of HVAC-R today by visiting https://www.coynecollege.edu/

Becoming an Electrician

It is pretty amazing to think about how readily available electricity has become and all of the incredible devices and innovations it powers. Of course, it takes a certain kind of wizard to make the electrical magic happen. Those wizards are electricians.

The crux of an electrician’s job is making sure electricity properly gets from the power source to where it’s needed, whether it’s throughout a building, outside or elsewhere. Electricians are responsible for installing the electrical wires, circuitry and fixtures needed to provide electricity. Another key component of an electrician’s job is maintaining these components after they are installed.

Customer service is also a crucial part of an electrician’s job. They need to be able to explain to their customers what they are doing in addition to addressing their questions and concerns. Electricians who are proficient in this aspect of the job are more frequently sought out.

Many electricians specialize in a specific industry of electrical work. Examples of such specializations include the following:

  • Voice data video technician
  • Fire, life and safety technician
  • Residential electrician
  • Non-residential lighting technician

Each specialization typically requires additional technical training and work experience, depending on the state in which the electrician or apprentice works.

Because electricity is needed in most places across the United States, electricians have the benefit of being able to find work, and subsequently live, almost anywhere.

As the United States, and the world, continues to become increasingly dependent on equipment that requires electricity, the places people inhabit will require more and more wiring. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects employment for electricians to increase 14 percent by 2024, relative to 2014, this is much faster than the average for all occupations.

The majority of professional electricians work in the electrical and other wiring installation contractors industry. This means they agree on a contract for any given job before they complete it, oftentimes finding work with a contracting agency. Around 10 percent of electricians are self-employed.

The installation and maintenance of electrical equipment in residential and commercial buildings is just one of the factors to which the increase in electrician demand is attributed to. Electricians are also needed for the installation and maintenance of alternative power sources, such as wind turbines and solar panels, which are becoming increasingly prevalent.

According to the BLS, the age of electricians will also contribute to the projected increase in demand for the skilled trade. As many electricians in the workforce reach, and continue to reach, retirement age, there will be a demand for electricians to take their places.

Electricians who work in factories typically have the most stable employment among the places where they are employed. The BLS also suggests that job prospects are most promising for electricians who are adept at performing a plethora of different tasks, as opposed to those who are not.

In addition to having job prospects that are as bright as bulbs powered by their labor, electricians also earn better money than many other jobs. Per the BLS, electricians made a median annual salary of $51,880 as of May 2015. This median is more than $15,000 higher than the average median of all total occupations.

Prior to becoming a professional electrician, aspiring electricians are required to complete apprenticeships to learn the trade. Apprentice salaries are typically about half of what fully trained electricians earn. They are usually rewarded with pay increases as they learn more skills on the job.

As an electrician, you have the chance to join a workforce of greater than 628,000 electricians across the United States. Given the world’s dependence on electricity, the important services electricians offer will sustain a demand for workers in the skilled trade for quite some time.

Now that you have some background information about electricians, you might be wondering how you can become one. You happen to be in luck, as we will proceed to outline the steps one must take to enter the electrician workforce.

Electrician Training

The most effective way to begin your quest to becoming an electrician is to enroll in a training program at a local community college or trade school. While it is not required, a trade school electrician education is the easiest way to gain a solid foundation of electrical skills and knowledge prior to pursuing an apprenticeship.   

During training programs, students typically learn the textbook basics of the electrician trade from experienced professionals so that they can confidently fulfill an apprenticeship. Many electrician training program curricula feature skills and knowledge relevant to the trade such as:

  • Electrical Theory
  • Green Electricity
  • National Electrical Code Application
  • Residential Installation
  • AC and DC Motors and Machines

Many electrician training programs can be completed in less than two years, and many schools accommodate students who have busy schedules by offering both day and night class options.

Apprenticeship

Once you complete your chosen community college or trade school electrician training program, you will be ready to gain some real-world experience as an apprentice. An apprenticeship is paid on-the-job training that aspiring electricians must complete before they are able to perform full electrician services on their own.

Apprenticeships typically last four to five years, which allows training program graduates to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the skilled trade. Apprentices also gain vital experience that cannot necessarily be acquired within the confines of a classroom.

In your apprenticeship, you will work “under the supervision of a qualified journeyman electrician” to learn and hone the skills needed to be an electrician. During your apprenticeship, you will be required to fulfill a specific number of on-the-job working hours, as well as technical training hours. Apprentices usually receive raises in pay as they continue to learn and master new skills.   

According to the guidelines established by the BLS, apprentice electricians must complete “at least 144 hours of technical training and 2,000 of paid on-the-job training” during each year of their apprenticeship. Classroom hours from a technical college can sometimes be counted toward an apprentice’s 144 hours, which is one of the perks of enrolling in a trade school program.

After you successfully complete your multi-year apprenticeship, you may be required to pass a licensure exam. The licensure and educational requirements vary from state to state. Information regarding such requirements can be found by contacting the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).

Electrify your career with a quality education

Now that you know how to embark on your journey toward becoming a professional electrician, all that is left for you to do is to enroll at a school with a quality electrician program that meets your needs.

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.

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.

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.

As a student in either of Coyne College’s electrical programs, you will be submerged 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 ins and outs of 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.

Following the completion of your Associate’s degree or diploma program, you will be ready to enter the electrical workers’ field as an apprentice. As mentioned previously, apprenticeships usually last four to five years.

Worried about finding an apprenticeship that will suit you? Don’t sweat it. Coyne College offers an array of career services and job placement help for its students, including apprenticeships.

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 jobs 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 jobs 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/.

Medical Assisting as a Profession: An Overview

Healthcare is one of the fastest growing industries in the United States and is projected to be the largest job sector in the country by 2019. Most people who are looking to choose a career path or alter their current one might decipher this to mean that they must become some kind of doctor or nurse.

Thankfully for them, there is another occupation within the industry that requires a fraction of the schooling and has promising job prospects. Medical assistant is one of the fastest-growing professions in the United States. This career path offers much of the same upside that other healthcare professionals enjoy, in addition to perks of its own.

Becoming a medical assistant can potentially be a great fit for someone looking to get into the healthcare field. This post provides aspiring healthcare professionals with an overview of the medical assistant occupation and will hopefully answer many of the questions one might have.

What do Medical Assistants do?

According to the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA), a medical assistant is someone who works alongside doctors, usually in a clinical or office setting. Though this description might sound like that of some kind of nurse, there are few significant differences.  

Medical assistants routinely handle duties such as checking vital signs and showing patients to their rooms, in addition to a slew of administrative duties. Licensed practical nurses (LPNs), on the other hand, provide basic care measures like catheterization and prescription administration.

While medical assistants are frequently found working in clinics and ambulatory care centers, licensed practical nurses more often work in settings such as nursing homes and hospitals.

Medical assistants perform a multitude of different tasks that are essential to keeping medical clinics and offices open, on top of treating patients. Some of the common responsibilities of medical assistants include:

  • Recording patient medical information
  • Preparing blood samples for lab tests
  • Answering phones and scheduling appointments
  • Aiding physicians in patient examinations

The duties and capabilities of medical assistants vary depending on the doctor for whom they work and state laws.

Their versatile skills and the daily demands of the work environment provide them with a great deal of variety on any given workday. The patients who come in, and the ailments they suffer from, vary daily.

Medical assistants help physicians run their offices and clinics at peak efficiency, but they also treat patients with compassion and understanding during their visit. As their fellow healthcare professionals do, medical assistants can take satisfaction in knowing they are bettering the lives of the patients they serve.  

Where do Medical Assistants work?

As we established in the previous section, medical assistants play vital roles in the day-to-day operations of medical offices and clinics across the country. With this in mind, they are found in a great number of medical settings, though most heavily in doctors’ offices.

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 59 percent of medical assistants work in physicians’ offices. Hospitals are the next most common work settings for medical assistants, employing 15 percent of the medical assistant workforce.

Medical assistants also work in outpatient care facilities and other healthcare environments.

What Salary do Medical Assistants make?

As far as annual salary is concerned, medical assistants are compensated comparably to other healthcare support professionals. The median salary for a medical assistant as of May 2016 was $31,540, according to the BLS.

Medical assistant salaries also vary depending on where they are employed. Professional medical assistants who work at outpatient care centers earned the most money among medical assistant job settings, making a median of $33,560, per BLS data.

How is the job outlook for Medical Assistants?

As is the case with many occupations within the healthcare industry, the job outlook for medical assistants is highly promising. According to the BLS, the number of medical assistant jobs is anticipated to increase by 23 percent through 2024.

The projected uptick is attributed to the increased demand for medical support staff members in physicians’ offices and health clinics to provide healthcare services to an increasing number of aging baby boomers. The increase in the number of healthcare facilities is another factor in the rising demand for medical assistants.

Medical assistants are the cogs that allow medical offices and healthcare clinics to function smoothly. They direct the flow of patients throughout the facility and take on a variety of other clinical and administrative duties. Doctors of all specialties and medical fields need medical assistants to help run their offices.

How do you get started?

For you to begin working as a medical assistant, most employers require you to have a certificate from a postsecondary education institution. Medical assistant training programs are readily available at many community colleges and trade and vocational schools.

One benefit of studying to become a medical assistant is that students can begin working sooner than their counterparts who choose to attend nursing programs at four-year colleges and universities. Many schools offer medical assistant programs that can be completed in less than two years.

Unlike doctors or nurses, medical assistants do not need additional training before landing an entry-level job. There is no additional waiting to complete a residency program because externships are often part of the curriculum and completed at the same time as the coursework.

Depending on where a medical assistant is employed, national certification may be required. Most states do not require CMA certification, but many programs prepare students to pass the exam should they choose to take it. It is also worth noting that certification can bolster a medical assistant’s résumé and entice potential employers. 

Medical assistants graduate with the knowledge and experience needed to excel in the healthcare industry. They are trained in both the clinical and the administrative aspects of running a medical office or healthcare clinic. Medical assistants receive additional training on the job during their first positions.

With an array of skills at their disposal, medical assistants can explore different areas of medicine and discover what they are passionate about.

Medical assistants have the chance to specialize in a specific kind of medicine, teach medical assisting classes to students who also want to be medical assistants or become managers at offices and clinics. Some medical assistants also go back to school to pursue more advanced degrees after they have been in the field for a while.

Begin your healthcare career with a great training program

Coyne College is one of Chicago’s top skilled trade education institutions and is proud to offer its medical assistant program to future healthcare professionals.

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.

Coyne College’s medical assistant program thoroughly prepares you to enter the healthcare field as a medical assistant. The program can be completed in as little as 54 weeks.

As a medical assistant student at Coyne College, you will gain the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed as a medical assistant. Some of the topics covered in the program’s curriculum include:

  • Medical Terminology
  • Pharmacology
  • Anatomy and Pathophysiology
  • Basic Insurance and Billing
  • And more!

Coyne College’s medical assistant program also helps give its students a leg up on the competition by featuring a six-week portion dedicated to electronic health records.

You will learn the ins and outs of medical assisting in an environment where you are surrounded by instructors dedicated to helping you succeed. Coyne’s instructors are highly knowledgeable and have years of meaningful experience in the workforce.

All medical assistant students are required to complete an externship following the completion of all of the necessary coursework.

Following the completion of the medical assistant certificate program, you will be ready to enter the workforce as a medical assistant in any number of healthcare settings.

Worried about finding an entry-level position that will suit you? Coyne College offers a wealth of career services and job placement help for its students, including networking and résumé advice.

With more than 110 years of experience in helping aspiring skilled trade professionals realize their dreams, Coyne College has a well-developed network of resources to help students gain employment after they finish their studies. 

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 medical assistant.

Start your journey to bettering the lives of patients today by visiting https://www.coynecollege.edu/.

Alumni Spotlight – Salvatore Vazzano

Salvatore Vazzano graduated from Coyne College in December 2016, completing the Pharmacy Technician program in just one year. Salvatore’s main motivation is something many people can relate to – he wanted to get away from the job he had. “I wanted to do something different, and pharmacy tech is growing.” His choice to continue his education at Coyne College was pretty straightforward, in his mind. “I found Coyne through advertisements. I heard a lot about them, so I thought maybe that would be a good choice to check out. I called them and met with an admissions rep the next day.”

When Salvatore graduated from high school, he chose to focus just on work, with a desire to make money to support himself. He was employed with Pizza Hut for about 10 years. He started off as a dishwasher, did some cooking, became a team member and then was eventually promoted to manager. Although work was his main focus, at some point Salvatore did make an attempt at furthering his education. He enrolled at a local community college, completed his placement tests and went through the orientation. However, as Salvatore described it, “the process was very frustrating. I just left there and was like, ‘You know what, (if) you’re not going to help me now, how is it going to be later on when I need help?’ And I couldn’t afford it without financial aid.”

It was around this time that reality hit and everything was truly put into perspective. Salvatore was diagnosed with cancer at the young age of 24. Everything he was used to, everything he was focused on, got turned upside down. School and work were put on hold. He took this time to do everything he could to get better and be with his family. Admirably, when he did start feeling better, he went back to work in search of some normalcy. However, he decided to go back to a team member position, because he realized working as a manager was too stressful, both mentally and physically. This is when the biggest epitome of all hit hard. “Having cancer motivated me to do more. I thought, ‘What am I doing? You’re better than what you’re doing right now.’ So I started up with school to push myself. I wanted a change.”

When Salvatore decided it was a time for change was when he found Coyne. As he explained, “I told myself, ‘I am going to try one more time for school,’ and it worked.” Thankfully, Salvatore has been in remission for about a year and half now and is thriving. In regard to his experience at Coyne, Salvatore could not say enough good things. “The moment I walked into the door, the admissions rep was incredible. She went through everything in detail from start to finish. It blew me away how much she helped me out. We got everything knocked out the first day there, especially with financial aid.” The sentiment remained the same throughout the entire program. “The instructors were very helpful. They pushed you to succeed and told you what you needed to do. It was that simple. If you don’t pass, it’s on you. They give you everything you need.”

Salvatore is a true inspiration. He went from a frightening battle with cancer to excelling in his education in multiple ways. According to Salvatore, his mentality was, “Tell me what I need to do and I’ll do it.” He put in every bit of effort he could to succeed. Pride filled his voice as he explained, “I had perfect attendance the entire program. They gave me a certificate at the end for not missing any class. I was never late, either; I was always early for class. And I finished with a 3.94 GPA.” Hard work, commitment, dedication – it all pays off.

Upon graduation, Salvatore obtained a position at Walgreens as a pharmacy technician. The process was as simple as this: Salvatore was wrapping up his externship and asked the pharmacy manager if they were hiring, which they were. He went to an interview the following day and got the position. After his externship ended, he started the full-time position the very next day. His current responsibilities include handling insurance claims, collaborating with doctors and nurses to authorize refills, calling insurance companies for verification overrides, working in the billing station, taking care of expense orders and whatever else the pharmacist may task him with. Salvatore loves his new job and is excited that there is room for growth. “I can always go back to school to be a pharmacist. That’s what I plan to do. The job is never going to go away. There will always be a need for pharmacists. I’ll have a job I like for life.” His absolute favorite aspects of the field are “job security, and I like helping people, too. That’s the main thing.”

Salvatore’s happiness is at an all-time high. “Before, I was unmotivated because of where I was working. It was a dead end; I didn’t know what to do. I was applying to other jobs, (but) no one was hiring and no one was calling. Now that I’m graduated and working, I’m happy where I am. I met a lot of great people as far as classmates, instructors and now co-workers.” His general quality of life has significantly increased as well. Prior to Coyne, he was working nights from about 5 pm-1 am. As he explained, “I hated it. I would be at the bus stop at 1 AM, which is not fun when you have school the next day. I’d have to be up early and get three to four hours of sleep.”

To illustrate how exactly he was able to manage it all and achieve success both in his education and professionally, Salvatore explained, “Be on time, pay attention. Do exactly what the instructors tell you to do. They know exactly what you need to do to get where you need to be.” His Coyne College experience made an impact on him mentally and emotionally, as well. “Without these people in my life, I wouldn’t have changed as much as I have.”