May 08, 2018
Back to School: Plumbing and HVAC Training Starts at CroppMetcalfe Academy
Since CroppMetcalfe’s founding in 1979, we’ve been dedicated to hiring and training the top professionals in the HVAC/R, plumbing, electrical, pest control, and home performance trades to provide quality service to our customers. HVAC/R and plumbing are particularly high-demand fields; jobs are expected to grow by 15% and 16%, respectively, by 2026.
One of the ways our company ensures that we’re able to provide top-notch service to our customers is by offering intensive, in-house training for both newcomers to the trade and seasoned pros.
Interested in a career in an exciting and rewarding field? Let’s dive a little deeper into the details of our training program, CroppMetcalfe Academy.
What is CroppMetcalfe Academy?
In 2012, we launched CroppMetcalfe Academy, a four-year apprenticeship program where technicians are taught the basics of HVAC/R and plumbing through a combination of classroom hours and hands-on experience.
“The goal is to prepare them to advance to a Journeyman's level upon program completion,” says CroppMetcalfe administrative assistant Amy Lively.
According to CroppMetcalfe president, Tim Cropp, the idea of an in-house training program came about a few years back. “We recognized that there was a shortage of HVAC and plumbing technicians in the industry, and we came to the conclusion that if we wanted to grow, we were going to have to build our own technicians. So we designed some courses for people who had little to no experience in HVAC or plumbing.”
After seeing significant success, more advanced training programs for those already in the field were introduced as well.
“We needed to find a way to grow our people even further in the trades, and that’s where the actual CroppMetcalfe Academy came from,” Mr. Cropp noted. “We were approved by that states of Virginia and Maryland to have an accredited four-year apprenticeship school. Developing the Academy was one of the best things CroppMetcalfe has done. Our program has grown to over 50 students and expects to exceed 75 students by 2020.”
What are the benefits of enrolling in CroppMetcalfe Academy?
So, why choose CroppMetcalfe Academy over another HVAC training program or plumbing school? We spoke with Amy Lively, one of our fantastic administrative assistants, who detailed the many benefits our apprenticeship program boasts for students enrolled in the program:
1. Hands-on experience
At CroppMetcalfe Academy, you learn from experienced and certified HVAC and plumbing technicians. “Current technicians in the field can provide students with up-to-date experiences,” Ms. Lively said, “as well as best practices and feedback on latest equipment.”
Most of our students have full-time jobs. Our program allows you to work during the day and attend training in the evening.
“Classes are held once day a week after normal working hours to accommodate current work schedules,” Ms. Lively explained. “ If you are currently working in the HVAC or plumbing fields, your work hours may count as your required on-the-job hours for the program.”
As an extension of the company, our apprenticeship program maintains the reputation of trust and quality that CroppMetcalfe has established over our near forty years in business. According to Ms. Lively, “you’ll receive HVAC training from the number one service contractor in the area, with curriculum accredited by the states of Virginia and Maryland.”
4. Tuition reimbursement for current CroppMetcalfe employees
Aside from providing insight from certified instructors and quality tactical training, CroppMetcalfe Academy offers an added benefit to current employees: tuition reimbursement. “With continued employment,” Ms. Lively told us, “the cost of the training can be paid back in full within two additional years after completing the training program.”
Insights from Academy Instructors
When you enroll in CroppMetcalfe Academy, you get the opportunity to learn from and work with some of the finest technicians in their field. We had the pleasure of interviewing HVAC instructor, Dave Myrick, and plumbing instructor, Wade Dyer, to get their perspectives on the apprenticeship program.
What can Academy students expect from classwork?
Dave Myrick: Classwork will consist of a combination of both theory and practical application of the concepts being taught. This is accomplished via lecture, shared experience and hands on work in a controlled lab environment.
Wade Dyer: The boot camp will provide students with the basic knowledge needed to continue in our trade — it opens up the door for a great career, not just a job. We have hands-on training with tools used in the trade, and students will learn about household plumbing fixtures and how to install and troubleshoot basic plumbing problems.
Can you speak about your personal experience teaching this program?
DM: I enjoy teaching up-and-coming techs. Teaching the concepts, building the foundation upon which their knowledge base sits is of paramount importance. When all of the concepts start to come together, the mystery of HVAC is removed and the student finally grasps the ‘why’ behind the ‘what’, which is extremely satisfying and gratifying.
WD: Personally, I’ve always taken pride with passing on the knowledge that was given to me when I was younger. It’s so amazing to seeing the drive in the young students. Each class I get to see the pride in our students eyes when they finish their first project, complete an install or diagnose a problem on their own. I get to see this in every training class — what could be better?
Insights from Academy Students
Still not entirely convinced that CroppMetcalfe Academy is the right choice for your career? Here’s what some of our current and former students have to say about our program:
Why did you want to get into the home services trade?
Nick Clarke, current student: It is a trade that is needed worldwide. Therefore, I’m not limited on where I can go in life and still have a rewarding career.
Kyle McGrath, current student: I enjoy problem solving and working with my hands, and I had the desire to begin a career that will support me and my family in the future.
Why did you choose CroppMetcalfe?
NC: I chose Croppmetcalfe Academy first because it was conveniently located for me to attend as a current employee of CroppMetcalfe.
KM: The record of accomplishment here is well-established, and the core values of the company align with my personal beliefs and values.
What has your experience in the Academy been like?
KM: I’ve had an excellent experience at Bootcamp. Mr. Wade was extremely helpful and knowledgeable. It was fast-paced without being overwhelming.
Zach Cropp, former student: My experience in the Academy was really amazing. The instructors were all very knowledgeable and helpful throughout the entire four years.
Can you describe your current profession and how the Academy helped get you here?
ZC: I’m currently a Comfort Advisor for CroppMetcalfe. The Academy has helped me understand the technical side of the industry and has allowed me to better serve our customers.
KM: I am currently training to work water heater installations. Without the support and mentoring I received at CroppMetcalfe I would not have the confidence to enter this field.
Learn from the leaders in home services.
CroppMetcalfe Academy can provide you with the real-world experience needed to boost your marketability for many current job opportunities, as well as increase your potential for higher wages.
Our apprenticeship program is available in both Fairfax, VA and Beltsville, MD, and typically runs from fall through spring. Other CroppMetcalfe training opportunities include NATE training and testing, EPA certification and training, and summer HVAC apprenticeship classes.
Build a sustainable career that offers real opportunities to learn, grow, and thrive. Learn more about CroppMetcalfe Academy and fill out the Request Information form online.