NexTech Academy FAQs
Why is NexTech Academy an online program and not a physical school?
In the coming years, it is estimated that Nexstar members will need to on-board approximately 10,000 new field employees each year. This is due to growth, and to replace attrition. Each new employee will come to our members with varying levels of experience. The cost of building a brick and mortar trade school large enough to manage this level of training needs is prohibitive. It is also expensive to physically send new employees away to a school. NexTech Academy is being developed as an online self-paced program which will allow members to train new employees as they are added, and has the ability to engage learners anywhere and at any time.
Who is the ideal candidate for NexTech Academy?
We are pleased to provide a resource for testing mechanical aptitude, the Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test. This test can help identify candidates with good mechanical reasoning abilities and if someone may be a good fit for a technician position within your company.
If you’re interested in the Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test and you are a Nexstar member, you can order it through our Strategic Partner, Data Solutions International. Click here to learn more.
Is this just for new technicians?
While anyone can benefit from continued training, the launch of NexTech Academy is specifically designed for a person with little to no trade experience in order develop proficient technicians and help fill the labor shortage.
What about an experienced technician?
While training for an experienced technician is vital for growth, NexTech Academy is currently geared towards someone with no technical training. Experienced technicians would benefit from Nextar’s Service System Self-Study Guide, Service System Training Classes, and the C1 Video Series, among other programs offered.
Is it for installers too?
Installation practices as they relate to the service technician will be covered, but the program is not specifically built for installation mechanics.
Is the NexTech Academy program approved in my state?
NexTech Academy is not a state-licensed program and does not offer state certifications. It is being developed and built as a skills-training program. Throughout the program, licensing and certification information may be covered, however, NexTech Academy will not facilitate technicians obtaining licensing.
What code does it orientate around?
The program follows both the International Code Council (ICC) and International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) model codes. While NexTech Academy does not directly “teach” code, it recommends that students be aware of their local and state codes, and their requirements, which may differ.
How long will it take?
The length of the program will largely depend on the amount of time that a student can devote to the program during their work week. Additionally, students will be able to learn at their own pace and therefore, some learners will move more quickly through the curriculum than others.
NexTech Academy is not a fast track to a truck program. Most apprenticeship programs work on a 4- to 5-year model. NexTech Academy is being designed to take a fraction of that time.
We estimate that completion of the program will take, on average, 18-24 months. As the training is progressive, students will be able to run calls at some point prior to the completion of the program.
I only see a demo for Plumbing and HVAC. Why not Electrical?
We plan to build an Electrical course as well, which will follow shortly after Plumbing and HVAC are created.
When will NexTech Academy be ready?
We plan to launch Plumbing and HVAC in Spring 2018, and will launch Electrical by year’s end.
What do I have to do at my shop to make this work?
Members must be involved with their employees along the way to reinforce the online content that students are learning. Each member company will be asked to assign a staff member (Service Manager, Field Supervisor, etc.) to assure a student has applied their online learning through hands-on skills assessments. These skills assessments can be performed on the job with a senior technician, or in a training facility at the member shop. NexTech Academy has dedicated technical coaches that will help members and students along the way.
In order to develop well-rounded technicians, students will also be required to attend Service System and Advanced Sales & Service as they progress through the curriculum.
What will it cost?
At this time, NexTech Academy is available for Nexstar Network members only and payment is made on a subscription basis. There is a one-time enrollment fee and then a monthly fee for the life of the subscription. Nexstar members can pay with gold points. Please download the enrollment form here.