FAQs

Program Basics

What training options does NexTech offer?

Full Online Training Programs

In each trade, basic theory and concepts are taught through a variety of reading assignments and interactive exercises. Hands-on skills assessments and interactive exercises are overseen by a trainer to help students gain technical skills specific to their trade.

How much does it cost?

At this time, NexTech Academy is available for Nexstar Network members only and payment is made on a subscription basis. Your company will only pay for your training as it is completed.

Nexstar members can pay with gold points.

Full HVAC, Plumbing, or Electrical Training Program

Student Costs
  • $99/month subscription fee per student.
Enrollment Fee
  • There is no enrollment fee.
Administrator Costs
  • There are no costs for the administrator.
Trainer Costs

Because trainers play a critical role in employee retention and development we’ve dropped our trainer fee.

How many hours make up each training program?

The length of the program will largely depend on the amount of time that a student can devote to the program during their workweek. Additionally, students will be able to learn at their own pace and therefore, some learners will move more quickly through the curriculum than others.

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.

Many Nexstar Network members seek to gain approval at the state level from the Department of Labor (DOL).

While regulations vary, the DOL generally requires a specific number of hours spent using a training curriculum, broken down by classroom time (in the case of NexTech, self-guided online learning) and lab hours.

Here is a breakdown of course hours to help you gain approval:

HVAC

Heating & Cooling Track

Classroom Hours: 114
Lab Hours: 328
Total Hours: 442

Cool ONLY Track

Classroom Hours: 93
Lab Hours: 243
Total Hours: ​336

Plumbing

Classroom Hours: 107
Lab Hours: 219
Total Hours: 326​

Electrical

Classroom Hours: 93
Lab Hours: 122
Total Hours: 215​

 

Getting Started

How do we start using NexTech Academy?

Getting started with NexTech Academy requires just a few simple steps. You can read more about getting started on our site, but you will need to:

  1. Become a member of the Nexstar Network if you’re not already.
  2. Assign a training leader in your company.
  3. Schedule an Become a member of the Nexstar Network for trainees.
  4. Fill out the  enrollment form for your business and any students you wish to enroll.
  5. Sign up for email updates to stay connected and informed.

Please be ready to provide payment information at the time of enrollment. You can also request a course demo and download a copy of our curriculum guide before deciding to enroll.

For more information, please call (651) 426-2000.

What is the role of a training leader?

Training leaders oversee all training and provide guidance, encouragement, motivation, and structure. Trainers play a critical role in employee retention as well as development.

Training leaders:

  • Assess student progress.
  • Determine when trainees are ready to move from module to module by reviewing their skills assessments.
  • Are available to answer questions.
  • Clarify complex materials.
  • Address any challenges to training access.
  • Determine when a student is ready to move from supervised to unsupervised skills practice.

This means they provide ongoing guidance and coordinate with training mentors in the field. Because of this, it’s beneficial for companies to identify dedicated training leaders whose sole focus is onboarding and training new techs.

What is a NexTech Academy coach?

NexTech Academy coaches work with your training leaders (a designated manager or senior technician within your company who works with new apprentices) to successfully implement the training program in their businesses. 

Our coaches are experienced professionals who have worked in the industry and understand the challenges you face when recruiting and training new technicians. 

Coaches help:

  • Facilitate enrollment. 
  • Trainees navigate the program.
  • Teach strategies for skills assessments.

What do I need to provide for an employee to start training?

To complete their online training, trainees will need: 

  • Access to a computer.
  • An internet connection.
  • A valid email address.
  • A quiet place to work.
  • A training leader within your company.

For the hands-on portion of their training, you will need to provide access to tools and equipment to complete the skill assessments.

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.

Curriculum Details

How is NexTech's training curriculum different?

There are a few key differences between NexTech’s online technical training and similar programs.

  • It is developed by experts in the trades. NexTech Academy was created by the Nexstar Network, an organization representing more than 600 businesses in the home service trades to promote success through education and shared resources.
  • It combines the best parts of an apprenticeship with the efficiency of online learning. Students can ride along on service calls with your company’s experienced techs, ensuring they see the real-world applications of the concepts they learn via online courses.
  • It’s designed for the way students learn. Every module includes videos, interactive content, and more to keep students engaged and to accommodate their unique learning styles.
  • It includes soft skills training. Over the last two years alone, more than 2,500 Nexstar Network member technicians have participated in the Service System® program to learn valuable soft skills, including everything from communication to business ethics.

Submit your email below to download a copy of the NexTech Academy Curriculum Guide.


What are the benefits of online training?

Time management

Online training provides an ideal blend of hands-on time with trainees and independent study. Thanks to a combination of modules built around readings, instructional videos, interactive exercises, your trainees will learn important technical concepts at their own pace. At the same time, trainers can incorporate real-world experiences to prepare trainees for the demands of work in the trades.

Robust training

Thanks to a robust system for progress evaluation and skills assessment, trainers can avoid surprises, like gaps in skills and cognitive biases. You’ll have a clear idea of student progress every step of the way, so you can feel confident that upon completion, students are ready to work independently.

Cost-effective

Online training is also highly cost-effective. Great candidates may be hesitant to take on expensive vocational education; programs developed by individual businesses may be costly, inconsistent and ineffective. Thanks to our monthly subscription program, companies using NexTech pay only for the training received, making it easy to manage costs.

You can request a course demo and download a copy of our curriculum guide before deciding to enroll.

Do you offer training for experienced technicians?

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 soft skills training classes such as Nexstar’s Service System Self-Study Guide, Service System Training Classes, and the C1 Video Series, among other programs offered. Learn more about Nexstar training programs.

Is the program open to installers?

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.

Many Nexstar Network members seek to gain approval at the state level from the Department of Labor (DOL).

While regulations vary, the DOL generally requires a specific number of hours spent using a training curriculum, broken down by classroom time (in the case of NexTech, self-guided online learning) and lab hours.

What code does it orientate around?

The program follows both the International Code Council (ICC) and the 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.

What is NATE certification?

NexTech is an official NATE recognized training partner. This means that NexTech HVAC students can earn continuing education credits (CEUs) towards their NATE® certification. There are many benefits to this partnership, including:
  • Training that involves less time away from the job to get technicians NATE® certified.
  • Value-add to your customers. They look for NATE® certification because it ensures that a knowledgable, well-trained and highly experienced technician will service their home heating or cooling system. 
  • Manufacturers and distributors know that NATE® certification and NexTech Academy® encourages proper installation and service, which means fewer warranty returns and, ultimately, a better bottom line.
Technicians can get CEUs for: 
  • Air Conditioning Installation
  • Gas Heating (Air) Installation
  • Air Distribution Service
  • Efficiency Analyst Senior Technician
  • Oil Heating (Air) Installation 
  • Ready To Work Certificate
  • Air Conditioning Service
  • Gas Heating (Air) Service
  • Air Distribution Installation
  • HVAC Performance Verifier
  • Oil Heating (Air) Service
  • HVAC Support Technician
If you have any questions regarding the NATE® certification partnership, please reach out.
NATE recognized training provider

NexTech Account Support

For help using the learning platform including how to register, accessing your account, navigating online courses and, how to use the learning app, you can check out the Learner Guide.

What if we need to cancel a NexTech subscription?

In some cases, a trainee may decide not to proceed with training. Due to our monthly subscription service, your company is only financially responsible for the actual training completed.

To cancel your subscription, please call (651) 426-2000 for immediate assistance.

Platform Help

How do I log in to my eLearning account?

To log in, use the login credentials that you received via email.

I lost my password. What do I do?

If you have lost your password or can’t access your platform with your password, you can reset your password by clicking Forgot your password? on your platform’s login form on the login page. In the pop-up box, type in the email address that corresponds to your user account in the platform and press Send Message.

How do I navigate the homepage?

New users to NexTech Academy will find that their content is organized in a sequential learning path. They will move from fundamental skills to advanced diagnostic and repair procedures as they journey through the program. Here is a short training video that gives you a sneak peek into navigating NexTech Academy:

 

There are many other training videos like this within NexTech Academy.

How do I navigate the main menu?

For full details on how to navigate the main menu you can view the help article on the learning platform site.

This article includes:

  • Accessing Your Personal Area
  • Signing Out of Your Platform
  • Main Menu Items

How do I access and view my learning plan?

All of the courses and learning plans in which you’re enrolled are listed on the My Courses and Learning Plans page. You can reach this page from the corresponding option in your main menu (remember, it may have a different name, depending on how your Administrator set the platform), or from an area on your homepage.

For full details on how to access and view your learning plan view the help article on the learning platform site.

This article includes:

  • Navigating Courses and Learning Plans
  • Accessing Courses and Learning Plans

What are the the technology requirements?

The purpose of these requirements is to ensure that devices meet or exceed a set of standards that will allow students to participate effectively while enrolled in NexTech Academy. Having adequate hardware and software is worth your personal and company investment. Electrical, HVAC and plumbing training is rigorous enough without dealing with technical issues caused by dated or underpowered computers and insufficient software. For issues outside of the scope of these requirements, consult your IT department or refer to online product support that is specific to your situation.

Equipment:

  • Prior to beginning our online training, you must have access to a desktop, laptop, or iPad that:
    • Meets or exceeds our hardware requirement.
    • Has an operating system that meets our requirement.
    • Can access the internet.

Software:

  • Install required software, including:
    • A version of Microsoft Word or a compatible word processing software that allows you to view, edit and upload documents.

Browser:

  • Internet browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Safari are recommended. Safari seems to work better on iPads to allow you to download documents.
  • Google Docs is also recommended for those using iPads. We can supply a job aid for successfully downloading documents for those using iPads.

Communication:

  • Have an established email account and be able to send/receive messages. Each person from your company needs a unique email address.
  • Ability to access the learning management system after receiving initial credentials from your training manager such as:

https://nexstarnetwork.docebosaas.com/learn

Username: First.Last

Password: abc123

Additional Support:

For Business Owners

Enrollment is open to members of Nexstar Network. Learn about membership benefits and how to join today.

For Students

We'll email you when direct enrollment for students is open. Sign up for program updates.