They may not be acceptable by most certification standards; however, they’ll be just fine for starting out.

Do you want to train yourself on how to use them? Revisit hydronic projects you completed years ago. Tell the owner you want to conduct a quality control investigation, which is exactly what you are doing! Test hydronic systems that you encounter during service calls. You are training yourself AND providing a value-added service to your customer.

All or Nothing – You Cannot Master “Part of Something”

As mentioned before, you cannot obtain Master Plumber or Electrician status if you complete only part of the skills required. Why should it be different for someone who desires to be a Master of the TAB Trade?

Do you want to have open heart surgery by a doctor who only knows how to operate on three of the four heart chambers?

On that note, to quote Steve Kidrowski again, “Do you want a basic flow hood technician or a multiple-skilled technician to test and adjust your hospital operating rooms?”

This article was inspired by dozens of conversations with professionals all over the country. Hopefully I’ve provided a clear road map with plenty of resources to help you along the way. Many of them are free. If you truly want to be a master of your trade, hydronics is not optional – it’s a must.

Scott Fielder is the Director of Field Operations for Evergreen Telemetry, a Phoenix-based TAB equipment manufacturer. Scott has over 23 years in the TAB industry, to include 15 years working in the field in Texas, and seven years providing TAB training and training development. He can be reached at