How to Enroll In the Right HVAC Program near Camden Alabama
Once you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and cooling specialist, the next step is to choose an HVAC technical school near Camden AL. But with so many to select from, how do you pick the right one to receive the training that you need? A number of future students will make their selection based solely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. While these are necessary factors to consider, they are not the only ones to investigate. A few of the other things that you need to research are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and additional criteria will be discussed in more detail later within this article. But before we tackle how to choose an HVAC training program, let’s take a look at what a heating and air conditioning specialist does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Contractor
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are generally required to be licensed, however each state and local municipality has its own requirements. Obtaining professional certification is not mandatory, but an optional way for Camden AL HVAC specialists to demonstrate that they are exceptionally proficient and accomplished in their area of specialization. There are several acknowledged certifications within the industry that are offered. Below are a few of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is earned by passing a competency examination and may be received in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience in addition to passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience in addition to a passing result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are three types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing could be mandated in your area, and you may also desire to obtain certification, it’s imperative that you pick an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be handling refrigerants, make certain that the program you pick preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Courses
There are a number of choices available for HVAC instruction in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the minimum amount of time, often completed in just 6 months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree training programs might provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will deliver more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short description of each option offered near Camden AL.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning residential or commercial HVAC specialists. They provide a solid foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more detailed understanding of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically taking 2 years to complete, some degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more towards a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional 4 year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.
Choosing the ideal credential program will be based on what your long term career objectives are, in addition to the time and money that you have to commit. One option is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Camden AL, eventually returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Classes
Attending an HVAC program online is one approach to obtaining your education and earning a degree or certificate. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. A number also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be attended via the internet, this option may be a more accessible solution for some Camden AL students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even driving expenses from Camden and study supplies can be lessened, helping to make schooling more budget-friendly. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family responsibilities have left you with limited time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it easier to accommodate school into your busy lifestyle.
Questions to Ask HVAC Training Classes
When you have decided on the type of certificate or degree that you wish to acquire, either on campus or online, you can begin to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are numerous HVAC trade schools in the Camden AL area and throughout the Country to pick from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of key qualifications when making school comparisons. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the initial two aspects you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you need to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC trade schools in the Camden AL area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as HVAC technology. Make certain that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you obtain a quality education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, some states require that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate may signify that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It could also indicate that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which may mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Camden AL HVAC employers to help students obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC vocational programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling contractors or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local Camden AL HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC tech you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Camden AL HVAC contractor if they can provide some pointers. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Camden AL residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Speak to a few of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with a few of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Camden AL, check that the schools you are comparing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering an HVAC School near Camden AL?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Camden Alabama area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
What is now Camden was established on property donated by Thomas Dunn from his plantation holdings in order to have a new town founded on the site in 1833 to serve as the county seat. Dunn's Federal style house, built in 1825, is the oldest documented house in the town. The first county seat was in the community of Canton Bend.
The county seat was moved in 1833 to Barboursville, later renamed Camden. It had been named Barboursville in honor of United States Congressman Philip Barbour of Virginia. Incorporated in 1841, Camden was renamed by local physician John D. Caldwell in honor of his hometown of Camden, South Carolina.
The area depended on cultivation of cotton as a commodity crop, which was worked by numerous African-American slaves. The earliest documented industries in the town were a brickyard, sawmill, and window fabricator. The Camden Phenix was the town's earliest known newspaper. Townspeople founded a girls' school in 1844, the Wilcox Female Seminary and Female Institute, whose red-brick Greek-Revival style building was constructed from 1845–50. In 1976 the former school was adapted to house the Wilcox County Historical Society.
HVAC Courses Online Camden AL
Enrolling in the ideal HVAC school program is an important first step toward a rewarding career in the heating and air conditioning trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Courses Online. However, as we have discussed in this article, you should choose an HVAC trade school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC profession. Other things to search for are sufficient hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should visit each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to explore the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Additionally, inquire about scheduling options and whether or not night or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to inquire about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have detailed in our guidelines for assessing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC technician in Camden AL.
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