How to Pick the Right HVAC Degree Program near Jefferson Alabama
Now that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner professional, the next step is to choose an HVAC vocational school near Jefferson AL. But with so many to pick from, how do you select the right one to obtain the training that you need? A number of future students will make their selection based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. Even though these are relevant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to take into account. Some of the other details that you need to look into are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and additional benchmarks will be discussed in more detail later within this article. But before we tackle how to select an HVAC training program, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning technician does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Professional
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, although each state and local municipality has its own requirements. Acquiring professional certification is not mandatory, but an optional means for Jefferson AL HVAC techs to demonstrate that they are highly proficient and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are a number of respected certifications within the trade that are offered. Below are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is achieved by passing a competency exam and can be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience as well as passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience along with a passing result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for techs that handle refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing could be required in your area, and you may also desire to acquire certification, it’s important that you select an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be working with refrigerants, make sure that the program you pick preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree Training Programs
There are a number of alternatives offered for HVAC instruction in a technical or trade school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the minimum amount of time, often accomplished in as little as six months, however some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree training programs might provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will furnish more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a short description of each credential offered near Jefferson AL.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more exhaustive understanding of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically taking 2 years to finish, a number of degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more for 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 being taught how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Selecting the appropriate credential program will be based on what your future career objectives are, along with the time and money that you have to invest. One approach is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the trade in Jefferson AL, eventually returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Courses Online
Enrolling in an HVAC program online is one alternative to attaining your training and receiving a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. Some also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes may be participated in on the web, this alternative may be a more accessible solution for many Jefferson AL students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are less costly than other traditional options. Even travelling expenses from Jefferson and study materials may be lessened, helping to make schooling more affordable. And a large number of online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family obligations have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it easier to fit school into your active lifestyle.
Questions For HVAC Training Programs
When you have picked the type of certificate or degree that you would like to earn, either online or on campus, you can begin to decrease your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of HVAC technical schools in the Jefferson AL area and all over the Country to pick from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school comparisons. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the initial 2 aspects you will take into consideration. Following are some additional ones that you will want to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC trade schools in the Jefferson AL area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Make certain that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you get a superior education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, some states require that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate could indicate that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It could also signify that the instructors were not qualified to instruct 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 employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Jefferson AL HVAC employers to help graduates obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC trade programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC companies or labor unions. Check if the schools you are considering have working relationships with local Jefferson AL HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC tech you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Jefferson AL HVAC contracting company if they can give you some suggestions. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Jefferson AL residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Speak to a few of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Jefferson AL, verify that the schools you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering an HVAC School near Jefferson AL?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Jefferson Alabama area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Al Ricardo Jefferson (born January 4, 1985) is an American former professional basketball player. He played high school basketball for Prentiss High School in Mississippi before skipping college to enter the 2004 NBA draft, where he was drafted 15th overall by the Boston Celtics. He has previously played for the Celtics, Minnesota Timberwolves, Utah Jazz, Charlotte Hornets and Indiana Pacers.
Born in Monticello, Mississippi, Jefferson attended Prentiss High School in the small nearby town of Prentiss from 2000 to 2004. After starting for his varsity team as a freshman at Prentiss, he became one of the elite players in the country as a junior, drawing the attention of both college coaches around the country, and the scouts of the NBA. In his senior year for the Bulldogs, he averaged an astounding 42.6 points, 18 rebounds and seven blocks per game as his Bulldogs team went on to lose in the Mississippi state class 3A semi-finals to Byhalia High School 88-73, in which Jefferson finished with 56 points.
Considered a five-star recruit by Rivals.com, Jefferson was listed as the No. 1 center and the No. 4 player in the nation in 2004. He had originally committed to Arkansas, but opted instead to make the jump to the NBA straight out of high school.
Air Conditioner School Online Jefferson AL
Enrolling in the right HVAC school program is a crucial beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating and air conditioning industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Air Conditioner School Online. However, as we have covered in this post, you should select an HVAC training program and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC field. Other features to search for are lots of practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should go to each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to tour the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. In addition, ask about scheduling choices and whether or not night or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to ask about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have laid out in our guidelines for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC contractor in Jefferson AL.
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