Associate Degree in HVAC Perdue Hill AL

How to Pick the Right Heating and Cooling Training Program near Perdue Hill Alabama

air conditioner condensers in Perdue Hill ALNow that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and cooling professional, the next action is to find an HVAC trade school near Perdue Hill AL. But with so many to choose from, how do you select the best one to get the training that you need? A number of prospective students will make their selection based solely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. While these are necessary concerns, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Just some of the other details that you need to research are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and other benchmarks will be discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we discuss how to pick an HVAC technical school, let’s look at what a heating and cooling contractor does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Professional

Perdue Hill AL HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, although every state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Acquiring professional certification is not required, but a voluntary way for Perdue Hill AL HVAC specialists to demonstrate that they are highly skilled and experienced in their area of specialization. There are several acknowledged certifications within the trade that are offered. Following are some of the significant ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is achieved by passing a competency examination and may be acquired in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification offers 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 3 years of experience as well as a passing score on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are offered in several specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for techs that handle refrigerants. There are three forms of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Since licensing may be required in your location, and you may also desire to acquire certification, it’s important that you select an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be handling refrigerants, make certain that the school you choose prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Certificate and Degree Schools

radiator heater in Perdue Hill AL homeThere are a number of options available for HVAC instruction in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the least amount of time, often achieved in just six months, although some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs might provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will furnish more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a short explanation of each option offered near Perdue Hill AL.

  • Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more detailed background of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Normally taking 2 years to complete, many degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more towards a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional four year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.

Selecting the right credential program will be based on what your future career aspirations are, along with the time and money that you have to invest. One approach is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Perdue Hill AL, eventually returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Schools Online

Perdue Hill AL student attending HVAC school onlineChoosing an HVAC program online is one possibility in attaining your training and receiving a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. A number also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes can be attended online, this option may be a more practical solution for many Perdue Hill AL students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are less costly than other traditional choices. Even commuting expenses from Perdue Hill and study supplies may be minimized, helping to make schooling more economical. And a large number of online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family commitments 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 Certification Classes

Questions to ask Perdue Hill AL HVAC training schoolsWhen you have selected the type of degree or certificate that you want to earn, either online or on campus, you can start to limit your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous HVAC technical schools in the Perdue Hill AL area and all over the Country to choose from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of key qualifications when making school evaluations. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the first two aspects you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you need to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  A large number of HVAC technical programs in the Perdue Hill AL area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Make certain that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you acquire an excellent education, it may help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, some states require that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the Heating and Cooling 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 course. A lower completion rate could indicate that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It might also suggest that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which may produce more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Perdue Hill AL HVAC employers to assist grads obtain apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  A large number of HVAC vocational programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with local Perdue Hill AL HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Confirm that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC technician you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Perdue Hill AL HVAC contractor if they can provide some pointers. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Perdue Hill AL residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there might be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s important that you get as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Talk with some of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to a few of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.

Flexible Scheduling.  Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Perdue Hill AL, confirm that the programs you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.

Considering an HVAC School near Perdue Hill AL?

Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Perdue Hill Alabama area.  If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.

List of turkey meat producing companies in the United States

The United States is the world's largest exporter of turkey and related products. Nearly 361,884 metric tons (MT) of turkey meat have been exported in 2012. In comparison with 2011, the industry had experienced 14% growth. In 2013, the turkey products were valued at nearly $678.9 million, a 13% increase from 2012.

The dominant market for U.S. turkey meat is Mexico. It has been purchasing meat valued at nearly $372.6 million and accounting for 55% of turkey exports. The second-largest market for U.S. turkey, purchasing more than $70.5 million of meat, is China. Canada and Hong Kong were other significant markets for U.S. turkey meat. (FAS 2012)

Butterball is a brand of turkey and other poultry products produced by Butterball LLC. The company manufactures food products in the United States and internationally — specializing in turkey, cured deli meats, raw roasts, and specialty products such as soups and salads, sandwiches, and entrées.

Associate Degree in HVAC Perdue Hill AL

Selecting the ideal HVAC school course is an important beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating & cooling industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Associate Degree in HVAC. However, as we have discussed in this article, you should pick an Heating and Cooling training program and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC profession. Other factors to search for are lots of hands-on 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 speak with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Additionally, inquire about scheduling options and whether night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial aid and student loan options also. 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 ultimately become a licensed HVAC contractor in Perdue Hill AL.

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