How to Choose the Right Heating and Cooling Training Program near Maynard Arkansas
Once you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning professional, the next step is to find an HVAC technical school near Maynard AR. But with so many to pick from, how do you select the ideal one to obtain the training that you require? Many prospective students will make their selection based exclusively on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Even though these are necessary considerations, they are not the only ones to investigate. A few of the other things that you need to investigate are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and other benchmarks will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we discuss how to pick an HVAC training program, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning contractor does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Professional
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, however each state and local municipality has its own criteria. Attaining professional certification is not compulsory, but a voluntary means for Maynard AR HVAC technicians to establish that they are exceptionally proficient and accomplished in their area of specialization. There are several respected certifications within the field that are available. Following are a few 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 exam and can be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience as well as passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience as well as a passing result on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are provided in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing may be mandated in your location, and you may also desire to earn certification, it’s imperative that you enroll in an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be handling refrigerants, make sure that the school you decide on readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Training Programs
There are several choices offered 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 period of time, usually accomplished in as little as six months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will furnish more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief description of each option offered near Maynard AR.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more exhaustive knowledge of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Normally taking 2 years to complete, a number of degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more towards a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a standard four year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Choosing the ideal credential program will be based on what your long term career aspirations are, as well as the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One approach is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Maynard AR, later going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, be sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Training Online
Attending an HVAC program online is one approach in attaining your education and receiving a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. Some also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes may be participated in online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution for many Maynard AR students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even travelling expenses from Maynard and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family responsibilities have left you with little time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to fit school into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask HVAC Trade Schools
As soon as you have selected the type of certificate or degree that you wish to earn, either online or on campus, you can start to limit your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many HVAC vocational schools in the Maynard AR area and all over the United States to pick from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a checklist of relevant qualifiers when making school comparisons. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the first two variables you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you should explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Maynard AR area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Confirm that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you acquire a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited in order 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 finish the course. A low completion rate could suggest that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It could also suggest that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which can produce more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Maynard AR HVAC employers to assist graduates obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC trade programs are taught together 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 companies or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have working relationships with local Maynard AR HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC specialist you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Maynard AR HVAC company if they can provide some suggestions. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Maynard AR residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Talk with some of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Maynard AR, confirm that the schools you are comparing provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Considering an HVAC School near Maynard AR?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Maynard Arkansas area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Maynard is home to the Maynard Pioneer Museum and Park. A jail built in 1936 has a door made of wagon wheel rims. The last time it was used was in 1988, when it temporarily housed a man charged with public intoxication. The jail is beside Maynard Community Center.
Maynard was settled in the late 19th century. John Maynard, formerly a captain in the Confederate Army, spent some time in Texas before moving to Arkansas in 1872, where he opened a dry goods store, and farmed 900 acres, mostly cotton. Other families and businessmen joined him in the village they called New Prospect. When they applied for a post office in 1885 that name was rejected and the office was named ‘Maynard.’ The town incorporated as Maynard in 1895.
Abbott Institute — later known as Maynard Baptist Academy and Ouachita Baptist Academy — was a boarding school established in 1894. Abbott Institute joined a school network associated with a college now known as Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia.
Heating and Air Conditioning School Maynard AR
Choosing the ideal HVAC training course is an important beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating and cooling industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Heating and Air Conditioning School. However, as we have covered in this post, you should pick an HVAC vocational school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC community. Other factors to search for are sufficient practical training and modern facilities. You need to go to each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to tour the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Also, inquire about scheduling choices and if evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the right questions as we have outlined in our checklist for comparing schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC professional in Maynard AR.
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