How to Enroll In the Right Heating and Cooling Training Class near Kellyton Alabama
Now that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and cooling specialist, the next step is to find an HVAC vocational school near Kellyton AL. But with so many to pick from, how do you choose the best one to receive the training that you require? Some future students will make their choice based solely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Although these are relevant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Some of the other things that you need to research are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and other benchmarks will be covered in more detail later within this article. But before we discuss how to pick an HVAC trade school, let’s look at what a heating and a/c specialist does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Tech
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, however each state and local municipality has its own requirements. Attaining professional certification is not mandatory, but an alternative way for Kellyton AL HVAC techs to demonstrate that they are highly skilled and experienced in their area of specialization. There are multiple respected certifications within the field that are offered. Following are a few of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is earned by passing a competency exam and can be received in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience in addition to passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience along with a passing result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in various 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 other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing may be required in your location, and you may also intend to earn certification, it’s essential that you enroll in an HVAC vocational school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the program you pick readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Classes
There are a variety of alternatives offered for HVAC training in a technical or trade school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the minimum amount of time, typically achieved in just 6 months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs might provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will provide more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a short summary of each option offered near Kellyton AL.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They provide a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more comprehensive knowledge of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically taking 2 years to finish, many degrees include 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 require an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional four year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Picking the right credential program will be dependent on what your long term career objectives are, along with the time and money that you have to invest. One possibility is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Kellyton AL, later going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Training
Enrolling in an HVAC school online is one approach in getting your training and earning a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. Many also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes can be participated in online, this option may be a more convenient solution for many Kellyton AL students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even driving expenses from Kellyton and study supplies can be minimized, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family responsibilities have left you with minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it less complicated to fit school into your hectic lifestyle.
Questions For HVAC Trade Schools
After you have selected the type of certificate or degree that you desire to acquire, either on campus or online, you can begin to decrease your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many HVAC vocational schools in the Kellyton AL area and all over the Country to select from. That’s why it is very important to have a checklist of relevant qualifications when making school comparisons. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the first 2 factors you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you need to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC technical schools in the Kellyton AL area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance HVAC technology. Verify that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you obtain a superior education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, some states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited for it 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 finish the course. A lower completion rate may signify that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It may also indicate that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which may result in more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Kellyton AL HVAC employers to help graduates acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC technical programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling businesses or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with local Kellyton AL HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC specialist you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Kellyton AL HVAC contracting company if they can give you some suggestions. Also bear in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Kellyton AL home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much individualized training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Speak with several of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Kellyton AL, check that the schools you are looking at provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family issues.
Considering an HVAC School near Kellyton AL?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Kellyton Alabama area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
HVAC Technical Schools Kellyton AL
Picking the right HVAC training course is an important first step toward a gratifying career in the heating and air conditioning field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Technical Schools. However, as we have addressed in this post, you need to select an Heating and Cooling training program and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC profession. Other factors to search for are ample 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 speak with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Additionally, inquire about scheduling options and whether evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial aid and student loan options too. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have laid out 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 right training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC technician in Kellyton AL.
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