How to Pick the Right Heating and Cooling Degree Program near Tallassee Alabama
Now that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning specialist, the next action is to look for an HVAC trade school near Tallassee AL. But with so many to pick from, how do you decide on the right 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 home. Although these are relevant concerns, they are not the only ones to investigate. Some of the other factors 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 other benchmarks will be discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we tackle how to pick an HVAC vocational school, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c technician does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Pro
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs provide services for 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, however each state and local municipality has its own criteria. Attaining professional certification is not compulsory, but an alternative way for Tallassee AL HVAC technicians to prove that they are exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are many respected certifications within the trade that are offered. Below are some of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. 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 together with passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience as well as a passing score on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing could be mandated in your area, and you may also wish to acquire certification, it’s important that you choose an HVAC vocational school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the program you decide on prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Classes
There are several alternatives available for HVAC instruction in a vocational or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, typically achieved in just 6 months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree training programs may provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will furnish more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short summary of each option offered near Tallassee AL.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more extensive understanding of heating and a/c 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 towards a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional 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.
Picking the ideal credential program will be based on what your long term career objectives are, together with the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One option is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Tallassee AL, later returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Schools
Attending an HVAC school online is one alternative in obtaining your education and receiving a degree or certificate. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to complete practical training. A number also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes can be attended on the web, this alternative may be a more accessible solution for some Tallassee AL students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other traditional options. Even travelling expenses from Tallassee and study supplies may be lessened, helping to make schooling more economical. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family responsibilities have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it easier to accommodate school into your active schedule.
Questions For HVAC Certification Classes
After you have selected the type of degree or certificate that you wish to earn, either on campus or online, you can start to limit your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are numerous HVAC trade schools in the Tallassee AL area and throughout the United States to pick from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a list of relevant qualifiers when making school comparisons. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the first 2 factors you will take into consideration. Following are some additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC trade programs in the Tallassee AL area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Confirm that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you receive a quality education, it can help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many states require that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate could indicate that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It could also suggest that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of graduates, which may result in more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Tallassee AL HVAC employers to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC trade programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC contractors or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with local Tallassee AL HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC specialist you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Tallassee AL HVAC contracting company if they can give you some pointers. Also bear in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Tallassee AL home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Talk to some of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Tallassee AL, verify that the schools you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Considering an HVAC School near Tallassee AL?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Tallassee Alabama area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Tallassee (pronounced /ˈtæːləsi/) is a city on the Tallapoosa River, located in both Elmore and Tallapoosa counties in the U.S. state of Alabama. At the 2010 census the population was 4,819. It is home to a major hydroelectric power plant at Thurlow Dam operated by Alabama Power Company.
The historic Creek peoples in this area are believed to have descended from the Mississippian culture, which flourished throughout the Mississippi and Ohio river valleys and the Southeast from about 1000 to 1450. They were mound builders, who created massive earthwork mounds as structures for political and religious purposes. They relied greatly on fishing and riverway trading at their major sites (c.f. Moundville, Tuscaloosa).
Talisi was a town of the Coosa Province of the Mississippian culture; it was visited in 1540 by Hernando de Soto and his expedition through the Southeast. Later it was occupied by the historic Creek people. The Tallassee area was the location of the Creek capital city, Tuckabatchee, as well as the location of the seven sacred plates.
Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Courses Online Tallassee AL
Choosing the ideal HVAC school course is a critical first step toward a rewarding career in the heating & cooling trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Courses Online. However, as we have covered in this article, you need to select an Heating and Cooling trade school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC community. Other things to look for are plenty of hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to check out each of the schools in person 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 instruction and the interaction between them. In addition, ask about scheduling choices and whether or not evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have laid out in our checklist for comparing 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 dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC contractor in Tallassee AL.
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