How to Select the Right HVAC Certificate Program near Storrs Mansfield Connecticut
Once you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next action is to choose an HVAC technical school near Storrs Mansfield CT. But with so many to choose from, how do you decide on the best one to receive the training that you need? A number of future students will make their decision based solely on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their home. While these are important factors to consider, they are not the only ones to investigate. Just some of the other factors 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. These and additional criteria will be discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we explore how to choose an HVAC vocational school, let’s look at what a heating and a/c contractor does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Tech
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are generally required to be licensed, although every state and local municipality has its own requirements. Obtaining professional certification is not mandatory, but an alternative way for Storrs Mansfield CT HVAC technicians to establish that they are highly proficient and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are many acknowledged certifications within the industry that are offered. Following are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is attained by passing a proficiency 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 professional 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. Similar to NATE, certifications are made available in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for techs that handle refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing could be mandated in your area, and you may also wish to earn certification, it’s important that you enroll in an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be handling refrigerants, make sure that the program you select prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree Courses
There are several choices offered for HVAC training in a vocational or trade school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the least period of time, usually achieved in as little as 6 months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs may provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will furnish more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief summary of each credential offered near Storrs Mansfield CT.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They provide a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more comprehensive knowledge of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically requiring two years to finish, many degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored 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 learn how to design them.
Selecting the right credential program will be dependent on what your long term career goals are, as well as the time and money that you have to commit. One approach is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Storrs Mansfield CT, eventually going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Schools Online
Attending an HVAC school online is one alternative in getting your education and receiving a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. Some also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be participated in via the internet, this approach may be a more practical solution for some Storrs Mansfield CT students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even commuting expenses from Storrs Mansfield and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family responsibilities have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask HVAC Training Classes
Once you have chosen the type of degree or certificate that you would like to attain, either on campus or online, you can start to limit your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are a large number of HVAC technical schools in the Storrs Mansfield CT area and all over the USA to choose from. That’s why it is essential to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school evaluations. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the initial two variables you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you need to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Storrs Mansfield CT area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Make certain that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you get an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, some states require that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate may suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It could also signify that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which can result in more contacts for the school to utilize 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 trade, but additionally that it has the network of Storrs Mansfield CT HVAC employers to help students acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC vocational programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling businesses or labor unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local Storrs Mansfield CT HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC specialist you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Storrs Mansfield CT HVAC contracting company if they can give you some pointers. Additionally keep in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Storrs Mansfield CT home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Speak with some of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with a few of the teachers and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Storrs Mansfield CT, verify that the programs you are considering offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering an HVAC School near Storrs Mansfield CT?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Storrs Mansfield Connecticut area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Storrs is a village and census-designated place (CDP) in the town of Mansfield within eastern Tolland County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 15,344 at the 2010 census. It is dominated economically and demographically by the presence of the main campus of the University of Connecticut and the associated Connecticut Repertory Theatre.
Storrs was named after Charles and Augustus Storrs, two brothers who founded the University of Connecticut (originally called the Storrs Agricultural College) by giving the land (170 acres (0.69 km2)) and $6,000 in 1881
As of the census of 2000, there were 10,996 people, 1,630 households, and 645 families residing in the community. The population density was 748.8/km² (1,939.3/mi²). There were 1,701 housing units at an average density of 115.8/km² (300.0/mi²). The racial makeup of the community was 81.10% White, 5.67% African American, 0.09% Native American, 9.13% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 1.70% from other races, and 2.26% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.40% of the population.
Air Conditioning Repair Training Storrs Mansfield CT
Finding the right HVAC school program is a critical beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating and air conditioning field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Air Conditioning Repair Training. However, as we have covered in this article, you should pick an Heating and Cooling technical school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC trade. Other things to search for are ample hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should check out each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to tour the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Additionally, ask about scheduling options 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 also. If you ask the proper questions as we have outlined in our guidelines for comparing schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC professional in Storrs Mansfield CT.
More Hot and Cool Locations in Connecticut
Business Results 1 - 10 of 229