How to Find the Right HVAC Certification Training near Richmond Kentucky
Once you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner professional, the next step is to find an HVAC technical school near Richmond KY. But with so many to pick from, how do you select the right one to get the training that you require? A number of prospective students will make their choice based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. While these are relevant factors to consider, 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. These and additional criteria will be addressed in more detail later in this article. But before we tackle how to pick an HVAC training program, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning specialist does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Technician
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 air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, though every state and local municipality has its own requirements. Acquiring professional certification is not compulsory, but a voluntary way for Richmond KY HVAC technicians to prove that they are highly proficient and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are multiple respected certifications within the field that are offered. Here are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is achieved by passing a proficiency exam 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 in addition to passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience as well as a passing result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are three types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing may be mandated in your area, and you may also intend to obtain certification, it’s essential that you enroll in an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the school you pick prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree Training Programs
There are a number of options offered for HVAC training in a trade or technical school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, typically achieved in just six months, however some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree training programs may provide a competitive edge in the job market and will provide more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief description of each credential offered near Richmond KY.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They provide a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more extensive background of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Normally requiring two years to finish, a number of degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more for a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional four year program. In addition to being taught 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 long term career goals 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 trade in Richmond KY, eventually going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make certain to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Courses Online
Enrolling in an HVAC program online is one option 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. Many also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be participated in online, this option may be a more accessible solution for some Richmond KY students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are more economical than other traditional alternatives. Even driving expenses from Richmond and study supplies can be reduced, helping to make schooling more budget-friendly. And numerous online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family responsibilities have left you with limited time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Classes
After you have decided on the type of degree or certificate that you would like to earn, either online or on campus, 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 Richmond KY area and across the United States to pick from. That’s why it is essential to have a list of important qualifiers when making school comparisons. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the initial 2 aspects you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you should research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC technical schools in the Richmond KY area have earned 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 a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Make sure that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it can assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Additionally, a number of states require that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning schools you are considering 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 signify that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It could also signify that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of graduates, which may mean 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 industry, but additionally that it has the network of Richmond KY HVAC employers to help students acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC vocational programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling businesses or labor unions. Check if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with local Richmond KY HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC tech you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Richmond KY HVAC company if they can give you some pointers. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Richmond KY home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there might be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much individualized training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Speak with a few of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to some of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Richmond KY, confirm that the schools you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering an HVAC School near Richmond KY?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Richmond Kentucky area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Richmond is a home rule-class city in and the county seat of Madison County, Kentucky, United States. It is named after Richmond, Virginia, and is the home of Eastern Kentucky University. The population was 33,533 in 2015. Richmond is the third-largest city in the Bluegrass region (after Louisville and Lexington) and the state's sixth-largest city. Richmond serves as the center for work and shopping for south-central Kentucky. Richmond is the principal city of the Richmond–Berea Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Madison and Rockcastle counties.
The City of Richmond was founded in 1798 by Colonel John Miller from Virginia, a British American who had served with the rebels in the Revolutionary War. According to tradition, Miller was attracted to the area by the good spring water and friendly Native Americans. That year, the Kentucky legislature approved moving the county seat from Milford to land owned by Colonel Miller. The residents of Milford adamantly opposed the move, which led to a fist fight between Dave Kennedy (representing Milford) and William Kearly (representing Richmond). The county approved the move in March 1798. On July 4, 1798, the new town was named Richmond in honor of Miller's Virginia birthplace. Richmond was incorporated in 1809.
Kentucky was a border state during the Civil War and stayed in the Union. On August 30, 1862, during the Civil War, the Union and Confederate Armies clashed in the Battle of Richmond. Troops under Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith routed the soldiers of Union General William Nelson. Out of Nelson's 6,500 men, only 1,200 escaped; the rest were all captured. One historian called this battle "the nearest thing to a Cannae ever scored by any general, North or South, in the course of the whole war." [page needed]
Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning Course Richmond KY
Enrolling in the right HVAC training course is a critical first step toward a rewarding career in the heating and cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning Course. However, as we have covered in this post, you need to pick an Heating and Cooling school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC profession. Other features to search for are plenty of practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to go to each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to explore the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling options and whether night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to inquire about financial aid and student loan options also. If you ask the proper questions as we have laid out in our guidelines for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC technician in Richmond KY.
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HVAC Training | Trade School Programs in Heating & Cooling
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HVAC Technician License Requirements, How to Become an HVAC Tech
Aspiring HVAC professionals are in high demand in every state with an expected 15% increase in job openings for HVAC professionals through 2026. There are many online programs that offer HVAC online degrees, diplomas, and certificates. Request information from multiple schools to find the best HVAC program and educational opportunity for you!
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Must have worked as a journeyman for two years/3000 hours under the direct supervision of a Kentucky licensed master HVAC contractor; OR; Must have worked in HVAC for five years in a jurisdiction other than Kentucky; Must pass an examination; One year of HVAC training/education may be substituted for one year of employment experience
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