How to Find the Right HVAC Degree Program near Salem Kentucky
Once you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next action is to look for an HVAC technical school near Salem KY. But with so many to select from, how do you choose the ideal one to obtain the training that you require? Some future students will make their decision based entirely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their home. While these are relevant concerns, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Some of the other details that you need to research 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 within this article. But before we discuss how to choose an HVAC technical school, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning specialist does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Professional
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, though each state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Attaining professional certification is not required, but an optional way for Salem KY HVAC techs to establish that they are highly qualified and experienced in their area of specialization. There are many recognized certifications within the field that are offered. Here 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 examination and may 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 in addition to passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience in addition to a passing result on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are provided in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing could be required in your area, and you may also desire to acquire certification, it’s essential that you select an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be handling refrigerants, make certain that the school you select readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Classes
There are a number of options available for HVAC instruction 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 period of time, usually completed in just 6 months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree training programs may provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will provide more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a short description of each credential offered near Salem KY.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They provide a strong foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more detailed knowledge of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically taking two years to complete, a number of degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more for a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a standard 4 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 goals are, as well as the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One approach is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Salem KY, eventually returning to obtain 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 Online Schools
Attending an HVAC school online is one approach to attaining your education and receiving a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. Many also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes may be participated in on the web, this alternative may be a more accessible solution for some Salem KY students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even commuting expenses from Salem and study supplies can be lessened, helping to make schooling more budget-friendly. And many online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family responsibilities have left you with limited time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to fit school into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Courses
As soon as you have selected the type of degree or certificate that you want to obtain, either on campus or online, you can start to limit your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are many HVAC vocational schools in the Salem KY area and across the United States to pick from. That’s why it is imperative to have a checklist of relevant qualifiers when making school assessments. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the first 2 aspects you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you will want to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC vocational programs in the Salem KY area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Make certain that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you obtain a quality education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, a number of states require that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate might indicate that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It could also signify that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s also imperative 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 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 industry, but also that it has the network of Salem KY HVAC employers to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC technical programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling contractors or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with local Salem KY HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain 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 currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC tech you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Salem KY HVAC contracting company if they can provide some suggestions. Also keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Salem KY residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much personalized instruction 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 see how large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Speak with several of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to some of the teachers and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Salem KY, confirm that the schools you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.
Considering an HVAC School near Salem KY?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Salem Kentucky area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Salem is a home rule-class city in Livingston County, Kentucky, in the United States. Salem is part of the Paducah micropolitan area. The population was 752 during the U.S. Census, down from 769 in 2000. It the largest city in Livingston County, although the unincorporated community of Ledbetter has more than twice the population of Salem.
The city is believed to have been settled c. 1800 by immigrants from Salem, North Carolina, who named their new community after their former home. It replaced Centerville as Livingston Co.'s seat in 1809 but was replaced in turn by Smithland in 1842 after the removal of Crittenden Co. left it more centrally-located.
Salem is located at 37°15′53″N 88°14′28″W / 37.26472°N 88.24111°W / 37.26472; -88.24111 (37.264694, -88.241221). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.8 square miles (2.1 km2), all land.
Classes for HVAC Certificate Salem KY
Selecting the right HVAC training course is an important first step toward a rewarding career in the heating and air conditioning field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Classes for HVAC Certificate. However, as we have discussed 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 field. Other features to search for are sufficient hands-on 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 talk with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Additionally, inquire about scheduling options and whether night or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options as well. If you ask the proper questions as we have outlined in our guidelines for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC contractor in Salem KY.
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