How to Enroll In the Right Heating and Cooling Training Program near Severna Park Maryland
Once you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner professional, the next action is to look for an HVAC vocational school near Severna Park MD. But with so many to pick from, how do you select the best one to obtain the training that you need? A number of prospective students will make their selection based entirely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Even though these are significant concerns, they are not the only ones to investigate. A few of the other things 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. These and other benchmarks will be discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we discuss how to pick an HVAC technical school, let’s look at what a heating and cooling professional does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Pro
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, although each state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Obtaining professional certification is not compulsory, but an alternative way for Severna Park MD HVAC specialists to establish that they are highly skilled and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are a number of recognized certifications within the industry that are available. Below are a few of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is achieved by passing a proficiency examination and can be received in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers 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 must have 3 years of experience in addition to a passing score on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are made available in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for techs that work with refrigerants. There are three types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing could be required in your location, and you may also desire to obtain certification, it’s imperative that you choose an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the program you decide on prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Classes
There are a number of options available for HVAC instruction in a vocational or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the lesser period of time, often achieved in just six months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree training programs might provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will provide more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief description of each credential offered near Severna Park MD.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They provide a solid foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more exhaustive understanding of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Typically taking 2 years to finish, some degrees incorporate 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 four year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Choosing the appropriate credential program will be based on what your future career aspirations are, as well as the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One option is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the trade in Severna Park MD, later returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Schools Online
Choosing an HVAC school online is one alternative in getting your education and receiving a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in hands on training. A number also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be participated in via the internet, this alternative may be a more practical solution for some Severna Park MD students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other traditional options. Even travelling expenses from Severna Park and study materials may be reduced, helping to make schooling more economical. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family obligations have left you with minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your busy schedule.
What to Ask HVAC Schools
After you have selected the type of degree or certificate that you desire to acquire, either on campus or online, you can start to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are numerous HVAC trade schools in the Severna Park MD area and all over the USA to pick from. That’s why it is imperative to have a checklist of key qualifiers when making school comparisons. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the first two variables you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you will want to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC trade programs in the Severna Park MD area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as 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 ensure that you acquire an excellent education, it can help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many states require that the HVAC training course be accredited for it 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 or portion of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate could signify that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It may also suggest that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader 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 affirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Severna Park MD HVAC employers to assist graduates acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC trade programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC companies or trade unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with local Severna Park MD HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC specialist you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Severna Park MD HVAC contracting company if they can provide some tips. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Severna Park MD residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Speak with some of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with some of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Severna Park MD, confirm that the schools you are comparing offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering an HVAC School near Severna Park MD?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Severna Park Maryland area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Severna Park, Maryland
Severna Park is a census-designated place (CDP) in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, United States. Severna Park is part of the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area, and is located approximately 8 miles (13 km) north of Annapolis, 17 miles (27 km) south of Baltimore, and 39 miles (63 km) east of Washington, D.C. Severna Park's population was 37,634 at the 2010 census.
The name Severna Park is believed to originate from a 1906 contest held by Oscar Hatton while the modern community was first becoming established. The winner would receive a portion of land but controversy arose because the winner was an African-American woman, who was instead rewarded $500.
Robinson House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009. Severna Park was originally named "Boone," and was a stop along the Baltimore & Annapolis Railroad, which was converted to the B&A Rail Trail in 1990. Severna Park is also home to the Severn School, which was established in 1914, as well as several other old homes and buildings.
Air Conditioner Classes Severna Park MD
Selecting the right HVAC training program is an important beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating and cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Air Conditioner Classes. However, as we have discussed in this post, you need to select an Heating and Cooling vocational school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC community. Other features to look for are ample practical training and modern facilities. You should go to each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Additionally, ask about scheduling options and if evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the right questions as we have laid out in our checklist for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter 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 professional in Severna Park MD.
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