Category Archives: Massachusetts

HVAC Training Courses West Roxbury MA

How to Find the Right HVAC Training Class near West Roxbury Massachusetts

air conditioner condensers in West Roxbury MAOnce you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioning specialist, the next step is to choose an HVAC technical school near West Roxbury MA. But with so many to select from, how do you decide on the right one to receive the training that you require? Many potential students will make their selection based exclusively on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Although these are important factors to consider, they are not the only ones to investigate. Some of the other details 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. Those and other criteria will be discussed in more detail later within this article. But before we examine how to choose an HVAC trade school, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning professional does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.

Becoming an HVAC Tech

West Roxbury MA HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, although each state and local municipality has its own requirements. Attaining professional certification is not required, but an optional way for West Roxbury MA HVAC specialists to prove that they are exceptionally qualified and accomplished in their area of specialization. There are many acknowledged certifications within the field that are available. Here are a few of the important ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is earned by passing a competency exam and can be acquired in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience in addition to passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience along with a passing score on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in several specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for technicians that work with refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Since licensing could be required in your area, and you may also intend to obtain certification, it’s important that you pick an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be handling refrigerants, make certain that the program you select prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.

HVAC Degree and Certificate Classes

radiator heater in West Roxbury MA homeThere are a number of choices available for HVAC training in a technical or trade school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the least period of time, usually achieved in just six months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive edge in the job market and will provide more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short explanation of each option offered near West Roxbury MA.

  • Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They provide a solid foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more detailed knowledge of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Typically requiring 2 years to finish, a number of degrees include 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 call for an Associate Degree, while others are a standard four year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.

Choosing the ideal credential program will be based on what your future career objectives are, in addition to the time and money that you have to invest. One option is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the trade in West Roxbury MA, eventually returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Online Training

West Roxbury MA student attending HVAC school onlineEnrolling in an HVAC school online is one approach in getting your education and receiving a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. Many 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 attended via the internet, this option may be a more convenient solution for some West Roxbury MA students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even driving expenses from West Roxbury and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And numerous online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family commitments have left you with minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it easier to fit school into your active lifestyle.

What to Ask HVAC Training Programs

Questions to ask West Roxbury MA HVAC training schoolsWhen you have selected the type of certificate or degree that you wish to attain, either on campus or online, you can begin to decrease your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are numerous HVAC technical schools in the West Roxbury MA area and throughout the United States to select from. That’s why it is very important to have a checklist of key qualifiers when making school evaluations. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the first 2 variables you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you will want to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  A large number of HVAC vocational programs in the West Roxbury MA area have attained 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 instance HVAC technology. Verify that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it can help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, many states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the HVAC schools you are reviewing 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 suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It could also suggest that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s also essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which can produce more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of West Roxbury MA HVAC employers to assist graduates obtain apprenticeships or employment.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Most HVAC training programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling companies or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with local West Roxbury MA HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make certain that the school 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 currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC tech you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local West Roxbury MA HVAC contracting company if they can give you some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your West Roxbury MA home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s important that you receive as much personalized training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Speak with a few of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with a few of the teachers 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 assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near West Roxbury MA, verify that the programs you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.

Considering an HVAC School near West Roxbury MA?

Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the West Roxbury Massachusetts area.  If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.

West Roxbury

West Roxbury is a neighborhood in Boston, Massachusetts bordered by Roslindale to the northeast and Hyde Park to the southeast. West Roxbury is often mistakenly confused with Roxbury, but the two are not connected. West Roxbury is separated from Roxbury by Jamaica Plain and Roslindale.

Founded in 1630 (contemporaneously with Boston), West Roxbury was originally part of the town of Roxbury and was mainly used as farmland. West Roxbury seceded from Roxbury in 1851, and was annexed by Boston in 1874. The town included the neighborhoods of Jamaica Plain and Roslindale.

West Roxbury's main commercial thoroughfare is Centre Street. West Roxbury Main Streets is a local non-profit that works to enhance and promote the business district. The neighborhood has some two-family houses but mostly single family homes; many of Boston's civil servants live there.

HVAC Training Courses West Roxbury MA

Finding the ideal HVAC school course is a critical first step toward a rewarding career in the heating and cooling industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Training Courses. However, as we have covered in this post, you need to pick an HVAC technical school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC field. Other factors to look for are lots of hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to go to each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to explore 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. Also, ask about scheduling options and whether or not night or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the proper questions as we have detailed 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 right training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC specialist in West Roxbury MA.

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