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Learn Air Conditioning Ocean Springs MS

How to Choose the Right Heating and Cooling Certificate Program near Ocean Springs Mississippi

air conditioner condensers in Ocean Springs MSNow that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next action is to find an HVAC vocational school near Ocean Springs MS. But with so many to pick from, how do you choose the right one to obtain the training that you need? A number of future students will make their choice based solely on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. While these are important factors to consider, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Just some of the other things that you need to look into are the graduation 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 in this article. But before we explore how to select an HVAC training program, let’s take a look at what a heating and air conditioning technician does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.

Becoming an HVAC Professional

Ocean Springs MS HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the business 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 generally mandated to be licensed, although every state and local municipality has its own criteria. Acquiring professional certification is not mandatory, but an alternative way for Ocean Springs MS HVAC specialists to establish that they are highly skilled and experienced in their area of expertise. There are many recognized certifications within the field that are offered. Following are some of the important ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is attained by passing a competency exam and may be earned 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 three years of experience along with a passing score on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are provided in various specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is required for techs that handle refrigerants. There are three types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Since licensing may be mandated in your area, and you may also intend to earn certification, it’s imperative that you pick an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be working with refrigerants, make sure that the program you pick readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Certificate and Degree Classes

radiator heater in Ocean Springs MS homeThere are several alternatives available for HVAC instruction in a trade or technical 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 accomplished in just 6 months, although some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive edge in the job market and will deliver more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a short summary of each credential offered near Ocean Springs MS.

  • Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more extensive background of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically taking two years to complete, a number of degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more towards a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs call for 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 study how to design them.

Selecting the right credential program will be dependent on what your long term career aspirations are, along with the time and money that you have to commit. One option is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Ocean Springs MS, 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 Classes Online

Ocean Springs MS student attending HVAC school onlineChoosing an HVAC program online is one alternative in attaining your education and earning a certificate or degree. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete practical training. Some also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes can be participated in online, this alternative may be a more practical solution for some Ocean Springs MS students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even driving expenses from Ocean Springs and study materials can be reduced, helping to make schooling more budget-friendly. And numerous online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family responsibilities have left you with limited time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to fit school into your active lifestyle.

Questions to Ask HVAC Schools

Questions to ask Ocean Springs MS HVAC training schoolsWhen you have decided on the type of certificate or degree that you desire to obtain, either on campus or online, you can start to decrease your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous HVAC trade schools in the Ocean Springs MS area and all over the USA to choose from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school assessments. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the initial two aspects you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Numerous HVAC technical schools in the Ocean Springs MS area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire 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 school and program 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 guarantee that you get a quality education, it can help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, some states require that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning schools you are reviewing 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 might suggest that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It may also suggest that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Ocean Springs MS HVAC employers to help graduates obtain apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Many HVAC training programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling businesses or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with local Ocean Springs MS HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Confirm that the school facilities and the tools 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, check with the HVAC tech you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Ocean Springs MS HVAC contractor if they can provide some tips. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Ocean Springs MS home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s desirable that you get as much personalized training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Talk to a few of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with some of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.

Flexible Scheduling.  Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Ocean Springs MS, verify that the programs you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.

Considering an HVAC School near Ocean Springs MS?

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

Ocean Springs, Mississippi

Ocean Springs is a city in Jackson County, Mississippi, United States, approximately 2 miles (3.2 km) east of Biloxi and west of Gautier. It is part of the Pascagoula, Mississippi Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 17,225 at the 2000 U.S. Census. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the city of Ocean Springs had a population of 17,442.

The town has a reputation as an arts community. The town was voted as a top 10 Happiest Seaside Town by Coastal Living in 2015. Its historic and secluded down town area, with streets lined by live oak trees, is home to several art galleries and shops. It is also home to a number of ethnic restaurants relatively uncommon in surrounding communities.

Ocean Springs was the home town of the late Walter Inglis Anderson, a nationally renowned painter and muralist who died in 1965 from lung cancer. The town plays host to several festivals, including its Peter Anderson Festival and The Herb Festival.

Learn Air Conditioning Ocean Springs MS

Picking the right HVAC school program is a critical beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating and air conditioning field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Learn Air Conditioning. However, as we have covered in this post, you need to choose an HVAC vocational school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC community. Other features to look for are ample practical training and modern facilities. You need to check out each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Additionally, inquire about scheduling choices and whether night or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial assistance and student loan options as well. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have laid out in our checklist for assessing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC contractor in Ocean Springs MS.

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