How to Select the Right Heating and Cooling School near New Albany Mississippi
Now that you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next action is to find an HVAC trade school near New Albany MS. But with so many to pick from, how do you select the right one to get the training that you require? Many potential students will make their choice based solely on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. Even though these are necessary factors to consider, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Some of the other factors that you need to research are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and additional criteria will be discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we discuss how to choose an HVAC trade school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling specialist does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Tech
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, however each state and local municipality has its own criteria. Attaining professional certification is not required, but an optional means for New Albany MS HVAC specialists to demonstrate that they are highly proficient and experienced in their area of specialization. There are a number of respected certifications within the trade that are available. Following are some of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is attained by passing a proficiency exam and can 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 as well as passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience in addition to a passing result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for technicians that work with refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing may be required in your location, and you may also wish to acquire certification, it’s important that you enroll in an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the school you decide on prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Schools
There are several options available for HVAC instruction in a technical or vocational school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the minimum amount of time, typically completed in just 6 months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will furnish more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief explanation of each credential offered near New Albany MS.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning commercial or residential 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. Usually taking 2 years to finish, a number of degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more towards a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional 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 dependent on what your long term career objectives are, together with the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One approach is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in New Albany MS, later returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Courses Online
Choosing an HVAC school online is one possibility to attaining your training and receiving a certificate or degree. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. Many also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes may be attended via the internet, this option may be a more accessible solution for some New Albany MS students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even commuting expenses from New Albany and study supplies can be reduced, helping to make schooling more economical. And numerous online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family obligations have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it easier to fit school into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Courses
As soon as you have chosen the type of degree or certificate that you would like to attain, either online or on campus, you can begin to decrease your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are many HVAC vocational schools in the New Albany MS area and all over the Country to pick from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school assessments. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the initial two variables you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you need to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC vocational programs in the New Albany MS area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Verify that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, many states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate may suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It could also suggest that the teachers were not competent to instruct 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 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 also that it has the network of New Albany MS HVAC employers to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC vocational programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling businesses or labor unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with local New Albany MS HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained 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, consult with the HVAC technician you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local New Albany MS HVAC contracting company if they can give you some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your New Albany MS residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult 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 witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Speak to a few of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience 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 meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near New Albany MS, confirm that the schools you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.
Considering an HVAC School near New Albany MS?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the New Albany Mississippi area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
New Albany, Mississippi
New Albany is a city in Union County, Mississippi, United States. The population was 8,526 at the 2010 census. New Albany is the county seat of Union County. New Albany was first organized in 1840 at the site of a grist mill and saw mill on the Tallahatchie River and was developed as a river port. New Albany is the birthplace of author William Faulkner as well as Eli Whiteside and Bettie Wilson and the adopted home of Morris Futorian, father of the Northeast Mississippi furniture industry. As of 2010 New Albany has a population of 8,526 and is known for its education system, well-educated labor force and strong work ethic. The city houses modern factories, robust neighborhoods and vibrant shopping centers, while at the same time preserving its historic downtown area.
Organized in 1840 at the site of a grist mill and a saw mill on the Tallahatchie River near the intersection of two historic Chickasaw Indian trade trails, the town developed as a river port and as a regional center for agriculture and commerce. The Civil War interrupted this progress, however, as Union troops swept through the city and burned all but a few buildings.
Union County was formed from parts of neighboring Lee, Pontotoc, and Tippah Counties in 1870, with New Albany designated as county seat. The city’s new role as a center of government led to renewed economic activity. Citizens’ efforts in the late 1880s to secure a railroad through New Albany were rewarded with two railroads connecting the community to points north, south, east and west. A depot clerk for one of the railroads was the father of William Faulkner. Born in 1897 in a single-story clapboard house, Faulkner went on to write 19 novels and 75 short stories, winning the Nobel Prize and two Pulitzer Prizes for his work.
HVAC Associates Degree Online New Albany MS
Finding the right HVAC school course is a critical beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating and cooling trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Associates Degree Online. However, as we have addressed in this article, you should choose an Heating and Cooling training program and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC field. Other things to look for are ample practical training and modern facilities. You should visit 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. Try to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Additionally, ask about scheduling options and if evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have outlined in our guidelines for comparing schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC professional in New Albany MS.
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