How to Pick the Right Heating and Cooling School near Peterborough New Hampshire
Now that you have decided on a career as a heating and cooling technician, the next action is to choose an HVAC technical school near Peterborough NH. But with so many to choose from, how do you choose the best one to obtain the training that you require? A number of future students will make their decision based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. Even though these are important factors to consider, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Just some of the other things that you need to investigate 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 covered in more detail later within this article. But before we examine how to select an HVAC vocational school, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c contractor does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Specialist
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively 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, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are generally mandated to be licensed, although each state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Obtaining professional certification is not compulsory, but an alternative means for Peterborough NH HVAC specialists to establish that they are exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are many recognized certifications within the industry that are available. Following are a few of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is achieved by passing a competency examination and can be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience together with passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience along with a passing score on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are made available in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for specialists 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.
Because licensing might be mandated in your location, and you may also intend to obtain certification, it’s essential that you enroll in an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be handling refrigerants, make certain that the school you choose preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Classes
There are several options available for HVAC training in a technical or vocational school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the least period of time, usually completed in just 6 months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will furnish more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a short summary of each credential offered near Peterborough NH.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They provide a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more exhaustive background of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Normally requiring two years to finish, many degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more towards a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional 4 year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.
Picking the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your future career aspirations are, in addition to the time and money that you have to commit. One approach is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Peterborough NH, eventually going back to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Courses Online
Choosing an HVAC program online is one possibility in getting your education and earning a degree or certificate. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. Many also provide 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 attended via the internet, this alternative may be a more convenient solution for many Peterborough NH students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even driving expenses from Peterborough and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family obligations have left you with minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to fit school into your active schedule.
What to Ask HVAC Certification Courses
Once you have chosen the type of certificate or degree that you desire to earn, either on campus or online, you can begin to limit your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are a large number of HVAC trade schools in the Peterborough NH area and throughout the United States to choose from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school assessments. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the initial 2 factors you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you will want to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC trade programs in the Peterborough NH area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Make certain that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you obtain an excellent education, it can assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Also, some states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate might suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It could also mean that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly imperative 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 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 Peterborough NH HVAC employers to assist grads acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC trade programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade 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 considering have working partnerships with local Peterborough NH HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC technician you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Peterborough NH HVAC contractor if they can give you some suggestions. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Peterborough NH home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much personalized instruction 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 big they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Speak with some of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Peterborough NH, check that the programs you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select offers 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 Peterborough NH?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Peterborough New Hampshire area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Peterborough, New Hampshire
Peterborough is a town in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 6,284 at the 2010 census. The central settlement in town, with 3,103 people at the 2010 census, is defined as the Peterborough census-designated place (CDP) and is located along the Contoocook River at the junction of U.S. Route 202 and New Hampshire Route 101. The community is 38 miles (61 km) west of Manchester and 72 miles (116 km) northwest of Boston.
Granted by Massachusetts in 1737, it was first permanently settled in 1749. The town suffered several attacks during the French and Indian War. Nevertheless, by 1759, there were fifty families settled. Incorporated on January 17, 1760 by Governor Benning Wentworth, it was named after Lieutenant Peter Prescott (1709–1784) of Concord, Massachusetts, a prominent land speculator.
The Contoocook River and Nubanusit Brook offered numerous sites for watermills, and Peterborough became a prosperous mill town. In 1810, the first cotton factory was established. By 1859, when the population was 2,222, there were four additional cotton factories, plus a woolen mill. Other industries included two paper mills, an iron foundry, a machine shop, a carriage factory, a basket manufacturer, a maker of trusses and supporters, a boot and shoe factory, seven sawmills, and three gristmills.
Air Conditioning Installation Course Peterborough NH
Selecting the ideal HVAC training course is a critical beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating and air conditioning trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Air Conditioning Installation Course. However, as we have addressed in this post, you need to pick an Heating and Cooling school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC profession. Other factors to search for are lots of hands-on training and modern facilities. You need to go to each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to tour the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling options and whether night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial aid and student loan options too. If you ask the proper questions as we have outlined in our checklist for comparing schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC technician in Peterborough NH.
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