How to Choose the Right HVAC Certification Course near Woodside New York
Once you have made a decision on a career as a heating and cooling professional, the next action is to choose an HVAC vocational school near Woodside NY. But with so many to choose from, how do you select the ideal one to get the training that you require? A number of future students will make their decision based exclusively on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Even though these are necessary considerations, they are not the only ones to evaluate. A few of the other things that you need to investigate are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and additional benchmarks will be covered in more detail later within this article. But before we examine how to choose an HVAC training program, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling professional does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Tech
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, however each state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Obtaining professional certification is not mandatory, but an alternative means for Woodside NY HVAC technicians to prove that they are exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are multiple respected certifications within the field 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 attained by passing a proficiency exam and may be received 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 required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience as well as a passing score on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are three forms of certification offered, 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 desire to acquire certification, it’s important that you pick an HVAC vocational 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 Certificate and Degree Schools
There are several alternatives offered for HVAC training 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 lesser amount of time, often completed in as little as 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 related to the position. The degree programs might provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will furnish more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief summary of each credential offered near Woodside NY.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more detailed background of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically taking two years to complete, a number of degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more towards a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a standard four year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Choosing the appropriate credential program will be based on what your long term career objectives are, as well as the time and money that you have to invest. One approach is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Woodside NY, eventually going back to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Schools Online
Attending an HVAC school online is one option to attaining your training and earning a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to complete hands on training. Some also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes may be attended online, this approach may be a more practical solution for some Woodside NY students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even travelling expenses from Woodside and study supplies can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family responsibilities have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to fit school into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Classes
When you have chosen the type of certificate or degree that you want to acquire, either on campus or online, you can start to narrow down your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are numerous HVAC technical schools in the Woodside NY area and all over the United States to pick from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of key qualifications when making school comparisons. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the first 2 variables you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you need to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC technical schools in the Woodside NY area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Verify that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you receive a quality education, it may assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, some states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to qualify 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 low completion rate might indicate that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It could also indicate that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which may mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Woodside NY HVAC employers to help grads acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC training programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling businesses or trade unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local Woodside NY HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area 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 in the field. If you are already 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 Woodside NY HVAC contractor if they can give you some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Woodside NY home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Talk with some of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to a few of the teachers and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Woodside NY, confirm that the schools you are comparing provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering an HVAC School near Woodside NY?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Woodside New York area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Woodside is a residential and commercial neighborhood in the western portion of the borough of Queens in New York City. It is bordered on the south by Maspeth, on the north by Astoria, on the west by Sunnyside, and on the east by Elmhurst and Jackson Heights. Some areas are widely residential and very quiet, while other parts, especially the ones around Roosevelt Avenue, are busier. The neighborhood is located in Queens Community Board 1 and Queens Community Board 2.
In the 19th century the area was part of the Town of Newtown (now Elmhurst). The adjacent area of Winfield was largely incorporated into the post office serving Woodside and as a consequence Winfield lost much of its identity distinct from Woodside. However, with large-scale residential development in the 1860s, Woodside became the largest Irish American community in Queens, being approximately 80% Irish by the 1930s and maintaining a strong Irish culture today. In the early 1990s, many Asian American families moved into the area, with the population being 30% Asian American. South Asians and Latinos have also moved to Woodside in recent years.
Reflecting its longtime diverse foods and drink, the neighborhood is filled with many cultural restaurants and pubs. It is also home to some of the city's most popular Thai, Filipino, and South American eateries.
HVAC Education Online Woodside NY
Choosing the right HVAC training course is a critical first step toward a rewarding career in the heating & cooling trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Education Online. However, as we have covered in this post, you need to choose an HVAC vocational school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC field. Other things to search for are lots of hands-on training and modern facilities. You need to check out each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to tour 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, inquire about scheduling choices and if evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to ask about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the right questions as we have outlined in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC technician in Woodside NY.
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