How to Pick the Right HVAC Certification Class near West Liberty Ohio
Now that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning professional, the next action is to look for an HVAC technical school near West Liberty OH. But with so many to pick from, how do you select the ideal one to get the training that you need? A number of future students will make their decision based exclusively on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. While these are necessary factors to consider, they are not the only ones to take into account. 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 additional benchmarks will be addressed in more detail later within this article. But before we explore how to pick an HVAC trade school, let’s take a look at what a heating and air conditioning contractor does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Technician
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, however every state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Attaining professional certification is not compulsory, but an alternative means for West Liberty OH HVAC technicians to demonstrate that they are highly skilled and experienced in their area of specialization. There are many recognized certifications within the field that are offered. Below are a few of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is attained by passing a competency examination and may 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 together with passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience together with a passing result on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are made available in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for technicians that work with refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing might be required in your location, and you may also intend to obtain certification, it’s imperative 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 select prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Courses
There are several options available for HVAC instruction in a vocational or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the lesser period of time, usually completed in as little as 6 months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree programs may provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will deliver more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief summary of each option offered near West Liberty OH.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They provide a strong foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more detailed knowledge of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Usually taking two years to complete, many degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more for a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional 4 year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Selecting the right credential program will be based on what your future career objectives are, as well as the time and money that you have to commit. One option is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the trade in West Liberty OH, later returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Classes Online
Enrolling in an HVAC program online is one alternative to attaining your training and earning a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. Many also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes can be participated in on the web, this alternative may be a more practical solution for many West Liberty OH students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other traditional choices. Even driving expenses from West Liberty and study supplies can be lessened, helping to make schooling more economical. And numerous online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family commitments have left you with limited time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your busy lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Certification Classes
After you have selected the type of certificate or degree that you desire to attain, either on campus or online, you can start to narrow down your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are numerous HVAC technical schools in the West Liberty OH area and across the USA to choose from. That’s why it is imperative to have a checklist of key qualifiers when making school evaluations. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the first 2 factors you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you should research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC vocational schools in the West Liberty OH area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Verify that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you get an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, a number of 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 considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate might signify that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It may also mean that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which may produce more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of West Liberty OH HVAC employers to help students secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC trade programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling companies or labor unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with local West Liberty OH HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also supplies job 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 specialist you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local West Liberty OH HVAC contracting company if they can give you some tips. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your West Liberty OH residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Talk to some of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with a few of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near West Liberty OH, check that the schools you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family issues.
Considering an HVAC School near West Liberty OH?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the West Liberty Ohio area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
West Liberty, Ohio
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,805 people, 736 households, and 436 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,611.6 inhabitants per square mile (622.2/km2). There were 799 housing units at an average density of 713.4 per square mile (275.4/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 96.1% White, 1.3% African American, 0.1% Native American, 0.6% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.2% from other races, and 1.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.8% of the population.
There were 736 households of which 29.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.9% were married couples living together, 9.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.9% had a male householder with no wife present, and 40.8% were non-families. 37.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 21.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 3.00.
The median age in the village was 41 years. 25.2% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.8% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 21.5% were from 25 to 44; 22.1% were from 45 to 64; and 23.2% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the village was 44.6% male and 55.4% female.
How to Choose HVAC Training Programs West Liberty OH
Picking the right HVAC training course is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating and air conditioning field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding How to Choose HVAC Training Programs. However, as we have discussed in this article, you should pick an Heating and Cooling technical school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC community. Other features to look for are sufficient hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to visit each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. In addition, ask about scheduling choices and whether or not night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have detailed 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 dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC contractor in West Liberty OH.
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