How to Choose the Right HVAC Certification Course near Stonewall Oklahoma
Now that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner specialist, the next step is to look for an HVAC vocational school near Stonewall OK. But with so many to choose from, how do you choose the best one to receive the training that you require? A number of prospective students will make their decision based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their home. While these are relevant considerations, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Just some of the other details that you need to look into are the graduation completion 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 in this article. But before we explore how to choose an HVAC training program, let’s look at what a heating and cooling specialist does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Tech
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, however each state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Earning professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary means for Stonewall OK HVAC specialists to demonstrate that they are exceptionally proficient and experienced in their area of expertise. There are several recognized certifications within the industry 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 achieved by passing a proficiency examination and may be received in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience together with passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience as well as a passing result on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are made available in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing might be required in your location, and you may also desire to obtain certification, it’s essential that you choose an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the program you select readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are a variety of options available for HVAC instruction in a technical or trade school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, usually completed in just 6 months, although some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most 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 deliver more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a short description of each credential offered near Stonewall OK.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more exhaustive knowledge of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Generally taking 2 years to complete, many degrees incorporate 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 call for an Associate Degree, while others are a standard 4 year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Picking the right credential program will be based on what your long term career objectives are, in addition to the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One approach is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Stonewall OK, subsequently going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Schools
Attending an HVAC school online is one possibility in attaining your education and receiving a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. Many also sponsor 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 many Stonewall OK students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are more economical than other traditional options. Even driving expenses from Stonewall and study supplies can be lessened, helping to make schooling more budget-friendly. And numerous online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family commitments 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 For HVAC Certification Courses
When you have decided on the type of certificate or degree that you would like to attain, either online or on campus, you can start to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous HVAC technical schools in the Stonewall OK area and all over the USA to select from. That’s why it is essential to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school evaluations. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the first two factors you will take into consideration. Following are some additional ones that you will want to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC trade programs in the Stonewall OK area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Make sure that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you get a quality education, it may assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, a number of states require that the HVAC training course 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 course. 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 instruct the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which can mean more contacts for the school to utilize 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 trade, but additionally that it has the network of Stonewall OK HVAC employers to help grads acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC vocational programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational 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 reviewing have working partnerships with local Stonewall OK HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC specialist you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Stonewall OK HVAC contractor if they can provide some pointers. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Stonewall OK home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there might be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Talk with a few of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with some of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Stonewall OK, confirm that the programs you are comparing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.
Considering an HVAC School near Stonewall OK?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Stonewall Oklahoma area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Stonewall is a town in Pontotoc County, Oklahoma, United States. Named for Confederate General Stonewall Jackson, the settlement's post office was established in December, 1874. The population was 465 at the 2000 census.
Stonewall is located at 34°39′4″N 96°31′36″W / 34.65111°N 96.52667°W / 34.65111; -96.52667 (34.651099, -96.526655). According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 0.3 square miles (0.78 km2), all of it land.
As of the census of 2000, there were 465 people, 195 households, and 127 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,435.7 people per square mile (561.1/km²). There were 238 housing units at an average density of 734.8 per square mile (287.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 72.69% White, 5.59% African American, 16.34% Native American, 0.43% from other races, and 4.95% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.66% of the population.
Top HVAC Trade Schools Stonewall OK
Picking the right HVAC school course is an important beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating and air conditioning industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Top HVAC Trade Schools. However, as we have addressed in this post, you need to pick an HVAC trade school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC trade. Other features to search for are plenty 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 current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Additionally, ask about scheduling options and if night or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the appropriate 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 dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC contractor in Stonewall OK.
More Hot and Cool Locations in Oklahoma