Category Archives: Rhode Island

Heating and Air Conditioning School Cumberland RI

How to Find the Right Heating and Cooling Degree Program near Cumberland Rhode Island

air conditioner condensers in Cumberland RIOnce you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner specialist, the next step is to find an HVAC vocational school near Cumberland RI. But with so many to pick from, how do you choose the best one to get the training that you need? Some future students will make their decision based exclusively on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their home. While these are relevant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to take into account. Just some of the other factors that you need to look into 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 addressed in more detail later within this article. But before we discuss how to select an HVAC technical school, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c specialist does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Specialist

Cumberland RI HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the industry 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 professional tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, however each state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Attaining professional certification is not compulsory, but a voluntary means for Cumberland RI HVAC technicians to establish that they are highly qualified and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are many acknowledged certifications within the trade that are available. Below are some of the important ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is earned by passing a competency 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 examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience in addition to a passing result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are made available in various specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is required for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are three types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Since licensing could be mandated in your area, and you may also wish to obtain certification, it’s imperative that you pick an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the program you choose readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.

HVAC Certificate and Degree Courses

radiator heater in Cumberland RI homeThere are a variety of alternatives available for HVAC training in a trade or technical school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the minimum period of time, typically completed in as little as six months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree training programs might provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will deliver more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief summary of each option offered near Cumberland RI.

  • Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more comprehensive understanding of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Normally taking two years to finish, many degrees include an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more for a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional four year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.

Choosing the right credential program will be based on what your long term career goals are, in addition to the time and money that you have to invest. One approach is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Cumberland RI, later returning to obtain 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 Classes Online

Cumberland RI student attending HVAC school onlineChoosing an HVAC school online is one alternative to attaining your education and earning a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to complete practical training. A number also provide 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 online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution for many Cumberland RI students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are less costly than other traditional choices. Even driving expenses from Cumberland and study materials can be reduced, helping to make schooling more affordable. And numerous online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family commitments have left you with minimal time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to fit school into your active schedule.

What to Ask HVAC Certification Courses

Questions to ask Cumberland RI HVAC training schoolsWhen you have chosen the type of degree or certificate that you wish to earn, either online or on campus, you can begin to limit your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are many HVAC trade schools in the Cumberland RI area and all over the United States to select from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a list of relevant qualifiers when making school comparisons. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the first 2 aspects you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you should research before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  A large number of HVAC technical programs in the Cumberland RI area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Make sure that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you get an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, a number of states require that the HVAC training program 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 finish the course. A lower completion rate might signify that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It may also indicate that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which may result in more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Cumberland RI HVAC employers to assist students obtain apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Most HVAC technical programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC contractors or labor unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with local Cumberland RI HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make certain that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed 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, talk to the HVAC tech you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Cumberland RI HVAC contractor if they can give you some suggestions. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Cumberland RI home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s important that you get as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Talk with some of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to a few of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.

Flexible Scheduling.  Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Cumberland RI, check that the programs you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, 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 because of work, illness or family responsibilities.

Considering an HVAC School near Cumberland RI?

Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Cumberland Rhode Island area.  If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.

Cumberland, Rhode Island

Cumberland was originally settled as part of Wrentham, Massachusetts, which was purchased from the local Indigenous Americans by the Plymouth Colony. It was later transferred to Rhode Island as part of a long-running boundary dispute. The town was named in honor of Prince William, Duke of Cumberland.[2]

William Blackstone (also spelled William Blaxton in colonial times) was the first European to settle and live in Cumberland. (He was also the first European to have settled in Boston, but left when he and the newly arrived Puritans disagreed about religion.) He preached his brand of tolerant Christianity under an oak tree that became an inspiration to Christians worldwide.[4] He lived on a farm in the Lonsdale area of Cumberland, where he cultivated the first variety of American apples, the Yellow Sweeting. The site of his home is now occupied by the Ann & Hope mill.

The popular tourist destination "Nine Men's Misery" is a tomb found on the grounds of a former Trappist monastery (Abbey of Our Lady of the Valley), part of which was destroyed in a fire in 1950. The Trappists sold the monastery and grounds to the town and part of the building was converted into the Edward J. Hayden Library, aka Cumberland Public Library in 1976. This combined three smaller libraries into one.[citation needed]

Heating and Air Conditioning School Cumberland RI

Selecting the right HVAC training course is an important first step toward a gratifying career in the heating and cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Heating and Air Conditioning School. However, as we have covered in this article, you need to select an Heating and Cooling training program and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC field. Other things to look for are lots of practical training and modern facilities. You need to go to each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to explore the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. In addition, ask about scheduling choices and whether evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial aid and student loan options also. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have laid out in our guidelines for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC professional in Cumberland RI.

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