How to Enroll In the Right Heating and Cooling School near Springfield Tennessee
Now that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and cooling technician, the next action is to choose an HVAC technical school near Springfield TN. But with so many to pick from, how do you decide on the best one to get the training that you need? Many potential students will make their selection based exclusively on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Even though these are relevant concerns, they are not the only ones to take into account. Just some of the other things that you need to research are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and other benchmarks will be discussed in more detail later within this article. But before we examine 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 skilled tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Pro
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, although every state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Obtaining professional certification is not required, but an alternative way for Springfield TN HVAC technicians to demonstrate that they are highly skilled and experienced in their area of expertise. There are a number of recognized certifications within the industry that are offered. Here are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is attained by passing a competency exam and may be received in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience in addition to passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience as well as a passing score on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing could be mandated in your location, and you may also desire to acquire certification, it’s essential that you select an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be handling refrigerants, make sure that the school you choose readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Courses
There are a variety of alternatives available for HVAC training in a vocational or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, typically achieved in as little as six months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree programs may provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will provide more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief description of each credential offered near Springfield TN.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning residential or commercial HVAC specialists. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more exhaustive knowledge of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Normally taking 2 years to finish, a number of 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 as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional four 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.
Choosing the right credential program will be based on what your future career aspirations are, in addition to the time and money that you have to commit. One possibility is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Springfield TN, subsequently returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Classes
Enrolling in an HVAC school online is one alternative in obtaining your education and earning a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. Many also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes may be attended via the internet, this approach may be a more accessible solution for many Springfield TN students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even commuting expenses from Springfield and study supplies may be minimized, helping to make schooling more economical. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family responsibilities have left you with minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to fit school into your busy schedule.
What to Ask HVAC Training Classes
As soon as you have selected the type of certificate or degree that you would like to obtain, either online or on campus, you can begin to limit your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of HVAC technical schools in the Springfield TN area and all over the USA to pick from. That’s why it is very important to have a checklist of key qualifications when making school assessments. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the first 2 factors you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you need to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC vocational programs in the Springfield TN area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance HVAC technology. Confirm that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you get a superior education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited programs. Additionally, some states require that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate could suggest that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It may also mean that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive 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 can not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Springfield TN HVAC employers to assist grads obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC training programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC companies or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with local Springfield TN HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC tech you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Springfield TN HVAC company if they can give you some tips. Also keep in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Springfield TN home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much individualized training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Speak with several of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to a few of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Springfield TN, check that the programs you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.
Considering an HVAC School near Springfield TN?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Springfield Tennessee area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Springfield is a city in and the county seat of Robertson County, which is located in Middle Tennessee on the northern border of the state. The population was 16,478 at the 2010 census and 16,659 in 2013.
As of the census of 2000, there were 14,329 people, 5,453 households, and 3,778 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,173.9 people per square mile (453.1/km²). There were 5,836 housing units at an average density of 478.1 per square mile (184.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 70.56% White, 25.91% African American, 0.37% Native American, 0.56% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.76% from other races, and 0.81% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.94% of the population.
There were 5,453 households out of which 31.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.7% were married couples living together, 18.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.7% were non-families. 25.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.00.
Air Conditioner Training Course Springfield TN
Finding the right HVAC school course is an important first step toward a rewarding career in the heating and cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Air Conditioner Training Course. However, as we have discussed in this article, you should pick an Heating and Cooling technical school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC community. Other features to look for are lots of hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to check out each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to inspect 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, inquire about scheduling options and whether or not night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial aid and student loan options too. If you ask the right questions as we have detailed in our checklist for assessing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC specialist in Springfield TN.
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