Category Archives: Tennessee

Training HVAC Smyrna TN

How to Find the Right Heating and Cooling Training Class near Smyrna Tennessee

air conditioner condensers in Smyrna TNNow that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and cooling professional, the next step is to locate an HVAC vocational school near Smyrna TN. But with so many to pick from, how do you decide on the best one to receive the training that you require? Many future students will make their choice based entirely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Although these are relevant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to take into account. A few 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 criteria will be covered in more detail later within this article. But before we tackle how to select an HVAC technical school, let’s look at what a heating and cooling specialist does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.

Becoming an HVAC Pro

Smyrna TN HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is commonly 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, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, although each state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Attaining professional certification is not required, but a voluntary way for Smyrna TN HVAC techs to prove that they are exceptionally skilled and experienced in their area of expertise. There are several respected certifications within the industry that are available. Following are a few of the important ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is achieved by passing a proficiency examination and may be acquired in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience in addition to passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience together with a passing result on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are provided in several specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is required for techs that handle refrigerants. There are three types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Since licensing may be mandated in your area, and you may also desire to obtain certification, it’s imperative that you choose an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the program you select prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.

HVAC Degree Schools

radiator heater in Smyrna TN homeThere are a number of choices available for HVAC training in a technical or trade school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the minimum period of time, often accomplished 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 relevant to the position. The degree training programs may provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will furnish more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short summary of each option offered near Smyrna TN.

  • Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They provide a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more comprehensive background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Typically taking 2 years to complete, a number of degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more for a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional 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.

Choosing the right credential program will be based on what your long term career aspirations are, together with the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One possibility is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Smyrna TN, later going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Online Courses

Smyrna TN student attending HVAC school onlineAttending an HVAC school online is one approach to obtaining your training and receiving a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will call for 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 can be participated in online, this option may be a more practical solution for many Smyrna TN students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are cheaper than other traditional options. Even travelling expenses from Smyrna and study materials may be minimized, helping to make schooling more affordable. And a large number of online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family commitments have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your hectic lifestyle.

Questions to Ask HVAC Schools

Questions to ask Smyrna TN HVAC training schoolsWhen you have selected the type of degree or certificate that you wish to obtain, either on campus or online, you can start to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many HVAC vocational schools in the Smyrna TN area and throughout the USA to select from. That’s why it is imperative to have a checklist of relevant qualifiers when making school comparisons. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the initial two aspects you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you should explore before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Numerous HVAC technical schools in the Smyrna TN area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Verify that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you get a superior education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, some states require that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to qualify 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 of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate may indicate that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It could also suggest that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s also important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which can mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Smyrna TN HVAC employers to assist grads secure apprenticeships or employment.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Most HVAC technical programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling companies or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with local Smyrna TN HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make sure that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC technician you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Smyrna TN HVAC contracting company if they can give you some suggestions. Also keep in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Smyrna TN residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s desirable that you receive as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Speak to some of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with a few of the instructors 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 schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Smyrna TN, check that the programs you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.

Considering an HVAC School near Smyrna TN?

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

Smyrna, Tennessee

Smyrna is a town in Rutherford County, Tennessee. Smyrna's population was 39,974 at the 2010 census and 43,063 in 2013.[6] In 2007, U.S. News & World Report listed Smyrna as one of the best places in the United States to retire.[7]

The town of Smyrna has its European-American roots in the early 19th century and began as an agrarian community. It was important during the Civil War because its railroad station lies between Nashville and Chattanooga. One of the major events of the war for the town involved the Confederate States hero Sam Davis, who, after being charged with spying, gave up his life instead of giving any information to the Union Army. He was captured November 20, 1863, and was hanged by Union forces on November 27 of that year.[8] The Sam Davis Plantation, located on 160 acres (0.65 km2) of well-maintained farmland, is the town's most important historical site.[9][10]

In 1941 during World War II, Sewart Air Force Base was established here and served as a B-17 Flying Fortress and B-24 advanced training facility. During the 1950s and 1960s, the military personnel and dependents totaled more than 10,000 persons stationed at the base. The base was scheduled for closing in 1971. Most of the property was divided among the State of Tennessee, Rutherford County, and the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority. On its portion, the state opened and operates a Tennessee Army National Guard base and the Tennessee Rehabilitation Center. Much of the additional land was developed as the Smyrna/Rutherford County Airport Authority in 1990.[10]

Training HVAC Smyrna TN

Selecting the right HVAC school program is a crucial first step toward a rewarding career in the heating & cooling industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Training HVAC. However, as we have addressed in this post, you should choose an Heating and Cooling vocational school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC trade. Other factors to search for are lots of hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should check out each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to tour the campus and talk 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, inquire about scheduling choices and whether or not night or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to ask about financial aid and student loan options too. If you ask the right questions as we have outlined in our checklist for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC professional in Smyrna TN.

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