How to Select the Right Heating and Cooling Certification Class near Red House West Virginia
Now that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and cooling technician, the next step is to look for an HVAC trade school near Red House WV. But with so many to choose from, how do you choose the ideal one to obtain the training that you need? A number of prospective students will make their choice based solely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their home. While these are important considerations, they are not the only ones to take into account. Some of the other factors 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 additional benchmarks will be discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we explore how to pick an HVAC technical school, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning technician does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Pro
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, although each state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Obtaining professional certification is not required, but an optional means for Red House WV HVAC technicians to prove that they are highly qualified and experienced in their area of specialization. There are several acknowledged certifications within the field that are available. Here are a few of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is earned by passing a competency examination 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 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 score on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are offered in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing might be required in your area, and you may also desire to acquire certification, it’s important that you choose an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be handling refrigerants, make certain that the program you decide on prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are several choices offered 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 minimum amount of time, usually achieved in as little as six months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree training programs may provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will deliver more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short description of each option offered near Red House WV.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They provide a strong foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more detailed background of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually taking 2 years to complete, some degrees include 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 standard 4 year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Choosing the right credential program will be dependent on what your future career objectives are, as well as the time and money that you have to commit. One option is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Red House WV, eventually returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Schools
Choosing an HVAC program online is one option in getting your education and receiving a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. Many also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be participated in online, this approach may be a more convenient solution for many Red House WV students that are pressed for time. And some online degree programs are less expensive than other traditional options. Even commuting expenses from Red House and study supplies can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous 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, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your hectic schedule.
Questions For HVAC Training Classes
Once you have chosen the type of degree or certificate that you wish to attain, either online or on campus, you can begin to limit your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many HVAC technical schools in the Red House WV area and all over the USA to pick from. That’s why it is imperative to have a checklist of important qualifications when making school assessments. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the first two variables you will take into consideration. Following are some additional ones that you need to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC vocational programs in the Red House WV area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Make sure that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you get a quality education, it can assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, many states require that the HVAC training course be accredited for it 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 complete the program. A lower completion rate might signify that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It may also signify that the teachers were not qualified 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 more extensive list of graduates, which may mean more contacts for the school to utilize 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 also that it has the network of Red House WV HVAC employers to help students obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC vocational programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC companies or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local Red House WV HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC technician you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Red House WV HVAC contracting company if they can give you some pointers. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Red House WV home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak to several of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Red House WV, check that the programs you are comparing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Considering an HVAC School near Red House WV?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Red House West Virginia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Red House, West Virginia
Red House is a small unincorporated community located in Putnam County in the U.S. state of West Virginia. The community is divided into two distinct areas: Red House (Proper) which follows the Kanawha River Valley along WV 62, and Red House Hill along WV 34 which is in the hills just off the Kanawha River Valley. The Red House Post Office is still in service and was founded on September 26, 1840. Some say the town was named for a red house which stood at the town site, while others believe nearby red rock formations account for the name.
The Red House Hill area is primarily a mix of hilly 20 to 100 acres (8.1 to 40.5 hectares) farms (including cattle, horses, limited tobacco production, corn, etc.), and small land plots whose owners are commuters to the Charleston and Huntington metropolitan and surrounding areas.
Due to the extremely winding mountain terrain, WV 34 is a very dangerous road for a 21-mile stretch from its junction with WV 62 to Kenna, where it intersects with County Route 21, which provides access to I-77. Because of the winding nature of WV 34 and the proximity to the Putnam County line, the road actually passes through Putnam County, Kanawha County and finally Jackson County, several times along the 21 mile length.
HVAC Degrees Red House WV
Finding the ideal HVAC training program is a critical first step toward a rewarding career in the heating & cooling industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Degrees. However, as we have discussed in this post, you should choose an Heating and Cooling technical school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC community. Other factors to look for are ample practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to check out each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling options and if evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to ask about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the right questions as we have laid out in our checklist for assessing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC contractor in Red House WV.
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