Heating and Air Conditioning Training Imlay City MI

How to Find the Right HVAC Certification Class near Imlay City Michigan

air conditioner condensers in Imlay City MINow that you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioning specialist, the next step is to find an HVAC trade school near Imlay City MI. But with so many to choose from, how do you pick the ideal one to get the training that you require? Many potential students will make their selection based entirely on the cost 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. Some of the other things that you need to research are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and other benchmarks will be covered in more detail later within this article. But before we discuss how to select an HVAC technical school, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning contractor does to become a licensed professional tradesman.

Becoming an HVAC Tech

Imlay City MI HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are generally required to be licensed, however each state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Attaining professional certification is not compulsory, but an alternative way for Imlay City MI HVAC techs to establish that they are highly skilled and experienced in their area of specialization. There are multiple recognized certifications within the industry that are available. Here are some of the significant ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is attained by passing a proficiency examination and can be earned in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience together with passing a comprehensive exam 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 exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in multiple specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are three forms of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Because licensing could be required in your area, and you may also wish to acquire certification, it’s essential that you pick an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the school you choose readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Degree Training Programs

radiator heater in Imlay City MI homeThere are several options offered for HVAC instruction in a vocational or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the minimum amount of time, typically completed in just 6 months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs may provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will furnish more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short summary of each option offered near Imlay City MI.

  • Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more exhaustive background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Typically taking 2 years to complete, many degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more for a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a standard four year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.

Picking the right credential program will be dependent on what your long term career goals are, along with the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One possibility is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Imlay City MI, later returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make certain to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Schools Online

Imlay City MI student attending HVAC school onlineChoosing an HVAC school online is one option in obtaining your education and receiving a degree or certificate. Almost 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 instead of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes can be attended via the internet, this option may be a more convenient solution for some Imlay City MI students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even travelling expenses from Imlay City and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And numerous online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family responsibilities have left you with little time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it less complicated to fit school into your active schedule.

Questions to Ask HVAC Schools

Questions to ask Imlay City MI HVAC training schoolsOnce you have chosen the type of certificate or degree that you desire to obtain, either online or on campus, you can begin to decrease your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are many HVAC trade schools in the Imlay City MI area and throughout the USA to select from. That’s why it is essential to have a list of relevant qualifiers when making school evaluations. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the first two variables you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you need to research before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Numerous HVAC trade schools in the Imlay City MI area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Make sure that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, some states require that the HVAC training program 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 of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate could signify that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It might also indicate that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which may result in more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Imlay City MI HVAC employers to help graduates acquire apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Many HVAC vocational programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling contractors or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with local Imlay City MI HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make sure 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 in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC tech you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Imlay City MI HVAC company if they can give you some pointers. Also bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Imlay City MI residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s important that you get as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Talk with some of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to some of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.

Flexible Scheduling.  Make sure that the class schedules for the programs 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 Imlay City MI, verify that the programs you are comparing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.

Considering an HVAC School near Imlay City MI?

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

Imlay City, Michigan

Imlay City was founded on April 1, 1850 by Charles Palmer, the chief engineer of the Port Huron and Lake Michigan Railroad, who bought 240 acres of land along the railroad's route at a location Palmer anticipated would be a likely produce center between the towns of Capac and Lapeer.[6] Palmer named the city for the Connecticut-based capitalist William H. Imlay, who had invested heavily in the region after moving there in 1828.[6] Within a year and a half, the newly established city had attracted 500 residents with over 120 buildings including two hotels, 20 stores, a sawmill, and a school.[7]

In 1914, the town started building streetcar lines—a form of public transportation that was usually reserved for large cities. In April 1970, Imlay City celebrated its 100th birthday, and the residents voted to changed Imlay City from a village to a home rule city by a two to one margin.[6] The construction of Interstate 69 in the 1980s connected Imlay City with Flint, Port Huron, and Canada, leading to significant economic growth to serve the interstate travelers.

Imlay City has five public schools, which are all part of Imlay City Community Schools, and one private school. The public schools include Weston Elementary for Kindergarten through 2nd grade, Borland Elementary for 3rd through 5th grade, Imlay City Middle School for 6th grade through 8th grade, and Imlay City High School for 9th through 12th grade. There is also Venture High School, an alternative school for students who do not succeed at the traditional high school. The private school in Imlay City is the Imlay City Christian School, which is a non-denominational, private Christian school located just outside town; it was established in 1952 by parents of the local area.

Heating and Air Conditioning Training Imlay City MI

Enrolling in the right HVAC training program is an important beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating and cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Heating and Air Conditioning Training. However, as we have discussed 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 community. Other features to look for are sufficient hands-on training and modern facilities. You should visit each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to explore the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Additionally, inquire about scheduling choices and whether evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options as well. If you ask the right questions as we have laid out in our guidelines for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC contractor in Imlay City MI.

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