How to Choose the Right Heating and Cooling Program near Lakeville Michigan
Once you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioning specialist, the next step is to find an HVAC trade school near Lakeville MI. But with so many to pick from, how do you choose the ideal one to receive the training that you require? Many potential students will make their decision based entirely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Even though these are necessary factors to consider, they are not the only ones to take into account. Just some of the other details 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 criteria will be discussed in more detail later within this article. But before we examine how to choose an HVAC training program, let’s take a look at what a heating and air conditioning technician does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Tech
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are generally mandated to be licensed, however each state and local municipality has its own requirements. Attaining professional certification is not mandatory, but an alternative way for Lakeville MI HVAC technicians to demonstrate that they are exceptionally proficient and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are multiple acknowledged certifications within the field that are available. Below are some of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is attained by passing a competency exam and can 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 as well as passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience in addition to a passing score on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are offered in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for techs that work with refrigerants. There are three forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing may be mandated in your location, and you may also wish to acquire certification, it’s imperative that you choose an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be working with refrigerants, make sure that the program you select preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree Training Programs
There are several options available for HVAC instruction in a vocational or trade school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the least amount of time, usually achieved in as little as 6 months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree training programs might provide a competitive edge in the job market and will provide more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short summary of each option offered near Lakeville MI.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level residential or commercial HVAC specialists. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more exhaustive knowledge of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically taking two years to finish, a number of degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more towards a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional 4 year program. In addition to mastering 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 future career goals are, as well as the time and money that you have to invest. One possibility is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Lakeville MI, eventually going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Courses
Attending an HVAC school online is one option in obtaining your education and earning a degree or certificate. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete practical training. A number also sponsor 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 on the web, this alternative may be a more convenient solution for some Lakeville MI students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are more economical than other on campus choices. Even commuting expenses from Lakeville and study supplies may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family obligations have left you with minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it easier to accommodate school into your hectic schedule.
Questions For HVAC Training Programs
As soon as you have decided on the type of degree or certificate that you would like to acquire, either on campus or online, you can start to decrease your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of HVAC technical schools in the Lakeville MI area and throughout the Country to select from. That’s why it is imperative to have a checklist of key qualifications when making school evaluations. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the first 2 variables you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you need to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC trade programs in the Lakeville MI area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, such as HVAC technology. Make certain that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, some states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are reviewing 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 could indicate that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It may also indicate that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which can produce 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 an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Lakeville MI HVAC employers to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC trade programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling contractors or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Lakeville MI HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC technician you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Lakeville MI HVAC company if they can provide some suggestions. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Lakeville MI home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Talk with a few of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with a few of the teachers and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Lakeville MI, verify that the programs you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Considering an HVAC School near Lakeville MI?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Lakeville Michigan area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Lakeville /ˈleɪkvɪl/ is a city in Dakota County, Minnesota, United States. It is a suburb of Minneapolis-Saint Paul, approximately 20 miles (32 km) south of both downtown Minneapolis and downtown St. Paul. Lakeville is one of the fastest-growing cities in the Twin Cities area. The U.S. Census Bureau recorded its population at 55,954 in 2010.
Lakeville lies along Interstate Highway 35. Lakeville first became notable in 1910 when Marion Savage built the Dan Patch Railroad Line to service his Antlers Amusement Park. It later became a flourishing milling center; its agriculture industry is still in operation. While many of Lakeville's workers commute northward to Minneapolis, Saint Paul, and more central suburbs like Bloomington, Lakeville has had major industry since the 1960s—including the Airlake Industrial Park, which is served by Airlake Airport, a regional reliever airport.
The Sioux people ceded most of southern Minnesota in the Treaty of Traverse des Sioux in 1851. A military road was constructed between Fort Snelling and the southern forts.[which?] In 1855, J.J. Brackett, a Saint Paul lumber baron and mail carrier using the road, decided to plat a site halfway between Saint Paul and Saint Peter on a lake he named Prairie Lake. The village was established as Lakeville Township in 1858. Notoriety came when Colonel Marion Savage expanded his entertainment business into constructing Antlers Amusement Park in 1910. Riding on fame from his success with the Dan Patch racing horse and the popularity of the park, the lake was renamed Lake Marion, and the rail line servicing the park named the Dan Patch Railroad Line.
HVAC Service Training Lakeville MI
Selecting the ideal HVAC training program is a critical first step toward a rewarding career in the heating and air conditioning industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Service Training. However, as we have addressed in this post, you need to select 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 things to look for are ample hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should visit each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling options and whether or not evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial assistance and student loan options as well. If you ask the proper questions as we have laid out in our guidelines for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC professional in Lakeville MI.
More Hot and Cool Locations in Michigan
Business Results 1 - 10 of 314