Air Conditioning and Heating School Martin MI

How to Choose the Right HVAC College near Martin Michigan

air conditioner condensers in Martin MIOnce you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning professional, the next action is to find an HVAC vocational school near Martin MI. But with so many to choose from, how do you pick the ideal one to get the training that you need? A number of future students will make their choice based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Even though these are relevant considerations, they are not the only ones to take into account. Just some 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. These and additional criteria will be addressed 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 air conditioning professional does to become a licensed professional tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Specialist

Martin MI HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, however each state and local municipality has its own requirements. Acquiring professional certification is not compulsory, but an optional way for Martin MI HVAC techs to establish that they are highly proficient and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are several respected certifications within the industry that are offered. Following are a few of the significant ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is earned by passing a competency examination and may be earned in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience together with passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience as well as a passing result on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in several specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is required for specialists 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 could be required in your location, and you may also wish to obtain certification, it’s important that you select an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the school you select preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Degree and Certificate Courses

radiator heater in Martin MI homeThere are several choices available for HVAC training in a technical or vocational school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the minimum amount of time, usually accomplished in as little as six months, though some programs 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 programs might provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will furnish more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a short description of each credential offered near Martin MI.

  • Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They provide a solid foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more exhaustive knowledge of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Normally taking 2 years to finish, some degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more for 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 mastering how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.

Choosing the right credential program will be based on what your future career goals are, along with the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One option is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Martin MI, later going back to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, be sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Training Online

Martin MI student attending HVAC school onlineAttending an HVAC school online is one approach to obtaining your training and earning a certificate or degree. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete 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 attended online, this alternative may be a more practical solution for many Martin MI students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even driving expenses from Martin and study supplies may be lessened, helping to make schooling more budget-friendly. And many online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family obligations have left you with minimal time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your busy lifestyle.

Questions For HVAC Training Programs

Questions to ask Martin MI HVAC training schoolsAfter you have chosen the type of certificate or degree that you desire to attain, either online or on campus, you can start to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are many HVAC technical schools in the Martin MI area and all over the United States to select from. That’s why it is very important to have a checklist of important qualifications when making school assessments. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the first two factors you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you should research before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Many HVAC vocational schools in the Martin MI area have acquired 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. Confirm that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain a superior education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, a number of states require that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate might signify that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It may also mean that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which can 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 a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Martin MI HVAC employers to assist graduates secure apprenticeships or employment.

Apprenticeship Programs.  A large number of HVAC vocational programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC businesses or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with local Martin MI HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Confirm that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC specialist you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Martin MI HVAC contractor if they can give you some pointers. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Martin MI residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there might be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s desirable that you get as much personalized training 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 witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Talk with several of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.

Flexible Scheduling.  Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Martin MI, check that the programs you are comparing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.

Considering an HVAC School near Martin MI?

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

Martin, Michigan

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 410 people, 162 households, and 109 families residing in the village. The population density was 525.6 inhabitants per square mile (202.9/km2). There were 176 housing units at an average density of 225.6 per square mile (87.1/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 92.9% White, 1.0% African American, 2.9% from other races, and 3.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.9% of the population.

There were 162 households of which 31.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.5% were married couples living together, 10.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 32.7% were non-families. 27.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.06.

The median age in the village was 37.8 years. 24.9% of residents were under the age of 18; 11% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 23.8% were from 25 to 44; 26.9% were from 45 to 64; and 13.4% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the village was 50.7% male and 49.3% female.

Air Conditioning and Heating School Martin MI

Picking the right HVAC school program is an important first step toward a rewarding career in the heating & cooling industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Air Conditioning and Heating School. However, as we have addressed in this article, you should pick an HVAC school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC community. Other factors to search for are ample hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should go to each of the schools in person 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 instruction and the interaction between them. In addition, ask about scheduling choices and whether or not night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have outlined in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC technician in Martin MI.

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