Becoming an HVAC Technician Onondaga MI

How to Select the Right Heating and Cooling Training Program near Onondaga Michigan

air conditioner condensers in Onondaga MIOnce you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning specialist, the next action is to locate an HVAC vocational school near Onondaga MI. But with so many to choose from, how do you decide on the ideal one to obtain the training that you need? A number of potential students will make their selection based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Although these are significant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to evaluate. A few of the other things 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. These and additional criteria will be discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we examine how to pick an HVAC vocational school, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c specialist does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Specialist

Onondaga MI HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, however every state and local municipality has its own criteria. Attaining professional certification is not compulsory, but a voluntary way for Onondaga MI HVAC techs to prove that they are highly proficient and accomplished in their area of specialization. There are a number of acknowledged certifications within the trade that are available. Here 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 proficiency exam and may be acquired in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience in addition to passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience as well as a passing score on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in multiple specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for technicians that work with 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 mandated in your location, and you may also intend to earn certification, it’s essential that you enroll in an HVAC vocational school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be handling refrigerants, make certain that the school you pick readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Certificate and Degree Courses

radiator heater in Onondaga MI homeThere are several alternatives available for HVAC instruction in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the least amount of time, typically accomplished in as little as 6 months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree programs might provide a competitive edge in the job market and will deliver more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief explanation of each option offered near Onondaga MI.

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

Picking the appropriate credential program will be based on what your long term career goals are, along with the time and money that you have to commit. One possibility is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the trade in Onondaga MI, subsequently going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make certain to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Training Online

Onondaga MI student attending HVAC school onlineAttending an HVAC school online is one possibility in obtaining your training and earning a degree or certificate. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. Some also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes can be attended via the internet, this alternative may be a more practical solution for some Onondaga MI students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are less expensive than other traditional choices. Even driving expenses from Onondaga and study supplies can be reduced, helping to make schooling more affordable. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family commitments have left you with little time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your busy schedule.

Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Courses

Questions to ask Onondaga MI HVAC training schoolsWhen you have decided on the type of certificate or degree that you would like to acquire, either online or on campus, you can start to limit your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are numerous HVAC technical schools in the Onondaga MI area and all over the USA to select from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a list of key qualifications when making school comparisons. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the initial two aspects you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Onondaga MI area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, 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 approved accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you get a superior education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited for it 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 finish the course. A low completion rate may signify that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It might also mean that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s also important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which can result in more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Onondaga MI HVAC employers to assist grads secure apprenticeships or employment.

Apprenticeship Programs.  A large number of HVAC training programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC companies or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with local Onondaga MI HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Confirm that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC specialist you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Onondaga MI HVAC company if they can provide some suggestions. Also keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Onondaga MI home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s desirable that you receive as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Speak with some of the students and get their comments regarding 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.  Verify 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 at night or on weekends near Onondaga MI, confirm that the programs you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.

Considering an HVAC School near Onondaga MI?

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

Onondaga, Michigan

Onondaga is an unincorporated community in Onondaga Township in the southwestern corner of Ingham County in the U.S. state of Michigan. It is situated on the Grand River at 42°26′39″N 84°33′44″W / 42.44417°N 84.56222°W / 42.44417; -84.56222Coordinates: 42°26′39″N 84°33′44″W / 42.44417°N 84.56222°W / 42.44417; -84.56222[1] approximately 20 miles south of Lansing and approximately 15 miles northwest of Jackson.

European-American settlement began in the mid-19th century, with most migrants coming from New England and New York. The township and community were named after the Iroquois nation of Onondaga, historically based in New York. A post office was first established at the place about 1844, with Perez Howland as the first postmaster. In 1847 Perez Howland built a grocery. A post office was operated from the grocery. Cyrus Baldwin subsequently purchased the building and converted it into the "Onondaga Hotel".

The first store of any consequence in the place was established in 1867 by John Sherman. The European-American plat of the village of Onondaga was laid out by John Sherman and others, on July 13, 1870. Several buildings had previously been erected, but the place dates its permanent growth from this time.

Becoming an HVAC Technician Onondaga MI

Selecting the right HVAC training course is a critical first step toward a rewarding career in the heating and cooling industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Becoming an HVAC Technician. However, as we have addressed in this article, you should choose an Heating and Cooling school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC profession. Other factors to look for are ample practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should visit each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to explore the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. In addition, inquire 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 appropriate questions as we have outlined in our guidelines for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC specialist in Onondaga MI.

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