HVAC Training Schools Pontiac MI

How to Choose the Right Heating and Cooling Certification Training near Pontiac Michigan

air conditioner condensers in Pontiac MINow that you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioner specialist, the next action is to locate an HVAC technical school near Pontiac MI. But with so many to select from, how do you pick the ideal one to obtain the training that you require? Many potential students will make their decision based entirely on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their home. While these are necessary considerations, they are not the only ones to investigate. A few of the other details 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 other benchmarks will be discussed in more detail later within this article. But before we discuss how to pick an HVAC trade school, let’s look at what a heating and a/c specialist does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Technician

Pontiac MI HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, although every state and local municipality has its own criteria. Earning professional certification is not required, but an optional way for Pontiac MI HVAC techs to prove that they are highly proficient and accomplished in their area of specialization. There are many acknowledged certifications within the industry that are offered. Here are some of the important ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is earned by passing a competency examination and may be received in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience in addition to passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience in addition to a passing result on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are made available in various specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for techs that handle refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Since licensing might be required in your location, and you may also desire to earn certification, it’s imperative that you pick an HVAC vocational school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be working with refrigerants, make certain that the school you select preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Degree Schools

radiator heater in Pontiac MI homeThere 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. Obtaining a certificate will take the minimum amount of time, typically completed in as little as 6 months, however some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree programs might provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will deliver more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a short description of each credential offered near Pontiac MI.

  • Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They provide a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more extensive understanding of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically requiring two years to complete, some degrees include 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 require an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional four year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.

Selecting the right credential program will be based on what your long term career aspirations are, in addition to the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One option is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Pontiac 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 looking at about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Training Online

Pontiac MI student attending HVAC school onlineChoosing an HVAC program online is one approach to obtaining your education and earning a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will require 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 remainder of the classes can be attended online, this alternative may be a more practical solution for many Pontiac MI students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even travelling expenses from Pontiac and study materials may be lessened, helping to make schooling more affordable. And numerous online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family obligations have left you with little time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it easier to fit school into your active schedule.

What to Ask HVAC Trade Schools

Questions to ask Pontiac MI HVAC training schoolsWhen you have selected the type of degree or certificate that you want to acquire, either online or on campus, you can begin to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of HVAC technical schools in the Pontiac MI area and throughout the United States to select from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of important qualifiers when making school comparisons. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the first 2 aspects you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  A large number of HVAC technical schools in the Pontiac MI area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Make certain that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Additionally, a number of states require that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to be approved 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 suggest that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It could also suggest that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which may produce more contacts for the school to employ 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 Pontiac MI HVAC employers to assist grads acquire apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Numerous HVAC trade programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC contractors or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with local Pontiac MI HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Confirm 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, check with the HVAC technician you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Pontiac MI HVAC company if they can give you some tips. Also bear in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Pontiac MI residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s important that you receive as much individualized training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Speak to several of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to some of the teachers and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.

Flexible Scheduling.  Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Pontiac MI, check that the schools you are looking at provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Considering an HVAC School near Pontiac MI?

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

Pontiac, Michigan

Pontiac (/ˈpɒntiæk, ˈpɒni-/) is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan, located in Metro Detroit. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 59,515. It is the county seat of Oakland County[5] and about 12 miles (19 km) north and slightly west of the Detroit city limits.

Founded in 1818, Pontiac is notably the second European-American organized settlement in Michigan within close proximity to Detroit, second only to Dearborn. It was named after Pontiac, a war chief of the Ottawa people who had occupied the area before the European settlers. The city achieved its widest reputation for its General Motors automobile manufacturing plants of the 20th century, which were the basis of its economy and contributed to the wealth of the region. These included Fisher Body, Pontiac East Assembly (a.k.a. Truck & Coach/Bus), which manufactured GMC products, and the Pontiac Motor Division. In the city's heyday, this was the primary automobile assembly plant where the famed Pontiac cars were produced, a brand that was named after the city. (The Pontiac name was discontinued by General Motors in 2010.) The City of Pontiac also was home to Oakland Motor Car Company, which was acquired by General Motors in 1909.

In 1975, the city built the Pontiac Silverdome, the stadium that hosted the Detroit Lions of the National Football League from 1975 to 2001, when the team returned to Downtown Detroit at Ford Field. Super Bowl XVI was played at the Silverdome in 1982. After 2001, the stadium continued to be used for concerts and other events until it was demolished in 2017.

HVAC Training Schools Pontiac MI

Finding the right HVAC school program is a critical beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating & cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Training Schools. However, as we have addressed in this article, you need to pick an Heating and Cooling trade school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC profession. Other features to search for are sufficient hands-on training and modern facilities. You need to check out each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to explore the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. In addition, ask about scheduling options and whether or not night or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to ask about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the proper questions as we have detailed in our guidelines for assessing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC technician in Pontiac MI.

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