How to Choose HVAC Degree Programs Redford MI

How to Find the Right Heating and Cooling Program near Redford Michigan

air conditioner condensers in Redford MINow that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning specialist, the next step is to find an HVAC vocational school near Redford MI. But with so many to choose from, how do you select the right one to get the training that you need? Some future students will make their choice based solely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Although these are significant considerations, they are not the only ones to take into account. A few 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 benchmarks will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we tackle how to pick an HVAC vocational school, let’s look at what a heating and a/c contractor does to become a licensed professional tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Technician

Redford MI HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians 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 every state and local municipality has its own criteria. Obtaining professional certification is not required, but a voluntary means for Redford MI HVAC specialists to establish that they are exceptionally skilled and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are multiple respected certifications within the industry that are offered. Below are a few of the important ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is achieved by passing a proficiency examination and can be acquired in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience in addition to passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience along with a passing result on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are offered in several specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Because licensing may be required in your area, and you may also desire to earn certification, it’s important that you pick an HVAC vocational school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the school you select prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Degree Courses

radiator heater in Redford MI homeThere are several alternatives offered for HVAC training in a vocational or trade school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the minimum period of time, typically achieved in just six months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree training programs may provide a competitive edge in the job market and will furnish more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a short description of each credential offered near Redford MI.

  • Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They provide a solid foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more exhaustive knowledge of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Normally requiring 2 years to finish, a number of degrees include an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more towards a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a standard 4 year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.

Choosing the ideal credential program will be based on what your long term career goals are, together with the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One possibility is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the trade in Redford MI, subsequently returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Schools Online

Redford MI student attending HVAC school onlineEnrolling in an HVAC program online is one possibility to obtaining your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. A number also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes can be participated in on the web, this approach may be a more convenient solution for many Redford MI students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are less costly than other traditional alternatives. Even commuting expenses from Redford and study materials may be lessened, helping to make schooling more economical. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family responsibilities have left you with little time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to accommodate school into your busy lifestyle.

Questions For HVAC Certification Courses

Questions to ask Redford MI HVAC training schoolsAfter you have chosen the type of degree or certificate that you wish to earn, either on campus or online, you can begin to narrow down your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are numerous HVAC technical schools in the Redford MI area and across the United States to choose from. That’s why it is essential to have a checklist of key qualifiers when making school assessments. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the initial 2 aspects you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you need to research before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Numerous HVAC trade schools in the Redford MI area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance HVAC technology. Make sure that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you obtain an excellent education, it can assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited in order 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 percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate might signify that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It could also indicate that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s also important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which may produce more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Redford MI HVAC employers to help graduates acquire apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Numerous HVAC training programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling contractors or trade unions. Check if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with local Redford MI HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make sure that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art 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 regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Redford MI HVAC contracting company if they can give you some tips. Also keep in mind that unless you can move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Redford MI home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be increased tuition fees 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 sit in on a few of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Speak to a few of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.

Flexible Scheduling.  Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Redford MI, confirm that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Considering an HVAC School near Redford MI?

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

Redford, Michigan

Springwells Township and Bucklin Township were formally organized and laid out by gubernatorial act on April 12, 1827. Due to postal regulations prohibiting two post offices having the same name, when a township was subdivided unique names had to be found. The Bucklin name was extinguished when it was split on October 29, 1829, along what is today Inkster Road into Nankin Township (west half) and Pekin Township (east half), named as a result of a wave of interest in China. In March 1833 Pekin was renamed Redford and the southern half became Dearborn Township on April 1. The name Redford was chosen because Indians and pioneers forded the River Rouge where the river runs through Redford.[4] "Rouge" is French for "red."

The township used to go all the way to Greenfield Road, but in the 1920s the eastern portions of the township were annexed by Detroit. This annexation ceased in 1926 when the township was given "charter" status by the Michigan legislature.[citation needed] In 1918 there was a post office named "Five Points" operating between 6 Mile Road and 7 Mile Road along the road of that name.[5]

Redford is the site of Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School, whose hiring practices spurred the 2012 Supreme Court Case Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Redford is also the site of the first Fretter's electronics store.[citation needed]

How to Choose HVAC Degree Programs Redford MI

Enrolling in the right HVAC school program is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating & cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding How to Choose HVAC Degree Programs. However, as we have discussed in this article, you need to select an HVAC technical school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC community. Other things to look for are ample practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to 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. Try to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. In addition, ask about scheduling choices and whether night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to ask about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the proper questions as we have detailed in our checklist for assessing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC professional in Redford MI.

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