HVAC Schooling Skandia MI

How to Select the Right HVAC Certification Training near Skandia Michigan

air conditioner condensers in Skandia MINow that you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next action is to choose an HVAC vocational school near Skandia MI. But with so many to choose from, how do you choose the ideal one to get the training that you need? A number of prospective students will make their decision based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Even though these are significant concerns, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Just some of the other details that you need to investigate are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and additional benchmarks will be discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we tackle how to choose an HVAC vocational school, let’s look at what a heating and a/c technician does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Technician

Skandia MI HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of central 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. Earning professional certification is not compulsory, but an optional means for Skandia MI HVAC technicians to prove that they are exceptionally proficient and experienced in their area of expertise. There are several respected certifications within the field that are available. Below are a few of the important ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is earned by passing a competency examination and may be acquired in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience together with passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience together with a passing score 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 work with refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Since licensing may be required in your area, and you may also intend to acquire certification, it’s imperative that you pick an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the program you choose preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Degree Schools

radiator heater in Skandia MI homeThere are a variety of alternatives offered for HVAC instruction in a technical or vocational school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, typically achieved in just six months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree programs may provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will furnish more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short description of each option offered near Skandia MI.

  • Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They provide a solid foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more detailed knowledge of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Typically requiring two years to finish, some degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more towards a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional four year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.

Selecting the ideal credential program will be dependent on what your long term career aspirations are, in addition to the time and money that you have to invest. One approach is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Skandia MI, eventually returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make certain to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Classes Online

Skandia MI student attending HVAC school onlineEnrolling in an HVAC school online is one alternative to obtaining your training and earning a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. Many also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes may be attended via the internet, this option may be a more practical solution for some Skandia MI students that are pressed for time. And some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even commuting expenses from Skandia and study supplies can be minimized, helping to make schooling more affordable. 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, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your active lifestyle.

Questions to Ask HVAC Training Programs

Questions to ask Skandia MI HVAC training schoolsWhen you have decided on the type of certificate or degree that you would like to earn, either on campus or online, you can start to limit your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Skandia MI area and across the Country to pick from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of important qualifiers when making school evaluations. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the initial two factors you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Numerous HVAC technical schools in the Skandia MI area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance HVAC technology. Make sure that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you receive a quality education, it can help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, some states mandate 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 looking at 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 suggest that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It might also mean that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which may produce more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Skandia MI HVAC employers to help graduates secure apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Numerous HVAC trade programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC companies or labor unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with local Skandia MI HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make sure that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC specialist you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Skandia MI HVAC contracting company if they can give you some pointers. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Skandia MI residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s important that you get as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Speak with some of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.

Flexible Scheduling.  Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Skandia MI, check that the programs you are comparing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.

Considering an HVAC School near Skandia MI?

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

Skandia Township, Michigan

Skandia Township is a civil township of Marquette County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 826 at the 2010 census. The township contains the Dukes Research Natural Area, a National Natural Landmark.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 72.1 square miles (187 km2), of which 72.0 square miles (186 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (0.08%) is water.

As of the census[1] of 2010, there were 826 people, 350 households, and 242 families residing in the township. The population density was 11.4 per square mile (4.4/km²). There were 478 housing units at an average density of 6.6 per square mile (2.6/km²). The racial makeup of the township was 93.5% White, 2.4% American Indian, 0.6% Asian, 0.1% Black or African American, 0% from other races, and 3.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.6% of the population.

HVAC Schooling Skandia MI

Finding the ideal HVAC training course is a crucial beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating & cooling trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Schooling. However, as we have covered in this post, you should choose an Heating and Cooling vocational school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC community. Other features to look for are lots of practical training and modern facilities. You need to go to each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Also, inquire about scheduling choices and whether or not night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial assistance and student loan options as well. If you ask the right questions as we have outlined in our guidelines for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC contractor in Skandia MI.

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