How to Choose the Right HVAC Certification Training near South Lyon Michigan
Once you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioning professional, the next action is to choose an HVAC vocational school near South Lyon MI. But with so many to pick from, how do you pick the best one to receive the training that you need? A number of future students will make their selection based entirely on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their home. While these are important concerns, 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 benchmarks will be addressed in more detail later in this article. But before we explore how to select an HVAC training program, let’s look at what a heating and cooling specialist does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Technician
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are generally mandated to be licensed, however each state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Attaining professional certification is not required, but a voluntary way for South Lyon MI HVAC techs to prove that they are exceptionally proficient and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are several recognized certifications within the industry that are offered. Below are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is attained by passing a competency examination and may be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience together with passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience in addition to a passing score on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are offered in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are three forms of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing could be required in your location, and you may also desire to earn certification, it’s essential that you choose an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the program you select readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree Classes
There are several options available for HVAC training in a vocational or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, often achieved in just 6 months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will provide more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief explanation of each option offered near South Lyon MI.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more detailed background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Usually requiring two years to finish, many degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more for a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional 4 year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Selecting the right credential program will be based on what your long term career aspirations are, as well as the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One possibility is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in South Lyon MI, later going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make certain to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Schools
Attending an HVAC program online is one approach to obtaining your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete hands on training. Some also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be attended on the web, this option may be a more practical solution for many South Lyon MI students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even commuting expenses from South Lyon and study materials may be minimized, helping to make schooling more affordable. And numerous online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job 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 active schedule.
What to Ask HVAC Schools
When you have decided on the type of degree or certificate that you want to obtain, either online or on campus, you can start to narrow down your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are many HVAC trade schools in the South Lyon MI area and all over the Country to choose from. That’s why it is essential to have a checklist of relevant qualifiers when making school assessments. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the initial 2 factors you will take into consideration. Following are some additional ones that you will want to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC technical schools in the South Lyon MI area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Make certain that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, some 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 low completion rate could indicate that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It might also signify that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which can produce more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of South Lyon MI HVAC employers to assist graduates acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC technical programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling contractors or trade unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local South Lyon MI HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to build 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, consult with the HVAC tech you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local South Lyon MI HVAC company if they can provide some suggestions. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your South Lyon MI residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much individualized training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Speak with several of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to a few of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near South Lyon MI, check that the programs you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Considering an HVAC School near South Lyon MI?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the South Lyon Michigan area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
South Lyon, Michigan
South Lyon is a city in Southwestern Oakland County in the U.S. state of Michigan, in Metro Detroit. The population was 11,327 at the 2010 census. The city is part of the South Lyon-Howell-Brighton Urban Area, which had a population of 106,139 according to the 2000 census. South Lyon is located in Oakland County's Lyon Township, near the Livingston County and Washtenaw County lines. The city is 19 miles (31 km) north of Ann Arbor, 45 miles (72 km) west of Detroit and 58 miles (93 km) east of Lansing.
South Lyon was founded in 1832 and was called Thompson's Corners. In the same year, the surrounding township was named Lyon for Lucius Lyon, a member of the State Legislature. The village was given a name for its location within the township. South Lyon was incorporated as a village in 1873 and as a city in 1930
Three rail lines once passed through South Lyon. In the summer of 1871, the Detroit, Lansing and Northern was built west from Plymouth on the way to Lansing and Ionia. In 1880, the predessor to the Ann Arbor Railroad built a line into town from Ann Arbor. The goal of this line was to continue on towards Pontiac but that did not occur under the original owners. The line was pulled up around 1890. In 1883 the Grand Trunk built their Jackson Branch from Pontiac to Jackson, which crossed the Pere Marquette at South Lyon. The GTW branch line continued to serve South Lyon until the early 1980s. The branch line is now a paved bicycle trail through town and Reynold Sweet Parkway follows the original route. Today, South Lyon hosts the CSX main line from Detroit to Grand Rapids, and a passing track is located there.
HVAC Classes Online South Lyon MI
Finding the ideal HVAC training course is a critical beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating and cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Classes Online. However, as we have covered in this article, you should choose an HVAC technical school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC field. Other things to look for are ample hands-on training and modern facilities. You should go to each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Additionally, ask about scheduling choices and if night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial aid and student loan options also. If you ask the proper questions as we have laid out in our checklist for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC specialist in South Lyon MI.
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