Associates Degree in HVAC Long Lake MN

How to Select the Right HVAC Degree Program near Long Lake Minnesota

air conditioner condensers in Long Lake MNNow that you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioning specialist, the next action is to choose an HVAC vocational school near Long Lake MN. But with so many to choose from, how do you pick the best one to receive the training that you need? A number of future students will make their decision based entirely on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their home. While these are significant concerns, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Just some 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. Those and additional criteria will be addressed in more detail later in this article. But before we explore how to pick an HVAC training program, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning technician does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.

Becoming an HVAC Specialist

Long Lake MN HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, though each state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Earning professional certification is not compulsory, but an alternative means for Long Lake MN HVAC specialists to prove that they are highly skilled and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are a number of respected certifications within the trade that are available. Here are some of the important ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is attained by passing a competency examination and can be received in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience together with passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience in addition to a passing result on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are made available in various specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is required for technicians that work with refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Since licensing could be required in your location, and you may also wish to earn certification, it’s important that you enroll in an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be handling refrigerants, make sure that the school you pick prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Certificate and Degree Training Programs

radiator heater in Long Lake MN homeThere are several options available for HVAC instruction in a technical or vocational school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the lesser period of time, usually completed in as little as six months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs may provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will provide more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief description of each credential offered near Long Lake MN.

  • Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more extensive knowledge of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually requiring two years to complete, some degrees feature 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 standard 4 year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.

Picking the right credential program will be based on what your long term career goals are, in addition to the time and money that you have to invest. One possibility is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Long Lake MN, subsequently returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Schools Online

Long Lake MN student attending HVAC school onlineChoosing an HVAC program online is one possibility in getting your education and receiving a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in 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 participated in via the internet, this alternative may be a more convenient solution for many Long Lake MN students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are cheaper than other traditional alternatives. Even driving expenses from Long Lake and study supplies may be reduced, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And many online schools 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 more convenient to accommodate school into your active schedule.

Questions For HVAC Certification Classes

Questions to ask Long Lake MN HVAC training schoolsWhen you have picked the type of certificate or degree that you want to attain, either online or on campus, you can start to limit your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are a large number of HVAC technical schools in the Long Lake MN area and all over the USA to choose from. That’s why it is essential to have a list of key qualifications when making school assessments. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the first 2 aspects you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Many HVAC technical programs in the Long Lake MN area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Confirm that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you get a superior education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, a number of states require that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the HVAC 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 course. A low completion rate might indicate that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It might also indicate that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which may produce more contacts for the school to use 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 trade, but also that it has the network of Long Lake MN HVAC employers to assist graduates secure apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Most HVAC training programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with local Long Lake MN HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Confirm that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC technician you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Long Lake MN HVAC contracting company if they can give you some tips. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Long Lake MN residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s desirable that you receive as much individualized training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Speak to some of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.

Flexible Scheduling.  Verify 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 Long Lake MN, check that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.

Considering an HVAC School near Long Lake MN?

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

Long Lake, Minnesota

The first settlers arrived in Long Lake in early spring, 1855. This early contact in Long Lake did not result in settlement but rather this group of Nova Scotians came down Watertown Road, walked to the lake, looked across the lake and settled on the north side of the lake in what is now Orono. The first permanent settlement was established in May 1855 with the arrival of the Flemings and the George Knettles from Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. This first settlement was named Cumberland Town and consisted of a saw mill, general store and schoolhouse. The platted area Cumberland Addition can trace its roots to this early period. The Knettle's house became a favorite stop for travelers between 1855 and 1860 and is the location of the first public religious service in the community. The first post office was established in 1856, which was named Tamarack in recognition of the Tamarack swamps in the western part of the country.

A significant aspect of the early settlement of Long Lake was the relationship between the Dakota, the Chippewa and the settlers. The origin of the Union Cemetery is found in this tripartite relationship. The area where the cemetery is located was called Teepee Hill in these early years. It served as an encampment for the Chippewa in 1859–1860. The Dakota were informed of the location of the Chippewa through two settlers in the area. This information prompted many of the Dakota to be in and around Long Lake. Although there was no fighting and the actual intentions of the Dakota are not clear, their presence in the area forced the Chippewa to vacate Teepee Hill. This area was acquired by Bradford Wakefield, most probably through squatter's rights, and purchased by Union Cemetery Association in 1861. There was concern among the settlers that the Chippewa would return, so by establishing a cemetery (hallowed ground) it was unlikely that any Native American people would choose that site as an encampment, thus assuring the safety of the surrounding area.

During the middle to late 19th century, Long Lake developed like many other towns. A sawmill was erected (1866), the railroad reached Long Lake (1868), a school district was organized (1869), a general store was started (1870), the Freethinkers Hall was organized (1874), a flour mill was established (1875), and a hotel was added (1875). These institutions were all-important elements to early town development in the Upper Midwest.

Associates Degree in HVAC Long Lake MN

Picking the right HVAC training program is an important first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating and cooling industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Associates Degree in HVAC. However, as we have discussed in this article, you need to choose an HVAC school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC profession. Other features to look for are ample hands-on training and modern facilities. You need to visit 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 instruction and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling options and whether evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the proper questions as we have outlined in our checklist for comparing 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 ultimately become a licensed HVAC contractor in Long Lake MN.

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