Schools for Heating and Air Conditioning Montgomery MN

How to Find the Right Heating and Cooling College near Montgomery Minnesota

air conditioner condensers in Montgomery MNNow that you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioner professional, the next step is to choose an HVAC trade school near Montgomery MN. But with so many to pick from, how do you pick the ideal one to receive the training that you need? Some future students will make their selection based solely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Even though these are necessary factors to consider, they are not the only ones to evaluate. A few of the other factors 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 additional benchmarks will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we discuss how to choose an HVAC vocational school, let’s look at what a heating and cooling professional does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Tech

Montgomery MN HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are generally mandated to be licensed, however each state and local municipality has its own criteria. Attaining professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary way for Montgomery MN HVAC technicians to demonstrate that they are exceptionally proficient and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are a number of acknowledged certifications within the industry that are available. Below are a few 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 exam and may be received in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of professional experience together with passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience as well as a passing score on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in various specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for technicians 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 mandated in your area, and you may also intend to obtain certification, it’s important that you pick an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be working with refrigerants, make certain that the program you pick preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Degree Courses

radiator heater in Montgomery MN homeThere are a variety of options available for HVAC training in a technical or vocational school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the minimum amount of time, typically accomplished in as little as 6 months, although some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree training programs may provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will furnish more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a short description of each credential offered near Montgomery MN.

  • Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They provide a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more exhaustive understanding of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically taking 2 years to finish, many degrees include an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more for a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional four year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.

Selecting the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your long term career objectives are, together with the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One approach is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Montgomery MN, later going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make certain to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Classes Online

Montgomery MN student attending HVAC school onlineAttending an HVAC program online is one approach to obtaining your education and earning a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. Many also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes may be participated in on the web, this option may be a more convenient solution for many Montgomery MN students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are less expensive than other traditional options. Even travelling expenses from Montgomery 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 little 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 Trade Schools

Questions to ask Montgomery MN HVAC training schoolsOnce you have chosen the type of degree or certificate that you would like to obtain, either online or on campus, you can begin to narrow down your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are many HVAC trade schools in the Montgomery MN area and throughout the United States to choose from. That’s why it is imperative to have a checklist of important qualifiers when making school evaluations. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the first 2 variables you will take into consideration. Following are some additional ones that you will want to research before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  A large number of HVAC trade programs in the Montgomery MN area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Make certain that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, it may assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, many states require that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate could signify that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It may also indicate that the instructors were not competent 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 more extensive directory of alumni, which may result in 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 an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Montgomery MN HVAC employers to help graduates acquire apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Many HVAC training programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with local Montgomery MN HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make certain that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC tech you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Montgomery MN HVAC contracting company if they can provide some suggestions. Also keep in mind that unless you can move, the school must be within driving distance of your Montgomery MN home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in 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 desirable that you receive as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Speak with a few of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with a few of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.

Flexible Scheduling.  Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Montgomery MN, confirm that the programs you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.

Considering an HVAC School near Montgomery MN?

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

Montgomery, Minnesota

Montgomery is a city in Le Sueur County, Minnesota, in the United States, 45 miles south of Minneapolis. It was named after Richard Montgomery, an Irish-American soldier who served as a major general in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. The population was 2,956 at the 2010 census.[6]

Montgomery is a part of the Tri-City United School District, ISD #2905. The district includes a grades 9-12 high school in Montgomery; K-8 campuses in Montgomery and Le Center; and a K-4 elementary school in Lonsdale. The district's sports teams, the Titans, are members of the Minnesota River Conference, and participate in baseball, softball, basketball, cross-country, hockey, tennis, track, American football, cheerleading, wrestling, golf and volleyball.

The academic performance of students exiting Tri-City United High School has been subject to concern from the community. With a slim majority of students (52%) graduating without achieving proficiency in Mathematics, and a substantial number of students graduating without achieving proficiency in Reading (35%). Graduates from the Tri-City United School District rarely go on to attend elite higher education institutions. The Tri-City United School District hosts a significant minority of Hispanic students (13%), and spends a significant amount of funding of ESL (English as a Second Language) programs.[8]

Schools for Heating and Air Conditioning Montgomery MN

Finding the ideal HVAC school program is a crucial first step toward a rewarding career in the heating & cooling trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Schools for Heating and Air Conditioning. However, as we have addressed in this post, you need to choose an HVAC trade school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC field. Other features to look for are ample hands-on training and modern facilities. You should check out each of the schools in person 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 training and the interaction between them. Additionally, inquire about scheduling choices and whether night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options as well. If you ask the right questions as we have laid out in our checklist for comparing schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC technician in Montgomery MN.

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