How to Enroll In an HVAC School near Hatchechubbee Alabama
Now that you have decided on a career as a heating and cooling specialist, the next step is to look for an HVAC vocational school near Hatchechubbee AL. But with so many to choose from, how do you pick the right one to receive the training that you require? Many prospective students will make their choice based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their home. While these are significant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to take into account. A few of the other factors that you need to look into are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and other criteria will be covered 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 air conditioning professional does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Tech in Hatchechubbee AL
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, although each state and local municipality has its own criteria. Acquiring professional certification is not mandatory, but an alternative means for Hatchechubbee AL HVAC techs to prove that they are exceptionally proficient and accomplished in their area of specialization. There are a number of recognized certifications within the field that are offered. Following are a few of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is earned by passing a competency examination and can be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience as well as passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience as well as a passing result on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are offered in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing could be mandated in your area, and you may also desire to earn certification, it’s important that you select an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be handling refrigerants, make sure that the program you pick preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Classes
There are a number of alternatives offered for HVAC instruction in a vocational or trade school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the least period of time, often completed in as little as six months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree training programs might provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will furnish more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief summary of each credential offered near Hatchechubbee AL.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They provide a solid foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more extensive knowledge of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Generally taking 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 suited more for a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional 4 year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Picking the right credential program will be based on what your future career aspirations are, as well as the time and money that you have to invest. One approach is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Hatchechubbee AL, subsequently returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Classes Online
Enrolling in an HVAC program online is one approach to getting your education and earning a certificate or degree. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to complete practical training. A number also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes may be participated in via the internet, this approach may be a more practical solution for some Hatchechubbee AL students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even commuting expenses from Hatchechubbee and study supplies can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family commitments have left you with limited time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to fit school into your hectic lifestyle.
Questions For HVAC Certification Courses near Hatchechubbee AL
When you have decided on the type of certificate or degree that you want to attain, either on campus or online, you can start to narrow down your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Hatchechubbee AL area and throughout the USA to select from. That’s why it is very important to have a checklist of important qualifications when making school assessments. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the first 2 aspects 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 technical schools in the Hatchechubbee AL area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, such as HVAC technology. Verify 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. Along with helping ensure that you acquire a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Also, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to qualify 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 portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate might suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It might also suggest that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which may mean more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Hatchechubbee AL HVAC employers to help graduates obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC vocational 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 inside their network of HVAC contractors or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Hatchechubbee AL HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC technician you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Hatchechubbee AL HVAC contracting company if they can provide some tips. Also bear in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Hatchechubbee AL home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in 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 desirable that you get as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Talk to a few of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with a few of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Hatchechubbee AL, verify that the schools you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Attending HVAC School near Hatchechubbee AL?
Russell County, Alabama
Russell County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama. As of the 2010 census, the population was 52,947. Its county seat is Phenix City. Its name is in honor of Colonel Gilbert C. Russell, who fought in the wars against the Creek Indians.
Russell County was established by an act of the state general assembly on December 18, 1832, from lands ceded to the state by the Creek Native Americans. The county seat has changed several times: Girard (1833–1839), Crawford originally Crockettsville (1839–1868), Seale (1868–1935) and Phenix City (1935–present). It was named for War of 1812, Col. Gilbert Christian Russell, Sr., 1782–1861, 3rd U.S. Infantry.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 52,947 people residing in the county. 53.7% were White, 41.8% Black or African American, 0.4% Asian, 0.4% Native American, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 1.3% of some other race and 2.1% of two or more races. 3.7% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).
Enroll in the Right HVAC Trade School near Hatchechubbee AL
Picking the ideal HVAC training program is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating and cooling field. As we have covered in this post, you should select a technical school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC profession. Other features to look for are sufficient practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to visit each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to explore the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. In addition, ask about scheduling choices and whether or not night or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have outlined in our guidelines for assessing 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 specialist in Hatchechubbee AL.
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