How to Choose an HVAC Training Course near Lake Village Arkansas
Once you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next action is to choose an HVAC technical school near Lake Village AR. But with so many to select from, how do you select the right one to obtain the training that you require? Many future students will make their choice based exclusively on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. While these are significant considerations, they are not the only ones to investigate. 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 other criteria will be covered in more detail later within this article. But before we explore how to pick an HVAC vocational school, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning technician does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Tech in Lake Village AR
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, although every state and local municipality has its own requirements. Attaining professional certification is not mandatory, but an alternative means for Lake Village AR HVAC techs to prove that they are exceptionally qualified and experienced in their area of specialization. There are multiple acknowledged certifications within the field that are offered. Below are a few of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is earned by passing a proficiency exam and can be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience as well as passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience together with a passing score on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are made available in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for techs that work with refrigerants. There are three forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing might be mandated in your area, and you may also wish to obtain certification, it’s essential that you pick an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be handling refrigerants, make sure that the school you decide on prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Schools
There are several options available for HVAC instruction 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 least amount of time, often accomplished in just six months, although some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will provide more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short summary of each option offered near Lake Village AR.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning residential or commercial HVAC specialists. They provide a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more detailed understanding of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually taking 2 years to complete, some degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more towards a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional four year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.
Picking the right credential program will be dependent on what your long term career objectives are, as well as the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One approach is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the trade in Lake Village AR, subsequently returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Courses Online
Attending an HVAC program online is one option to obtaining your training and earning a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to complete hands on training. Some also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes can be participated in via the internet, this option may be a more convenient solution for some Lake Village AR students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are less costly than other traditional alternatives. Even driving expenses from Lake Village and study supplies may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family responsibilities have left you with limited time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask HVAC Trade Schools near Lake Village AR
Once you have picked the type of certificate or degree that you would like to earn, either online or on campus, you can start to limit your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are many HVAC vocational schools in the Lake Village AR area and throughout the USA to select from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of important qualifiers when making school assessments. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the first two aspects you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you need to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC trade programs in the Lake Village AR area have received 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 an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Make certain that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you obtain a superior education, it can help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, many states require that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate might suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It may also mean that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which may result in more contacts for the school to employ 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 Lake Village AR HVAC employers to assist grads acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC trade programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC businesses or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with local Lake Village AR HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC technician you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Lake Village AR HVAC contracting company if they can provide some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Lake Village AR residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much one-on-one 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 big they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Speak to a few of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Lake Village AR, confirm that the programs you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Attending HVAC School near Lake Village AR?
Lake Village, Arkansas
Lake Village is a city in Chicot County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 2,575 at the 2010 census. The city is the county seat of Chicot County. which is located in the Arkansas Delta. Lake Village is named for its location on Lake Chicot, an oxbow lake formed from the Mississippi River.
According to legend, the remains of Hernando de Soto might be buried under Lake Chicot. His expedition visited Guachoya, a native village along the edge of the lake, which is recorded as the site of his death. See List of sites and peoples visited by the Hernando de Soto Expedition.
Lake Village has nine properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places: Carlton House, Chicot County Courthouse, Sam Epstein House, Gregory Dipping Vat, Lake Village Commercial Historic District, Lake Village Confederate Monument, Lake Village Post Office, Dr. E.P. McGehee Infirmary, New Hope Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery (Historic Section), and the John Tushek Building. The nearby Lakeport Plantation is also listed; it is the only antebellum plantation home in the state to be located near the Mississippi River.
Enroll in the Right HVAC Certification Training near Lake Village AR
Choosing the right HVAC training program is a crucial first step toward a gratifying career in the heating and cooling trade. As we have discussed in this post, you need to choose a vocational school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC community. Other features to look for are sufficient practical training and modern facilities. You should check out each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to tour 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 options and whether night or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial aid and student loan options too. If you ask the right questions as we have outlined in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC specialist in Lake Village AR.
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