How to Select an HVAC Certification Class near Newville Alabama
Once you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning specialist, the next step is to choose an HVAC technical school near Newville AL. But with so many to select from, how do you pick the best one to obtain the training that you require? Some prospective students will make their selection based exclusively on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their home. While these are necessary concerns, they are not the only ones to evaluate. 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. These and other benchmarks will be addressed in more detail later in this article. But before we tackle how to pick an HVAC vocational school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling professional does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Pro in Newville AL
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, though each state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Earning professional certification is not compulsory, but an optional means for Newville AL HVAC technicians to prove that they are highly qualified and experienced in their area of specialization. There are many recognized certifications within the industry that are available. Below are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is achieved by passing a proficiency examination and can be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience in addition to passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience as well as a passing score on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are offered in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing might be required in your area, and you may also desire to acquire certification, it’s essential that you select an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the school you choose readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Schools
There are several alternatives offered for HVAC instruction in a technical or vocational school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the lesser period of time, usually completed 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 relevant to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive edge in the job market and will furnish more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short explanation of each option offered near Newville AL.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level 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 delivers a more exhaustive background of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally requiring two years to finish, a number of degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored 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 being taught how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Choosing the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your future career goals are, along with the time and money that you have to commit. One option is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Newville AL, eventually going back to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Training Online
Choosing an HVAC program online is one alternative to obtaining your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete practical training. Many also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes may be attended online, this approach may be a more accessible solution for many Newville AL students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are cheaper than other traditional alternatives. Even travelling expenses from Newville and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family obligations have left you with minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to fit school into your hectic lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Schools near Newville AL
When you have chosen the type of degree or certificate that you want to earn, either online or on campus, you can begin to narrow down your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are many HVAC technical schools in the Newville AL area and across the United States to choose from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of important qualifications when making school comparisons. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the first 2 variables you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you will want to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC technical schools in the Newville AL area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as HVAC technology. Verify that the school and program 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 guarantee that you get an excellent education, it can assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, 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 complete the program. A lower completion rate may indicate that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It might also suggest that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which can mean more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Newville AL HVAC employers to help students secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC vocational programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling companies or trade unions. Check if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with local Newville AL HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC technician you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Newville AL HVAC contractor if they can give you some suggestions. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Newville AL home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Talk with some of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees 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 are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Newville AL, confirm that the programs you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.
Attending HVAC School near Newville AL?
James Madison Wells founded a village called "Wells" c. 1882. When the Abbeville Southern Railroad laid tracks through the town in 1893, its name was changed to "Wells Station". The post office was built in 1894. Wells Station incorporated as "Newville" in 1903.
The town of Newville became prosperous with merchants, banks, lodges, doctors, churches, Newville High School, Rosenwald High School, societies, a newspaper, a depot, sawmills, cotton gins, mule stables and all the elements required by a developing town. Newville's slow decline commenced after the Great Depression due to farm mechanization and loss of commerce.
James M. and Catherine Wells donated one-half acre of land in 1887 for the site of the church and cemetery. The oldest known grave is that of William Y. Kirkland who died April 10, 1891. The church paid W.M. Harris fifty dollars in 1901 for two and one-half acres of land for the cemetery. In 1947, burial spaces were sold for 25 center per square foot. Nancy Price gave the church one acre of land for the cemetery in 1958. There are over 700 marked and unmarked graves. The Newville Cemetery was listed on the Alabama Historic Cemetery Register in 2005.
Select the Right HVAC Training Classes near Newville AL
Selecting the right HVAC training program is a crucial first step toward a gratifying career in the heating & cooling trade. As we have covered in this post, you should pick a trade school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC field. Other factors to search for are lots of hands-on training and modern facilities. You need to check out 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 instruction and the interaction between them. Additionally, inquire about scheduling choices and if night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the proper questions as we have detailed in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices 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 Newville AL.
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