How to Select an HVAC Certification Course near Beaver Dam Kentucky
Now that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning specialist, the next step is to find an HVAC technical school near Beaver Dam KY. But with so many to choose from, how do you select the ideal one to receive the training that you need? Some potential students will make their choice based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Even though these are significant considerations, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Just some of the other factors 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 tackle how to choose an HVAC trade school, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning specialist does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Specialist in Beaver Dam KY
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, although each state and local municipality has its own criteria. Obtaining professional certification is not compulsory, but a voluntary means for Beaver Dam KY HVAC techs to demonstrate that they are exceptionally proficient and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are several recognized certifications within the trade that are available. Below are some of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is attained by passing a competency exam 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 professional experience together with passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience along with a passing score on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing might be mandated in your location, and you may also wish to acquire 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 dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the program you decide on readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Training Programs
There are several choices available for HVAC instruction in a technical or trade school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the least period of time, usually completed in just six months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree programs may provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will provide more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short description of each option offered near Beaver Dam KY.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They provide a solid foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more extensive background of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Normally requiring two years to complete, a number of degrees feature 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 traditional four 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.
Picking the ideal credential program will be based on what your future career objectives are, as well as the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One possibility is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Beaver Dam KY, subsequently returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Training
Attending an HVAC program online is one option in attaining your education and earning a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will call for some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. Some also offer 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 online, this approach may be a more convenient solution for some Beaver Dam KY students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even travelling expenses from Beaver Dam and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family obligations have left you with little time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask HVAC Trade Schools near Beaver Dam KY
After you have chosen the type of certificate or degree that you desire to attain, either on campus or online, you can begin to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many HVAC vocational schools in the Beaver Dam KY area and across the Country to choose from. That’s why it is imperative to have a checklist of important qualifications when making school comparisons. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the initial 2 variables you will consider. 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 schools in the Beaver Dam KY area have acquired 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 relates to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Confirm that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you receive a superior education, it can help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, many states require that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to qualify 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 or portion of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate may suggest that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It could also indicate that the instructors 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 alumni, which may produce more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Beaver Dam KY HVAC employers to help students secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC trade programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC contractors or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with local Beaver Dam KY HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to build 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 in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC technician you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Beaver Dam KY HVAC company if they can provide some tips. Additionally keep in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Beaver Dam KY home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be increased tuition fees 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 sit in on some of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Talk with a few of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Beaver Dam KY, verify that the programs you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.
Attending HVAC School near Beaver Dam KY?
Beaver Dam, Kentucky
Beaver Dam is a home rule-class city in Ohio County, Kentucky, in the United States. The population was 3,515 at the 2010 census. It is named for the Beaver Dam Baptist Church which predates the town by several decades. The city was formally incorporated by the state assembly in 1873.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Beaver Dam has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
As of the census of 2000, there were 3,033 people, 1,297 households, and 889 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,200.9 people per square mile (462.9/km²). There were 1,411 housing units at an average density of 558.7 per square mile (215.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 93.11% White, 3.43% African American, 0.16% Native American, 0.26% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 1.71% from other races, and 1.25% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.57% of the population.
Pick the Right HVAC Training Course near Beaver Dam KY
Choosing the right HVAC training course is an important first step toward a gratifying career in the heating and air conditioning field. As we have covered in this post, you should choose a trade school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC community. Other things to search for are plenty of hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should go to each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to inspect 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 night or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to ask about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the right questions as we have laid out in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC professional in Beaver Dam KY.
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