HVAC Schools Near Me in Berea KY 40403

How to Enroll In an HVAC Training Course near Berea Kentucky

Berea KY HVAC tech servicing AC compressorOnce you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioning professional, the next action is to find an HVAC vocational school near Berea KY. But with so many to select from, how do you pick the ideal one to obtain the training that you need? Some potential students will make their decision based exclusively on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. Even though these are significant concerns, they are not the only ones to investigate. A few of the other things that you need to investigate are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and additional criteria will be addressed in more detail later within this article. But before we examine how to select an HVAC vocational school, let’s take a look at what a heating and air conditioning professional does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Pro in Berea KY

Berea KY HVAC tech servicing industrial furnacesHVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, though each state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Obtaining professional certification is not compulsory, but an optional way for Berea KY HVAC specialists to establish that they are highly skilled and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are many acknowledged certifications within the industry that are available. Following are some of the important ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is earned by passing a competency examination and may 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 together with passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience along with a passing result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are made available in various specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are three forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Since licensing may be mandated in your area, and you may also wish to earn certification, it’s important that you choose an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be handling refrigerants, make certain that the program you pick preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Degree and Certificate Classes

Berea KY HVAC contractor installing residential water heaterThere are a number of options offered for HVAC training in a technical or vocational school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the lesser period of time, typically accomplished in as little as 6 months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree programs might provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will provide more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief summary of each option offered near Berea KY.

  • Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning residential or commercial 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 detailed knowledge of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically taking 2 years to complete, some degrees include an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared 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 mastering how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.

Picking the right credential program will be dependent on what your long term career goals are, together with the time and money that you have to invest. One approach is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Berea KY, later going back to earn 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 Courses Online

attending HVAC Training School Online in Berea KYEnrolling in an HVAC school online is one option in getting your education and receiving a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. Many also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes can be attended online, this approach may be a more convenient solution for many Berea KY students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even travelling expenses from Berea and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family responsibilities 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 Certification Courses near Berea KY

As soon as you have selected the type of certificate or degree that you want to obtain, either online or on campus, you can begin to limit your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of HVAC technical schools in the Berea KY area and all over the Country to select from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a checklist of relevant qualifiers when making school assessments. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the first two factors you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you will want to research before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Many HVAC trade programs in the Berea KY area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn 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 school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you acquire a quality education, it can assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Additionally, many states require that the HVAC training course be accredited in order 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 portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate could suggest that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It may also suggest that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which may produce more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Berea KY HVAC employers to help students obtain apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  A large number of HVAC vocational programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC companies or labor unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Berea KY HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Confirm that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC technician you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Berea KY HVAC contractor if they can provide some tips. Also keep in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Berea KY home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s desirable that you get as much personalized 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 instructors and students. Talk with several of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.

Flexible Scheduling.  Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Berea KY, verify that the schools you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.

Attending HVAC School near Berea KY?

Berea, Kentucky

Berea is a home rule-class city[2] in Madison County, Kentucky, in the United States. The town is best known for its art festivals, historic restaurants and buildings, and as the home to Berea College, a private, liberal arts college. The population was 13,561 at the 2010 census. It is one of the fastest-growing towns in Kentucky, having increased by 27.4% since 2000.

In 1850 this area, called the Glade, was a community of scattered farms with a racetrack and citizens sympathetic to emancipation. In 1853, rich and politically ambitious Cassius Marcellus Clay gave Reverend John Gregg Fee a free tract of land in the Glade. With local supporters and other abolitionist missionaries from the American Missionary Association, Fee established two churches (First Christian Church and Union Church), a tiny village, and Berea College. Fee named Berea after a biblical town Berea (today Veria) in Macedonia, northern Greece, where the people "received the Word with all readiness of mind."

Founded in 1855, Berea College was the only interracial and coeducational college in the South for nearly forty years. Its motto is "God has made of one blood all peoples of the Earth,"[4] a paraphrase of Acts 17:26.[5] Reverend Fee modeled it on Oberlin College in Ohio and hoped it would become an academic beacon to Northern students. Pro-slavery supporters expelled Fee and his followers from Berea in 1859, in the aftermath of John Brown's Raid. Fee had delivered an address at the Pilgrim Church in Brooklyn, New York, in the pulpit of Rev. Henry Ward Beecher. Fee's remarks were reported in the New York Times, but were misrepresented in the Louisville Courier. Subsequently, everyone at the college was given ten days to leave the state. Most lived in Cincinnati or nearby northern towns for several years, returning for good after the war.

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Choose the Right HVAC Trade School near Berea KY

Choosing the right HVAC training program is a critical first step toward a rewarding career in the heating and air conditioning industry. As we have addressed in this post, you need to choose a technical school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC profession. Other things to look for are plenty of hands-on training and modern facilities. You need to visit each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to explore the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Additionally, ask about scheduling choices and whether or not night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial aid and student loan options also. If you ask the proper questions as we have outlined in our guidelines for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter your options 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 Berea KY.

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