How to Choose an HVAC School near Booneville Kentucky
Once you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and cooling professional, the next step is to look for an HVAC technical school near Booneville KY. But with so many to pick from, how do you pick the ideal one to obtain the training that you require? Some prospective students will make their selection based entirely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their home. While these are necessary factors to consider, they are not the only ones to evaluate. A few of the other details that you need to research are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and other criteria will be discussed in more detail later in 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 contractor does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Professional in Booneville KY
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, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are generally required to be licensed, although each state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Acquiring professional certification is not compulsory, but an optional way for Booneville KY HVAC technicians to prove that they are highly qualified and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are a number of acknowledged certifications within the field that are offered. Following are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is earned 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. 2 years of field experience in addition to passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience in addition to a passing score on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are offered in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for techs that work with 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 earn certification, it’s important that you select an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be working with refrigerants, make certain that the school you pick preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Training Programs
There are a number of alternatives available for HVAC training in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the minimum amount of time, usually completed in as little as six months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, particularly 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 provide more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a short description of each option offered near Booneville KY.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level residential or commercial HVAC specialists. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more comprehensive knowledge of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Normally taking two years to finish, some degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more for a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional 4 year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Selecting the ideal credential program will be based on what your long term career aspirations are, in addition to the time and money that you have to invest. One approach is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Booneville KY, later going back to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Training Online
Choosing an HVAC program online is one alternative to obtaining your education and earning a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete hands on training. Many 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 attended via the internet, this approach may be a more convenient solution for many Booneville KY students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even commuting expenses from Booneville and study supplies may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online schools 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 fit school into your active schedule.
Questions For HVAC Trade Schools near Booneville KY
As soon as you have chosen the type of certificate or degree that you desire to acquire, either on campus or online, you can begin to decrease your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of HVAC trade schools in the Booneville KY area and across the Country to choose from. That’s why it is essential to have a list of key qualifiers when making school comparisons. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the first two variables you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you should research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC trade schools in the Booneville KY area have acquired 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 pertains to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Make sure that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you acquire a superior education, it may help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Also, many states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate may indicate that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It may also suggest that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, 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 confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Booneville KY HVAC employers to help students secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC trade programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC contractors or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have working relationships with local Booneville KY HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC technician you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Booneville KY HVAC contractor if they can give you some tips. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Booneville KY home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in 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 desirable that you get as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Speak to some of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to a few of the teachers and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Booneville KY, confirm that the programs you are considering offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.
Attending HVAC School near Booneville KY?
Booneville is a home rule-class city in Owsley County, Kentucky, in the United States. The population was 81 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Owsley County. It is located at the junction of Kentucky Route 11 and Kentucky Route 30 on the South Fork of the Kentucky River.
The town was originally named Moore's Station after its chief landowner. It was renamed Boone's Station and then Booneville in honor of the American frontiersman, Daniel Boone. The town, consisting at the time of little more than a temporary log courthouse, became the county seat when Owsley County was formed on May 20, 1844. From this, the settlement was also sometimes known as Owsley Court House around this time. It was formally incorporated as a city by the state assembly on March 1, 1847. During the Civil War, Booneville was a crossroads for various Union and Confederate regiments, and was threatened by Confederate guerrillas, but avoided the destruction that befell some other county seats of Kentucky during the war.
As of the census of 2000, there were 111 people, 50 households, and 36 families residing in the city. The population density was 176.2 people per square mile (68.0/km²). There were 56 housing units at an average density of 88.9 per square mile (34.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 99.10% White, and 0.90% from two or more races.
Enroll in the Right HVAC Trade School near Booneville KY
Selecting the ideal HVAC training program is a crucial beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating and air conditioning field. As we have discussed in this post, you need to pick a technical school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC field. Other features to search for are sufficient hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to go to each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to explore the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. In addition, ask about scheduling choices and whether or not night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the right questions as we have detailed in our checklist for assessing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC contractor in Booneville KY.
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