How to Pick an HVAC Certification Course near Calhoun Kentucky
Once you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next action is to look for an HVAC technical school near Calhoun KY. But with so many to select from, how do you select the right one to receive the training that you need? Many future students will make their choice based exclusively on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Even though these are necessary factors to consider, they are not the only ones to investigate. A few of the other factors that you need to look into are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and other criteria will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we discuss how to select an HVAC training program, let’s take a look at what a heating and air conditioning technician does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Contractor in Calhoun KY
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, though each state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Acquiring professional certification is not required, but a voluntary means for Calhoun KY HVAC specialists to demonstrate that they are exceptionally skilled and experienced in their area of expertise. There are many respected certifications within the trade that are offered. Below are a few of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is attained by passing a competency exam and can be received in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience together with passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience along with a passing result on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for techs that handle 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 required in your area, and you may also intend to obtain certification, it’s imperative that you select an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the program you select readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Courses
There are a variety of choices available for HVAC training in a technical or trade school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the lesser period of time, often completed in just 6 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 may provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will furnish more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short explanation of each credential offered near Calhoun KY.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies 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 tailored more towards a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional 4 year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Selecting the ideal credential program will be based 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 begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Calhoun KY, eventually returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Training Online
Choosing an HVAC program online is one possibility in attaining your education and receiving a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. Many also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes may be attended on the web, this approach may be a more convenient solution for some Calhoun KY students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are more economical than other on campus alternatives. Even driving expenses from Calhoun and study materials can be minimized, helping to make schooling more economical. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family commitments have left you with little time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it easier to accommodate school into your active lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Certification Classes near Calhoun KY
As soon as you have chosen the type of degree or certificate that you want to attain, either on campus or online, you can begin to decrease your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of HVAC technical schools in the Calhoun KY area and all over the USA to select from. That’s why it is very important to have a checklist of important qualifiers when making school evaluations. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the initial 2 factors you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you should explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC trade schools in the Calhoun KY area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Verify that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you get a quality education, it can help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, many states require that the HVAC training program 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 finish the program. A low completion rate might suggest that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It might also signify that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have high 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 employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Calhoun KY HVAC employers to help grads acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC vocational programs are taught together 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 labor unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with local Calhoun KY HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school 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 currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC technician you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Calhoun KY HVAC contractor if they can give you some pointers. Also bear in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Calhoun KY residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Talk with some of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Calhoun KY, verify that the schools you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, 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 because of work, sickness or family emergencies.
Attending HVAC School near Calhoun KY?
Calhoun is a home rule-class city in McLean County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 763 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of McLean County. It is included in the Owensboro, Kentucky Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Calhoun is located at 37°32′19″N 87°15′34″W / 37.53861°N 87.25944°W / 37.53861; -87.25944 (37.538633, -87.259414), on the Green River, the longest river entirely in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and is home to the Army Corps of Engineers' Lock and Dam #2.
Present-day Calhoun was first known as Rhoadsville after the German-born Pennsylvanian Captain Henry Rhoads (1739–1809), who laid out the town from 1784 to 1785 near the Long Falls of the Green River. His brother Solomon then erected a fort to protect the settlers and the transit around the falls.
Pick the Right HVAC Trade School near Calhoun KY
Enrolling in the right HVAC training program is a crucial first step toward a rewarding career in the heating and cooling industry. As we have discussed in this article, you need to choose a school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC community. Other factors to search for are lots of practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should visit 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 instruction and the interaction between them. Additionally, ask about scheduling choices and if night or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options as well. If you ask the right questions as we have detailed in our checklist for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC technician in Calhoun KY.
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