How to Pick an HVAC Training Class near Crestwood Kentucky
Once you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning specialist, the next action is to choose an HVAC trade school near Crestwood KY. But with so many to pick from, how do you select the right one to obtain the training that you need? Some future students will make their selection based exclusively on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. Even though these are important concerns, they are not the only ones to investigate. A few of the other factors 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. Those and other criteria will be discussed in more detail later within this article. But before we discuss how to choose an HVAC technical school, let’s look at what a heating and a/c professional does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Specialist in Crestwood KY
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, however every state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Acquiring professional certification is not required, but an alternative means for Crestwood KY HVAC techs to demonstrate that they are exceptionally proficient and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are several respected certifications within the industry that are offered. Here are a few 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 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 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 score on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are three types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing might be required in your location, and you may also intend to earn certification, it’s essential that you choose an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the school you choose preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are several choices available for HVAC training in a technical or vocational school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, typically completed in just six months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree programs may provide a competitive edge in the job market and will deliver more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief summary of each credential offered near Crestwood KY.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They provide a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more exhaustive understanding of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically requiring two years to complete, many degrees incorporate 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 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 study how to design them.
Picking the right credential program will be dependent on what your long term career goals are, as well as the time and money that you have to invest. One approach is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Crestwood KY, subsequently returning 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 Online Training
Choosing an HVAC school online is one possibility in obtaining your education and earning a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. A number also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes can be attended online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution for some Crestwood KY students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are more economical than other traditional alternatives. Even travelling expenses from Crestwood and study supplies can be reduced, helping to make schooling more economical. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family obligations have left you with minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask HVAC Trade Schools near Crestwood KY
Once you have chosen the type of degree or certificate that you would like to attain, either on campus or online, you can begin to decrease your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Crestwood KY area and across the Country to select from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school comparisons. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the initial two factors you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you should research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC vocational schools in the Crestwood 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 an individual program, such as HVAC technology. Make certain that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you receive a superior education, it can help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, 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 considering 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 dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It might also suggest that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which can 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 also that it has the network of Crestwood KY HVAC employers to assist graduates 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 technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC contractors or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with local Crestwood KY HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area 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 working with in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC technician you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Crestwood KY HVAC contractor if they can give you some tips. Also keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Crestwood KY residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there might be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak with several of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Crestwood KY, check that the schools you are looking at provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure 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, illness or family issues.
Attending HVAC School near Crestwood KY?
Crestwood is a home rule-class city in Oldham County, Kentucky, United States just outside Louisville's Northeast End. The population was 1,999 at the 2000 census. CNN listed it as the 52nd best place to live in America in 2005. It was first settled in the early 19th century and renamed Crestwood in 1909.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,999 people, 811 households, and 548 families residing in the city. The population density was 554.5 people per square mile (214.4/km²). There were 860 housing units at an average density of 238.6 per square mile (92.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 94.80% White, 2.15% African American, 0.35% Native American, 0.60% Asian, 1.10% from other races, and 1.00% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.15% of the population.
There were 811 households out of which 33.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.5% were married couples living together, 12.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.4% were non-families. 26.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 3.02.
Pick the Right HVAC Certification Training near Crestwood KY
Picking the ideal HVAC training course is a critical beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating & cooling field. As we have covered in this article, you should select a trade school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC community. Other factors to search for are sufficient hands-on training and modern facilities. You should visit each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to tour the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. In addition, ask about scheduling choices and if night or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to ask about financial aid and student loan options too. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have detailed in our guidelines 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 eventually become a licensed HVAC technician in Crestwood KY.
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