How to Enroll In an HVAC Certification Class near Cumberland Kentucky
Once you have decided on a career as a heating and cooling technician, the next step is to locate an HVAC technical school near Cumberland KY. But with so many to select from, how do you pick the right one to get the training that you need? A number of prospective students will make their choice based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Although these are relevant considerations, they are not the only ones to take into account. 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. Those and additional benchmarks will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we examine how to select an HVAC vocational school, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning specialist does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Professional in Cumberland KY
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the trade 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 mandated to be licensed, however each state and local municipality has its own criteria. Earning professional certification is not required, but an optional way for Cumberland KY HVAC specialists to establish that they are exceptionally qualified and accomplished in their area of specialization. There are a number of 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 techs. The certification is earned by passing a proficiency examination and can be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 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 in addition to a passing result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for techs that work with refrigerants. There are three types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing could be mandated in your area, and you may also intend to earn certification, it’s essential that you enroll in an HVAC vocational school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be handling refrigerants, make certain that the program you select preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Certificate and 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. Acquiring a certificate will take the minimum amount of time, often achieved in just 6 months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree training programs may provide a competitive edge in the job market and will deliver more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief explanation of each option offered near Cumberland KY.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They provide a solid foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more extensive knowledge of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally taking 2 years to complete, some degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more towards a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional four year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.
Picking the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your long term career aspirations are, together with the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One approach is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Cumberland KY, later going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make certain to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Classes Online
Enrolling in an HVAC school online is one option to obtaining your training and earning a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. Some also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes may be participated in online, this alternative may be a more practical solution for some Cumberland KY students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are more economical than other traditional alternatives. Even commuting expenses from Cumberland and study supplies may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs 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 online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your active lifestyle.
Questions For HVAC Training Classes near Cumberland KY
When you have selected the type of degree or certificate that you want to earn, either on campus or online, you can begin to decrease your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many HVAC vocational schools in the Cumberland KY area and all over the USA to choose from. That’s why it is essential to have a list of key qualifiers when making school evaluations. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the initial two aspects you will take into consideration. Following are some additional ones that you need to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC trade schools in the Cumberland KY area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance 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 ensure that you acquire a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited in order 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 portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate might signify that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It might also indicate that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which may mean more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Cumberland KY HVAC employers to assist graduates acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC training programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with local Cumberland KY HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC specialist you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Cumberland KY HVAC contractor if they can give you some tips. Also bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Cumberland KY home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important 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 large they are and experience 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 to a few of the instructors 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 programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Cumberland KY, verify that the programs you are comparing offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.
Attending HVAC School near Cumberland KY?
University of the Cumberlands
University of the Cumberlands is a private, religious college located in Williamsburg, Kentucky, with an enrollment of approximately 7,000 students. The school, known as Cumberland College until January 7, 2005, is affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention, the Kentucky affiliate of the Southern Baptist Convention.
University of the Cumberlands, first called Williamsburg Institute, was founded on January 7, 1889. At the 1887 annual meeting of the Mount Zion Association, representatives from 18 eastern Kentucky Baptist churches discussed plans to provide higher education in the Kentucky mountains. The college was incorporated by the Kentucky state legislature on April 6, 1888. In 1907 the school bought the three buildings of Highland College, and in 1913, Williamsburg Institute's name was changed to Cumberland College. The name reflected the institution's location along the Cumberland River and its proximity to Cumberland Falls and the Cumberland Gap. From its inception, the institution has been affiliated with the Baptist Church, and its mission has been to educate and prepare leaders for service to the greater community. On the basis of being controlled by the Kentucky Baptist Convention and being bound by its policies, the university has requested and received exemptions from Title IX in the areas of "admissions, recruitment, education programs or activities, and employment", allowing it to discriminate in those fields based on its views regarding "marriage, sex outside of marriage, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, and abortion."
Although founded as a senior college, in 1918 Cumberland College officially became a junior college. The college received its first accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) in 1931. In 1956 the Board of Trustees began bringing the college back to senior college status. The junior year was added in 1959-60 and the senior year in 1960-61. SACS granted initial accreditation to the institution as a senior college in December 1964. Since then, SACS has reaffirmed the college's accreditation in 1974, 1985, 1995, and 2006. It is next scheduled for reaffirmation in 2016.
Choose the Right HVAC Training Course near Cumberland KY
Picking the right HVAC training program is a crucial first step toward a gratifying career in the heating and cooling field. As we have covered in this article, you need to pick a school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC trade. Other things to look for are ample hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to check out each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. In addition, ask about scheduling options and whether or not night or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to inquire about financial aid and student loan options too. If you ask the proper questions as we have outlined in our guidelines for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC technician in Cumberland KY.
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