How to Select an HVAC School near Ford Kentucky
Now that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning specialist, the next step is to locate an HVAC technical school near Ford KY. But with so many to select from, how do you choose the right one to receive the training that you need? A number of future students will make their decision based solely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Although these are significant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to take into account. Just some of the other factors that you need to investigate are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and other benchmarks will be addressed in more detail later within this article. But before we examine how to choose an HVAC training program, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling professional does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Pro in Ford KY
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, although each state and local municipality has its own requirements. Obtaining professional certification is not mandatory, but an alternative means for Ford KY HVAC technicians to prove that they are exceptionally skilled and accomplished in their area of specialization. There are multiple acknowledged certifications within the industry that are available. 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 earned by passing a proficiency exam and can be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers 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 need to have three years of experience along with a passing score on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are offered in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are three types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing may be mandated in your location, and you may also desire to earn certification, it’s important that you pick an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the school you select prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Classes
There are a number of choices offered for HVAC training in a vocational or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the least amount of time, usually completed in as little as six months, however 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 edge for securing employment and will deliver more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief summary of each option offered near Ford KY.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more detailed knowledge of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally taking two years to complete, some degrees incorporate 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 being taught 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 based on what your future career aspirations are, together with 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 getting some experience in the field in Ford KY, eventually going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Courses
Choosing an HVAC program online is one possibility to attaining your education and earning a degree or certificate. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. Some also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes may be participated in online, this alternative may be a more practical solution for many Ford KY students that are pressed for time. And some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even driving expenses from Ford and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family commitments have left you with minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to fit school into your busy lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Certification Classes near Ford KY
After you have chosen the type of degree or certificate that you wish to acquire, either online or on campus, you can start to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are many HVAC vocational schools in the Ford KY area and all over the USA to pick from. That’s why it is very important to have a checklist of relevant qualifiers when making school comparisons. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the first 2 variables you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you should research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC technical programs in the Ford 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 an individual program, for instance HVAC technology. Confirm that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you get a superior education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, 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 considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate might suggest that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It may also suggest that the teachers were not competent 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 more extensive list of graduates, which may mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Ford KY HVAC employers to assist students secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC training programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling contractors or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with local Ford KY HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the tools 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, consult with the HVAC specialist you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Ford KY HVAC contracting company if they can give you some tips. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Ford KY home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much personalized training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Talk with a few of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Ford KY, check that the schools you are comparing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Attending HVAC School near Ford KY?
Frankfort is the capital city of the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the seat of Franklin County. It is a home rule-class city in Kentucky; the population was 25,527 at the 2010 census. Located along the Kentucky River, Frankfort is the principal city of the Frankfort, Kentucky Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Franklin and Anderson counties.
The town of Frankfort likely received its name from an event that took place in the 1780s. American Indians attacked a group of early European-American pioneers from Bryan Station, who were making salt at a ford in the Kentucky River. Pioneer Stephen Frank was killed, and the settlers thereafter called the crossing "Frank's Ford." This name was later elided to Frankfort.
In 1786, James Wilkinson purchased the 260-acre (1.1 km2) tract of land on the north side of the Kentucky River, which developed as downtown Frankfort. He was an early promoter of Frankfort as the state capital.
Select the Right HVAC Training Course near Ford KY
Finding the ideal HVAC training course is a critical beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating and air conditioning trade. As we have discussed in this article, you should pick a trade school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC profession. Other things to search for are plenty of hands-on training and modern facilities. You should go to 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 training and the interaction between them. Additionally, ask about scheduling options and if night or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to inquire about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the right questions as we have outlined in our checklist for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC specialist in Ford KY.
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