How to Choose an HVAC Certification Class near Hardinsburg Kentucky
Now that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next step is to locate an HVAC vocational school near Hardinsburg KY. But with so many to select from, how do you choose the ideal one to get the training that you require? Many future students will make their decision based solely on the price 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 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. These and additional criteria will be discussed in more detail later within this article. But before we discuss how to select an HVAC trade school, let’s look at what a heating and cooling contractor does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Tech in Hardinsburg KY
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, though every state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Attaining professional certification is not required, but a voluntary means for Hardinsburg KY HVAC specialists to demonstrate that they are exceptionally qualified and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are multiple recognized certifications within the trade that are available. Following are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is achieved by passing a competency examination and can be received 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 exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience together with a passing score on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are made available in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are three types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing may be mandated in your area, and you may also wish to acquire certification, it’s essential that you choose an HVAC vocational school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be handling refrigerants, make sure that the school you select preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Training Programs
There are several alternatives offered for HVAC training in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the least amount of time, often completed in just six months, although some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree training programs might provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will furnish more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief summary of each option offered near Hardinsburg KY.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level residential or commercial HVAC specialists. They provide a strong foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more detailed background of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically requiring two years to complete, a number of degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more for a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional 4 year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.
Choosing the right credential program will be based on what your long term career goals are, together with the time and money that you have to commit. One approach is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Hardinsburg KY, later returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Schools
Enrolling in an HVAC school online is one option to attaining your training and earning a degree or certificate. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to complete practical training. Many also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes may be attended on the web, this approach may be a more convenient solution for some Hardinsburg KY students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even commuting expenses from Hardinsburg and study supplies may be minimized, helping to make schooling more economical. And many online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family obligations have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it easier to fit school into your hectic lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Certification Courses near Hardinsburg KY
Once you have chosen the type of certificate or degree that you want to earn, either on campus or online, you can begin to limit your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are a large number of HVAC technical schools in the Hardinsburg KY area and all over the Country to choose from. That’s why it is imperative to have a checklist of relevant qualifiers when making school evaluations. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the initial two factors you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you need to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC vocational schools in the Hardinsburg KY area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as HVAC technology. Verify that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain a superior education, it can assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Additionally, many states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited in order 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 portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate could suggest that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It might also mean that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s also important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which may result in more contacts for the school to utilize 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 trade, but also that it has the network of Hardinsburg KY HVAC employers to assist students obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC training programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling businesses or trade unions. Check if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with local Hardinsburg KY HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC specialist you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Hardinsburg KY HVAC contracting company if they can give you some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Hardinsburg KY residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Speak to several of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with some of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Hardinsburg KY, check that the schools you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending HVAC School near Hardinsburg KY?
Hardinsburg is a home rule-class city in Breckinridge County, Kentucky, in the United States. It is the seat of its county. The population was 2,343 at the 2010 census. Hardinsburg was named after Captain William Hardin.
Capt. William Hardin, brother of the Col. John Hardin for whom Hardin County was named, established a frontier fort at the site in 1780. The settlement was known variously as Hardin's Fort and Hardin's Station in the 18th century.
William Hardin received 400 acres as assignee of Benjamin Hardin, Warrant# 2586, dated February 14, 1780, and the tract was surveyed June 8, 1784. According to the description, the land was on Hardin's Creek, a branch of the Ohio River, and it was formally granted on June 21, 1786. This area would become Hardinsburg.
Select the Right HVAC Training Classes near Hardinsburg KY
Enrolling in the ideal HVAC training course is a critical first step toward a rewarding career in the heating and air conditioning industry. As we have discussed in this article, you should pick a technical school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC trade. Other features to search for are lots 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 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, inquire about scheduling options and if night or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial aid and student loan options too. If you ask the proper questions as we have detailed in our guidelines for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC contractor in Hardinsburg KY.
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