How to Select an HVAC Training Course near Louisa Kentucky
Once you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner professional, the next action is to find an HVAC technical school near Louisa KY. But with so many to pick from, how do you choose the ideal one to get the training that you need? Some potential students will make their decision based solely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Although these are important factors to consider, they are not the only ones to take into account. A few of the other things that you need to look into are the graduation completion 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 explore how to choose an HVAC trade school, let’s look at what a heating and cooling specialist does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Professional in Louisa 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, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, although each state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Acquiring professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary way for Louisa KY HVAC technicians to prove that they are exceptionally qualified and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are many respected certifications within the trade that are offered. Following 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 exam and may 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 examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience as well as a passing score on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are made available in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are three types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing could be mandated in your area, and you may also desire to obtain certification, it’s imperative that you pick an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be working with refrigerants, make certain that the program you select preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Classes
There are several options offered for HVAC training in a vocational 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, typically completed in as little as 6 months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree training programs might provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will deliver more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short explanation of each option offered near Louisa KY.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more detailed understanding of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Normally taking two years to complete, a number of 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 cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Selecting the ideal credential program will be based on what your future career goals are, along with 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 gaining some experience in the trade in Louisa KY, subsequently returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Classes Online
Enrolling in an HVAC program online is one alternative to attaining your training and receiving a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. Many also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes may be participated in via the internet, this approach may be a more practical solution for many Louisa KY students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even driving expenses from Louisa and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family commitments have left you with limited time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to accommodate school into your active lifestyle.
Questions For HVAC Training Classes near Louisa KY
When you have chosen the type of degree or certificate that you desire to attain, either on campus or online, you can start to decrease your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many HVAC technical schools in the Louisa KY area and throughout the United States to pick from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a list of important qualifiers when making school comparisons. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the initial two variables you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you need to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC technical programs in the Louisa KY area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Verify that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you obtain an excellent education, it can assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Also, a number of 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 may signify that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It could also suggest that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It’s also essential 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 employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Louisa KY HVAC employers to help students obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC trade programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational 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 referring relationships with local Louisa KY HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained 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 technician you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Louisa KY HVAC contracting company if they can provide some pointers. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Louisa KY home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Talk with some of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with some of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Louisa KY, check that the schools you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.
Attending HVAC School near Louisa KY?
Louisa is a home rule-class city located at the merger of the Levisa and Tug Forks into the Big Sandy River. It is located in Lawrence County, Kentucky, in the United States and is the seat of its county. The population was 2,467 at the 2010 census.
The origin of the city's name is unclear. Theories include that it was named for Louisa County, Virginia, or a corruption of the name of the Levisa or that it was named after Louisa Swetnam, one of the first white children born in the area. The Levisa Fork was originally written and spoken as the "Louisa Fork" which is the likely origin of the name. It is also possible that the town name was connected to the Spanish Era in Kentucky. Spain made land grants in what is now Kentucky. Explorer Dr. Thomas Walker named the river after a family member. Others claim that the Levisa Fork is named for Levite connections to the Cherokee and other Indian Tribes prior to later European contact. An 1856 map still shows the river under the name "Louisa." Virginia and Carolina and other English colonial linked settlement attempts began as early as 1790 but did not take hold until 1818. Louisa became the county seat in 1822 and a city in 1823.
During the Civil War, Union troops under future president James A. Garfield occupied the city from December 1861 until the end of the war, despite several Confederate takeover attempts. The Confederate Army of East Kentucky merged with Virginia and Tennessee Confederate units. Kentucky had a star on the Confederate Battle Flag, and Jefferson Davis was born in Kentucky, and graduated from a Kentucky college.
Choose the Right HVAC Trade School near Louisa KY
Selecting the right HVAC training program is a crucial beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating and air conditioning trade. As we have addressed in this post, you should choose a vocational school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC profession. Other features to search for are lots of hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to go to each of the schools personally 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 training and the interaction between them. Additionally, inquire about scheduling options and whether or not night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to ask about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the proper questions as we have laid out in our checklist for comparing schools, you’ll be able to filter 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 professional in Louisa KY.
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