How to Choose an HVAC Certification Course near Murray Kentucky
Now that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next step is to find an HVAC vocational school near Murray KY. But with so many to pick from, how do you choose the best one to get the training that you need? A number of prospective students will make their selection based entirely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Although these are necessary considerations, they are not the only ones to investigate. Some 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 addressed in more detail later in this article. But before we explore how to select an HVAC vocational school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling technician does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Specialist in Murray KY
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, however every state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Acquiring professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary means for Murray KY HVAC specialists to demonstrate that they are exceptionally proficient and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are several acknowledged certifications within the field 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 earned 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 field experience together with passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience along with a passing result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing might be required 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 most likely be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the school you pick preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Schools
There are a number of alternatives offered for HVAC training in a technical or vocational school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the least period of time, often completed in just 6 months, though some programs 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 training programs can provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will deliver more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short explanation of each credential offered near Murray KY.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more comprehensive understanding of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally 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 tailored more for 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 study how to design them.
Choosing the ideal credential program will be based on what your future career objectives are, along with the time and money that you have to invest. One possibility is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Murray KY, subsequently returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Training Online
Enrolling in an HVAC program online is one approach to getting your education and earning a degree or certificate. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete practical training. A number also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be participated in via the internet, this alternative may be a more convenient solution for some Murray KY students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are less costly than other traditional choices. Even commuting expenses from Murray and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family obligations have left you with little time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it easier to accommodate school into your active schedule.
What to Ask HVAC Trade Schools near Murray KY
As soon as you have chosen the type of degree or certificate that you want to attain, either on campus or online, you can start to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous HVAC technical schools in the Murray KY area and across the Country to choose from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a checklist of important qualifiers when making school evaluations. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the first 2 variables you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you will want to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC trade schools in the Murray KY area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Make certain that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you get a quality education, it can assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, many states require that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate might indicate that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It may also indicate that the teachers were not competent to instruct 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 alumni, which can produce 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 an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Murray KY HVAC employers to assist grads acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC trade programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC companies or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with local Murray KY HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC technician you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Murray KY HVAC contracting company if they can give you some pointers. Additionally keep in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Murray KY home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much individualized training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Speak with a few of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to some of the teachers 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 assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Murray KY, confirm that the schools you are comparing provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.
Attending HVAC School near Murray KY?
Murray is a home rule-class city in Calloway County, Kentucky, in the United States. It is the seat of Calloway County and the 20th-largest city in Kentucky. The city's population was 17,741 during the 2010 U.S. census, and its micropolitan area's population was 37,191.
The city now known as Murray began as a post office and trading center sometime in the early 1820s. It was at first called Williston in honor of James Willis, an early settler. Later, the name was changed to Pooltown after Robert Pool, a local merchant. The name was changed again to Pleasant Springs before its incorporation on January 17, 1844, when the present name was adopted to honor Rep. John Murray.
Murray was not the first county seat, which was at Wadesboro. Calloway County was then much larger than today. In 1842, however, the state legislature divided the area, creating Marshall County. It was felt that a more centrally located county seat was needed, and as the village of Murray was at the geographic center, it was chosen. A new courthouse was built along with a jail, and the town Murray was laid out on an 80-acre (320,000 m2) plot subdivided into 137 business and residential lots divided by eight streets.
Choose the Right HVAC Training Classes near Murray KY
Finding the ideal HVAC training program is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating and cooling industry. As we have covered in this article, you should pick a vocational school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC community. Other features to look for are plenty of practical 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. Try to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. In addition, ask about scheduling choices and if night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial aid and student loan options too. If you ask the right questions as we have laid out in our guidelines for comparing schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC technician in Murray KY.
More Fabulous Cities in Kentucky
Business Results 1 - 10 of 8