How to Pick an HVAC Certification Class near New Castle Kentucky
Once you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning professional, the next action is to choose an HVAC vocational school near New Castle KY. But with so many to select from, how do you decide on the best one to obtain the training that you need? Some future students will make their choice based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Although these are important considerations, they are not the only ones to take into account. Some 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 discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we discuss how to select an HVAC vocational school, let’s look at what a heating and a/c technician does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Specialist in New Castle KY
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, however every state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Attaining professional certification is not mandatory, but an optional means for New Castle KY HVAC techs to prove that they are exceptionally qualified and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are a number of respected certifications within the trade that are available. Here are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is earned by passing a proficiency examination and may be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience in addition to passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience as well as a passing result on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for techs that work with refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing may be mandated in your area, and you may also intend to acquire certification, it’s essential that you pick an HVAC vocational school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the school you select prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree Training Programs
There are several alternatives available for HVAC instruction in a trade or technical school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the least period of time, often accomplished in just 6 months, however some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive edge in the job market and will furnish more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief summary of each option offered near New Castle KY.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level residential or commercial HVAC specialists. They provide a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more extensive background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Generally taking 2 years to finish, 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 conventional 4 year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Selecting the appropriate credential program will be based on what your long term career goals are, along with the time and money that you have to invest. One option is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in New Castle KY, later going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make certain to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Classes
Attending an HVAC program online is one possibility to getting your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Almost all 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 balance of the classes may be attended online, this approach may be a more practical solution for some New Castle KY students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even commuting expenses from New Castle and study supplies can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family responsibilities have left you with limited time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to fit school into your active schedule.
What to Ask HVAC Schools near New Castle KY
After you have decided on the type of degree or certificate that you would like to obtain, either on campus or online, you can begin to narrow down your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of HVAC vocational schools in the New Castle KY area and all over the USA to choose from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of key qualifications when making school evaluations. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the first two variables you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you will want to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC trade programs in the New Castle 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 relates to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Confirm that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it can assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, a number of states require that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate could suggest that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It may also mean that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which may produce more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of New Castle KY HVAC employers to help grads acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC technical programs are taught in conjunction 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 contractors or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local New Castle KY HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus 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 specialist you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local New Castle KY HVAC company if they can give you some pointers. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your New Castle KY residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Speak to some of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near New Castle KY, verify that the programs you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Attending HVAC School near New Castle KY?
New Castle, Kentucky
New Castle is located southwest of the center of Henry County at 38°26′1″N 85°10′10″W / 38.43361°N 85.16944°W / 38.43361; -85.16944 (38.433645, -85.169345).U.S. Route 421 follows Main Street and leads north 7 miles (11 km) to Campbellsburg and southeast 29 miles (47 km) to Frankfort. Louisville is 38 miles (61 km) to the southwest via Kentucky Route 146 and Interstate 71.
At the census of 2000, there were 919 people, 382 households, and 239 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,067.0 people per square mile (806.4/km²). There were 409 housing units at an average density of 919.9 per square mile (358.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 92.60% White, 5.77% Black or African American, 0.98% from other races, and 0.65% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.52% of the population.
There were 382 households out of which 29.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.6% were married couples living together, 17.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.2% were non-families. 33.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.25 and the average family size was 2.86.
Choose the Right HVAC Training Classes near New Castle KY
Enrolling in the right HVAC training program is a critical beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating & cooling field. As we have covered in this post, you need to select a school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC trade. Other factors to search for are lots of hands-on training and modern facilities. You should visit each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to tour the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Additionally, inquire about scheduling options and whether or not evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to ask about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the right questions as we have outlined in our checklist 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 dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC technician in New Castle KY.
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