How to Select an HVAC Training Course near Russell Springs Kentucky
Now that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next action is to find an HVAC trade school near Russell Springs KY. But with so many to pick from, how do you choose the ideal one to receive the training that you need? Many potential students will make their choice based solely on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. Although these are important factors to consider, they are not the only ones to investigate. 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 tackle how to choose an HVAC technical school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling specialist does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Specialist in Russell Springs KY
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, although every state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Attaining professional certification is not compulsory, but an optional means for Russell Springs KY HVAC technicians to prove that they are exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are a number of respected certifications within the field that are offered. Following are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is achieved by passing a competency exam 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 field experience as well as passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience as well as a passing score on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are made available in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing might be mandated in your location, and you may also desire to obtain certification, it’s essential that you select an HVAC vocational school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be handling refrigerants, make certain that the program you pick prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
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. Acquiring a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, often accomplished in just six months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree programs might provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will provide more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief summary of each option offered near Russell Springs KY.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more exhaustive knowledge of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Generally requiring 2 years to complete, a number of degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more for a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional four year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Choosing the right credential program will be dependent on what your future career goals are, together with the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One approach is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Russell Springs KY, subsequently going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, be sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Training Online
Enrolling in an HVAC school online is one option to attaining your training and earning a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete practical training. Some 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 can be participated in via the internet, this alternative may be a more convenient solution for some Russell Springs KY students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are less expensive than other traditional choices. Even commuting expenses from Russell Springs and study materials can be lessened, helping to make schooling 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 limited time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask HVAC Trade Schools near Russell Springs KY
As soon as you have chosen the type of certificate or degree that you would like to earn, either online or on campus, you can begin to limit your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are a large number of HVAC trade schools in the Russell Springs KY area and throughout the United States to choose from. That’s why it is essential to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school comparisons. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the first two variables you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you will want to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC vocational schools in the Russell Springs KY area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Verify that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you get an excellent education, it can help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to qualify 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 finish the program. A lower completion rate may signify that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It could also signify that the instructors 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 broader directory of alumni, which can mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Russell Springs KY HVAC employers to help grads secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC training programs are taught together 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 HVAC businesses or trade unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with local Russell Springs KY HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC tech you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Russell Springs KY HVAC contracting company if they can provide some tips. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Russell Springs KY residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be higher 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 a few of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Speak to some of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Russell Springs KY, verify that the programs you are comparing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Attending HVAC School near Russell Springs KY?
Russell Springs, Kentucky
Russell Springs is a home rule-class city in Russell County, Kentucky, in the United States. The city is the gateway to Lake Cumberland, one of the largest man-made lakes in the region, created by Wolf Creek Dam. It is the largest city in the county, having a population of 2,399 during the year 2000 U.S. Census.
The present city grew out of a resort centered on a local chalybeate spring. Rennick relates that Samuel Patterson was generally credited with settling the site and that the community was known as Big Boiling Springs by 1850. The post office was established in 1855 as "Russell Springs" after the county, but was discontinued in 1865 and reopened as Kimble (after local businessman George Kimble) in 1888. The community restored the name Russell Springs in 1901 and incorporated in 1936.
Russell Springs is located at 37°3′17″N 85°4′52″W / 37.05472°N 85.08111°W / 37.05472; -85.08111 (37.054853, -85.081162). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.6 square miles (12 km2), all land.
Select the Right HVAC Training Classes near Russell Springs KY
Choosing the ideal HVAC training program is an important beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating and air conditioning industry. As we have discussed in this article, you should pick a technical school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC community. Other features to search for are lots of hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to check out each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to tour 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. In addition, ask about scheduling options and whether or not night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial aid and student loan options also. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have laid out in our checklist for assessing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC professional in Russell Springs KY.
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