How to Find the Right HVAC Certification Class near Salem Kentucky
Now that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning specialist, the next step is to find an HVAC trade school near Salem KY. But with so many to choose from, how do you choose the ideal one to obtain the training that you require? Some potential students will make their decision based solely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Although these are important considerations, they are not the only ones to investigate. Just some of the other things that you need to research 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 discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we tackle how to pick an HVAC trade school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling specialist does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Contractor in Salem 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 generally required to be licensed, although each state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Obtaining professional certification is not mandatory, but an optional way for Salem KY HVAC specialists to prove that they are exceptionally qualified and experienced in their area of expertise. There are multiple acknowledged certifications within the industry that are available. Here are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is attained by passing a competency examination and may be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience in addition to passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience together with a passing result on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are offered in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing could be required in your area, and you may also wish to earn certification, it’s important that you select an HVAC vocational school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be working with refrigerants, make certain that the program you choose preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Schools
There are a number of choices offered for HVAC instruction 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 amount of time, usually completed in just 6 months, though some courses 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 programs may provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will furnish more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a short description of each credential offered near Salem KY.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more extensive knowledge of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Typically requiring two years to complete, many 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 or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional four 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 ideal credential program will be dependent on what your future career goals are, along with the time and money that you have to invest. One approach is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Salem KY, subsequently returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make certain to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Classes Online
Enrolling in an HVAC program online is one option in attaining your education and earning a degree or certificate. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete hands on training. Some also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes may be participated in online, this option may be a more convenient solution for many Salem KY students that are pressed for time. And some online degree programs are cheaper than other traditional options. Even driving expenses from Salem and study supplies may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family responsibilities have left you with minimal time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to fit school into your active lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Training Programs near Salem KY
When you have selected the type of certificate or degree that you wish to attain, either online or on campus, you can start to decrease your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many HVAC trade schools in the Salem KY area and throughout the Country to pick from. That’s why it is essential to have a checklist of important qualifiers when making school comparisons. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the initial 2 aspects you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you will want to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Salem KY area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Make sure that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, some states require that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate may indicate that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It could also suggest that the teachers were not qualified 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 more extensive directory of graduates, which can mean 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 field, but additionally that it has the network of Salem KY HVAC employers to help graduates secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC technical programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC businesses or trade unions. Check if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with local Salem KY HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art 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 with regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Salem KY HVAC contractor if they can provide some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Salem KY home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Speak to a few of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Salem KY, confirm that the programs you are considering offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.
Attending HVAC School near Salem KY?
Salem is a home rule-class city in Livingston County, Kentucky, in the United States. Salem is part of the Paducah micropolitan area. The population was 752 during the U.S. Census, down from 769 in 2000. It the largest city in Livingston County, although the unincorporated community of Ledbetter has more than twice the population of Salem.
The city is believed to have been settled c. 1800 by immigrants from Salem, North Carolina, who named their new community after their former home. It replaced Centerville as Livingston Co.'s seat in 1809 but was replaced in turn by Smithland in 1842 after the removal of Crittenden Co. left it more centrally-located.
Salem is located at 37°15′53″N 88°14′28″W / 37.26472°N 88.24111°W / 37.26472; -88.24111 (37.264694, -88.241221). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.8 square miles (2.1 km2), all land.
Choose the Right HVAC Training Classes near Salem KY
Finding the right HVAC training program is a crucial first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating and air conditioning trade. As we have covered in this post, you need to choose a technical school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC profession. Other things to look for are plenty of hands-on training and modern facilities. You should go to each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to explore the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Additionally, inquire about scheduling options and if evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the right questions as we have detailed in our guidelines for assessing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC technician in Salem KY.
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