How to Pick an HVAC Training Class near Viper Kentucky
Once you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next step is to locate an HVAC vocational school near Viper KY. But with so many to choose from, how do you select the best one to get the training that you require? A number of future students will make their selection based entirely on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. Although these are important considerations, they are not the only ones to investigate. Just some of the other factors that you need to investigate are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and additional criteria will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we explore how to pick an HVAC trade school, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c professional does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Pro in Viper KY
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, though every state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Earning professional certification is not required, but a voluntary way for Viper KY HVAC specialists to prove that they are exceptionally proficient and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are multiple recognized certifications within the trade that are available. Here are a few of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is earned by passing a proficiency exam and can be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available 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 3 years of experience together with a passing result on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are offered in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for techs that handle refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing could be required in your location, and you may also desire to obtain certification, it’s important that you choose an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the program you choose readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Classes
There are a variety of alternatives offered for HVAC instruction in a technical or trade school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the least period of time, often achieved in just 6 months, however some programs 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 programs can provide a competitive edge in the job market and will furnish more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a short explanation of each option offered near Viper KY.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning residential or commercial HVAC specialists. They provide a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more detailed background of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally taking 2 years to complete, some degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more towards a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a standard 4 year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Picking the appropriate credential program will be based on what your long term career objectives are, as well as 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 gaining some experience in the trade in Viper KY, eventually going back to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Training Online
Choosing an HVAC program online is one alternative to attaining your training and earning a degree or certificate. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. A number also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be attended on the web, this option may be a more practical solution for many Viper KY students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are more economical than other on campus options. Even driving expenses from Viper and study supplies can be minimized, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And numerous online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family commitments have left you with limited time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it easier to fit school into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Courses near Viper KY
After you have selected the type of certificate or degree that you desire to acquire, either online or on campus, you can start to decrease your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many HVAC technical schools in the Viper KY area and throughout the United States to select from. That’s why it is very important to have a checklist of key qualifications when making school assessments. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the initial 2 aspects you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you need to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Viper 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 pertains to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Make sure that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you receive an excellent education, it can help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate may indicate that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It might also signify that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which may 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 field, but additionally that it has the network of Viper KY HVAC employers to assist graduates secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC technical programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling companies or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with local Viper KY HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the equipment 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, check with the HVAC tech you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Viper KY HVAC company if they can give you some suggestions. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Viper KY residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Speak to a few of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Viper KY, verify that the schools you are comparing offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Attending HVAC School near Viper KY?
Enroll in the Right HVAC Training Course near Viper KY
Picking the ideal HVAC training course is a critical beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating and air conditioning industry. As we have discussed in this post, you need to choose a trade school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC field. Other factors to look for are lots of hands-on training and modern facilities. You should check out 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 instruction and the interaction between them. In addition, inquire about scheduling options and whether night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options as well. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have detailed in our guidelines for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC professional in Viper KY.
More Fabulous Cities in Kentucky