HVAC Schools Near Me in Slocum RI 02877

How to Choose an HVAC School near Slocum Rhode Island

Slocum RI HVAC tech servicing AC compressorOnce you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning specialist, the next step is to locate an HVAC technical school near Slocum RI. But with so many to pick from, how do you pick the right one to get the training that you require? Many future students will make their choice based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their home. While these are important factors to consider, they are not the only ones to take into account. A few of the other details 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. These and additional criteria will be discussed in more detail later within this article. But before we explore how to pick an HVAC training program, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c contractor does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Specialist in Slocum RI

Slocum RI HVAC tech servicing industrial furnacesHVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, although every state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Attaining professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary way for Slocum RI HVAC specialists to demonstrate that they are exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are several respected 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 achieved by passing a competency exam and can 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 examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience in addition to a passing score on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are made available in various specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are three types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Since licensing might be required in your location, and you may also wish to earn certification, it’s imperative that you choose an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be working with refrigerants, make certain that the school you choose preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.

HVAC Degree Classes

Slocum RI HVAC contractor installing residential water heaterThere are several choices available for HVAC training in a technical or vocational school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, usually accomplished in as little as six months, although some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, especially 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 deliver more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a short summary of each credential offered near Slocum RI.

  • Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level residential or commercial 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 extensive background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Generally requiring 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 geared more towards a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional four year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.

Choosing the right credential program will be based on what your long term career goals are, as well as the time and money that you have to commit. One possibility is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Slocum RI, eventually going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, be sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Online Schools

attending HVAC Training School Online in Slocum RIEnrolling in an HVAC school online is one option in obtaining your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete practical training. A number 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 can be attended on the web, this alternative may be a more practical solution for some Slocum RI students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other traditional options. Even commuting expenses from Slocum and study materials may be lessened, helping to make schooling more affordable. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career 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 hectic schedule.

Questions to Ask HVAC Schools near Slocum RI

After you have picked the type of degree or certificate that you want to attain, either online or on campus, you can begin to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of HVAC technical schools in the Slocum RI area and across the Country to select from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of key qualifiers when making school comparisons. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the initial 2 factors you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you will want to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Many HVAC trade programs in the Slocum RI 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 an individual program, for instance HVAC technology. Verify that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you get an excellent education, it can assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Additionally, many states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to qualify 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 finish the program. A low completion rate might indicate that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It may also indicate that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which can result in 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 Slocum RI HVAC employers to help students obtain apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Numerous HVAC technical programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC companies or trade unions. Check if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with local Slocum RI HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make sure that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC tech you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Slocum RI HVAC company if they can give you some suggestions. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Slocum RI residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s important that you receive as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Talk with several of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to a few of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.

Flexible Scheduling.  Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Slocum RI, check that the programs you are looking at provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Attending HVAC School near Slocum RI?

Samuel Slocum

Samuel Slocum (March 4, 1792 - January 26, 1861), was an American inventor from Poughkeepsie, New York. He was born in Jamestown, RI, son of Peleg Slocum and Anne Dyer Slocum. He was raised in Usquepaugh, RI, a village in South Kingstown, RI, where a Mr. William Lockwood sometime after 1772, first invented the common pin with a head, to keep it from slipping through cloth.[1] Samuel was the 6th of 8 children. He worked as a carpenter before he decided to move to London and become a pin maker. He married Susan Stanton Slocum in 1817 at Richmond, RI, and had three children, Samuel Dyer Slocum, Mary Slocum, and John Stanton Slocum.

A short time later he moved back to the United States, to Poughkeepsie, NY and formed a pin manufacturing company, Slocum and Jillson, which invented a "Machine for Sticking Pins into Paper", which is often believed to be the first stapler. In fact, this patent from September 30, 1841, Patent #2275, is for a device used for packaging pins.

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Select the Right HVAC Trade School near Slocum RI

Enrolling in the ideal HVAC training program is an important beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating & cooling field. As we have addressed in this article, you should pick a school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC trade. Other factors to search for are ample hands-on training and modern facilities. You need to visit each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to explore the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Additionally, ask about scheduling choices and if evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have detailed in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC contractor in Slocum RI.

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