How to Find the Right HVAC Certification Class near Wallingford Connecticut
Once you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner specialist, the next action is to find an HVAC technical school near Wallingford CT. But with so many to choose from, how do you pick the right one to get the training that you need? A number of potential students will make their choice based solely on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. While these are significant considerations, they are not the only ones to investigate. A few of the other factors 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. Those and additional benchmarks will be covered in more detail later within this article. But before we discuss how to pick an HVAC technical school, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning contractor does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Tech in Wallingford CT
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, though every state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Acquiring professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary way for Wallingford CT HVAC techs to demonstrate that they are highly proficient and experienced in their area of expertise. There are multiple respected certifications within the trade that are available. Following are some of the important 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. Two years of field experience in addition to passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience in addition to a passing result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are three types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing might be mandated in your location, and you may also wish to earn certification, it’s imperative that you select an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be handling refrigerants, make certain that the school you select preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Courses
There are several options offered for HVAC training in a trade or technical school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the minimum amount of time, often accomplished in as little as six months, although some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs may provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will furnish more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief description of each option offered near Wallingford CT.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They provide a solid foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more exhaustive understanding of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Usually taking 2 years to complete, a number of degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more for a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a standard four year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Selecting the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your long term career objectives are, along with the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One possibility is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Wallingford CT, subsequently returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Classes
Choosing an HVAC school online is one possibility to attaining your training and earning a certificate or degree. Nearly all 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 may be attended via the internet, this alternative may be a more practical solution for some Wallingford CT students that are pressed for time. And some online degree programs are more economical than other on campus options. Even driving expenses from Wallingford and study materials can be minimized, helping to make schooling more affordable. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family responsibilities have left you with minimal time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it easier to fit school into your hectic lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Schools near Wallingford CT
As soon as you have picked the type of certificate or degree that you desire to earn, either online or on campus, you can start to limit your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Wallingford CT area and across the United States to pick from. That’s why it is imperative to have a checklist of important qualifiers when making school comparisons. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the initial 2 aspects you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC vocational programs in the Wallingford CT area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Make sure that the program is 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 acquire a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, a number of states require that the HVAC training course 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 portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate may suggest that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It may also mean that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which can produce 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 a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Wallingford CT HVAC employers to assist graduates acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC vocational programs are taught together 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 Heating and Cooling businesses or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have working relationships with local Wallingford CT HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC tech you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Wallingford CT HVAC contracting company if they can provide some pointers. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Wallingford CT home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much individualized instruction 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 see how large they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Talk to several of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with a few of the teachers and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Wallingford CT, verify that the programs you are comparing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Attending HVAC School near Wallingford CT?
Wallingford is a town in New Haven County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 45,135 at the 2010 census. The urban center of the town is the Wallingford Center census-designated place, with a population of 18,209 at the 2010 census. The community was named after Wallingford, in England.
The Connecticut General Assembly created the town on October 10, 1667. This original plot of land near the Quinnipiac River is now considered Main Street. Starting on May 12, 1670 there were 126 people who lived in temporary housing, and five years later in 1675 there were 40 permanent homes.
Wallingford has diversified its commercial and industrial base over the past decade attracting high-technology industries as compared to traditional heavy manufacturing. It is the home of a large variety of industries and major corporations spanning the spectrum of the medical, health care, service, high-tech specialty metal manufacturing and research development. The development of the Barnes Industrial Park, Casimir Pulaski Industrial Park, Wharton Brook Industrial Park, and the South Turnpike Road area have greatly contributed to this transition. The Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, the town’s largest taxpayer, has established a research and development facility in Wallingford’s MedWay Industrial Park. An Interchange Zone which permits very restrictive commercial development of office parks, research and development centers and hotels has been created at the intersection of Interstate 91 and Route 68.
Enroll in the Right HVAC Trade School near Wallingford CT
Choosing the right HVAC training program is a critical beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating and cooling field. As we have covered in this article, you should select a school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC trade. Other features to look for are plenty of practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to go to each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Also, inquire about scheduling options and whether or not night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to inquire about financial assistance 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 filter your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC technician in Wallingford CT.
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