Category Archives: Connecticut

HVAC Schools Near Me in Weston CT 06883

How to Pick an HVAC Training Class near Weston Connecticut

Weston CT HVAC tech servicing AC compressorOnce you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next step is to locate an HVAC vocational school near Weston CT. But with so many to select from, how do you choose the right one to receive the training that you require? Many future students will make their choice based entirely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Even though these are important considerations, they are not the only ones to evaluate. A few of the other things 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 other criteria will be addressed in more detail later in this article. But before we explore how to select an HVAC technical school, let’s look at what a heating and a/c technician does to become a licensed professional tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Professional in Weston CT

Weston CT HVAC tech servicing industrial furnacesHVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, however each state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Earning professional certification is not compulsory, but an optional way for Weston CT HVAC specialists to demonstrate that they are highly qualified and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are several recognized certifications within the field that are available. Below are a few 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 examination and may 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 in addition to passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience as well as a passing result on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in various specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for techs that work with refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Because licensing may be required in your area, and you may also wish to earn certification, it’s important that you pick an HVAC vocational school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be handling refrigerants, make sure that the school you decide on readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Degree and Certificate Courses

Weston CT HVAC contractor installing residential water heaterThere are a variety of alternatives offered for HVAC training 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 least period of time, often achieved in as little as 6 months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree training programs might provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will deliver more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a short description of each option offered near Weston CT.

  • Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They provide a strong foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more detailed background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Normally taking two years to finish, a number of degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more towards 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 air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.

Selecting the right credential program will be dependent on what your long term career objectives are, in addition to the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One possibility is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Weston CT, subsequently returning 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 Courses Online

attending HVAC Training School Online in Weston CTChoosing an HVAC program online is one option to getting your training and earning a certificate or degree. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in hands on 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 participated in online, this approach may be a more convenient solution for some Weston CT students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even travelling expenses from Weston and study materials can be lessened, helping to make schooling more economical. And a large number of online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family obligations have left you with little time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to fit school into your busy schedule.

What to Ask HVAC Training Programs near Weston CT

When you have chosen the type of certificate or degree that you want to obtain, either on campus or online, you can start to limit your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of HVAC technical schools in the Weston CT area and across the United States to choose from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school assessments. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the first two variables you will take into consideration. Following are some additional ones that you should research before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Weston CT area have received 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. Confirm that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you obtain a superior education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Also, a number of states require that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate might signify that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It might also indicate that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which may produce more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Weston CT HVAC employers to help grads secure apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  A large number of HVAC training programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC contractors or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with local Weston CT HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Confirm 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 already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC specialist you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Weston CT HVAC contractor if they can give you some tips. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Weston CT home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s desirable that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult 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 students and instructors. Speak with several of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.

Flexible Scheduling.  Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Weston CT, verify that the programs you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.

Attending HVAC School near Weston CT?

Weston, Connecticut

Weston is an affluent town in Fairfield County, Connecticut. The population was 10,179 at the 2010 census.[1] The town is served by Route 57 and Route 53, both of which run through the town center. About 19% of the town's workforce commutes to New York City, about 45 miles (72 km) to the southwest.[2]

Like many towns in southwestern Connecticut, Weston is among the most affluent communities in the United States. Data collected in 2011 showed that Weston had the highest median household income in Fairfield County, Connecticut, at US$205,173.[3] In 2011 Connecticut Magazine named Weston as the number one town in Connecticut among towns with populations of 10,000–15,000. The rating considers education, crime, economy, cost and leisure.

Aside from a handful of stores that form the town’s center, Weston has little commercial development and residential development is limited by two-acre zoning.[4] Most of Devil's Den Preserve, a 1,746-acre (707 ha) nature reserve, which gets 40,000 visits a year, is located in the town.

The location could not be found.

Select the Right HVAC Training Classes near Weston CT

Finding the right HVAC training program is an important beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating and air conditioning trade. As we have discussed in this article, you should select a trade school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC trade. Other factors to look for are ample practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should check out each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to tour the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Additionally, inquire about scheduling options and whether or not 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 appropriate questions as we have detailed in our checklist for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC professional in Weston CT.

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