How to Pick an HVAC School near Vernon Rockville Connecticut
Now that you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioner specialist, the next step is to find an HVAC vocational school near Vernon Rockville CT. But with so many to choose from, how do you choose the right one to get the training that you need? A number of potential students will make their decision based exclusively on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Although these are significant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to take into account. Some of the other factors that you need to look into 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 addressed in more detail later in this article. But before we examine how to choose an HVAC trade school, let’s look at what a heating and cooling specialist does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Specialist in Vernon Rockville CT
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are generally mandated to be licensed, however every state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Obtaining professional certification is not mandatory, but an optional way for Vernon Rockville CT HVAC technicians to demonstrate that they are exceptionally qualified and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are many recognized certifications within the field that are offered. Following are a few 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 examination and can be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of professional experience together with passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience together with a passing score on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are provided in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for technicians 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 might be required in your location, and you may also desire to obtain certification, it’s imperative that you pick an HVAC vocational school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the program you pick readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree Classes
There are a number of options available for HVAC training in a technical or trade school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the minimum amount of time, typically achieved in just 6 months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will deliver more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief description of each credential offered near Vernon Rockville CT.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They provide a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more comprehensive knowledge of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Generally taking two years to finish, some degrees incorporate 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 4 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.
Picking the appropriate credential program will be based on what your long term career aspirations are, together with the time and money that you have to invest. One approach is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Vernon Rockville CT, eventually going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Training
Choosing an HVAC program online is one approach in attaining your training and earning a certificate or degree. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete hands on training. Many also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes may be participated in online, this option may be a more practical solution for some Vernon Rockville CT students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even travelling expenses from Vernon Rockville and study supplies can be reduced, helping to make schooling more affordable. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family obligations have left you with little time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it easier to accommodate school into your hectic lifestyle.
Questions For HVAC Training Programs near Vernon Rockville CT
When you have picked the type of certificate or degree that you want to attain, either on campus or online, you can begin to limit your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are a large number of HVAC trade schools in the Vernon Rockville CT area and across the United States to select from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a list of key qualifiers when making school assessments. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the initial 2 factors you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC vocational programs in the Vernon Rockville CT area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance HVAC technology. Make sure that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you receive a superior education, it may assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Also, some states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited for it 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 low completion rate could signify that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It might also indicate 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 directory of graduates, which can mean more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Vernon Rockville CT HVAC employers to help students secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC technical programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling businesses or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local Vernon Rockville CT HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained 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, talk to the HVAC specialist you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Vernon Rockville CT HVAC company if they can give you some pointers. Also bear in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Vernon Rockville CT residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Speak with some of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Vernon Rockville CT, confirm that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.
Attending HVAC School near Vernon Rockville CT?
Vernon was incorporated in October 1808, from Bolton. Vernon was named after George Washington's Mount Vernon estate. Vernon contains the former city of Rockville, incorporated in January 1889. The Town of Vernon and city of Rockville consolidated as a town on July 1, 1965. Vernon also contains the smaller villages of Talcottville and Dobsonville.
At the 2000 census, there were 28,063 people, 12,269 households and 7,275 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,582.8 per square mile (611.1/km²). There were 12,867 housing units at an average density of 725.7 per square mile (280.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 89.95% White, 3.99% African American, 0.24% Native American, 2.65% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 1.22% from other races, and 1.91% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.58% of the population.
There were 12,269 households of which 26.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.3% were married couples living together, 10.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.7% were non-families. Of all households 33.0% were made up of individuals and 10.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.90.
Choose the Right HVAC Trade School near Vernon Rockville CT
Choosing the right HVAC training program is a crucial beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating & cooling industry. As we have addressed in this post, you should select a technical school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC trade. Other features to search for are sufficient 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 faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. In addition, inquire about scheduling options and whether or not night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to inquire about financial aid and student loan options also. If you ask the right 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 educated decision. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC professional in Vernon Rockville CT.
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