Category Archives: Indiana

HVAC Schools Near Me in Westville IN 46391

How to Choose an HVAC Certification Class near Westville Indiana

Westville IN HVAC tech servicing AC compressorNow that you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next step is to choose an HVAC trade school near Westville IN. But with so many to pick from, how do you decide on the right one to get the training that you require? A number of future students will make their decision based solely on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their home. While these are relevant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to take into account. A few of the other factors that you need to research are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and other benchmarks will be addressed in more detail later within this article. But before we examine how to choose an HVAC technical school, let’s take a look at what a heating and air conditioning specialist does to become a licensed professional tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Technician in Westville IN

Westville IN HVAC tech servicing industrial furnacesHVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, though each state and local municipality has its own criteria. Attaining professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary way for Westville IN HVAC specialists to demonstrate that they are highly skilled and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are a number of recognized certifications within the field that are available. Below are some of the important ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is achieved by passing a proficiency exam and may be received in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of professional experience as well as passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience along with a passing score on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in several specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are three forms of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Because licensing might be mandated in your area, and you may also intend to earn certification, it’s important that you pick an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be handling refrigerants, make certain that the program you decide on preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.

HVAC Degree and Certificate Classes

Westville IN HVAC contractor installing residential water heaterThere are several alternatives available for HVAC training in a trade or technical school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the minimum period of time, usually completed in as little as 6 months, although some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will provide more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief summary of each credential offered near Westville IN.

  • Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning residential or commercial HVAC specialists. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more comprehensive understanding of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually taking two years to finish, a number of degrees include an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more towards a career in management or even 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 cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.

Picking the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your long term career objectives are, in addition to 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 Westville IN, later returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Online Schools

attending HVAC Training School Online in Westville INAttending an HVAC school online is one approach in attaining your training and receiving a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to complete practical training. A number also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes can be participated in via the internet, this option may be a more practical solution for some Westville IN students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are more economical than other on campus alternatives. Even travelling expenses from Westville and study supplies may 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 obligations have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to fit school into your active schedule.

Questions For HVAC Certification Courses near Westville IN

When you have chosen the type of degree or certificate that you wish to obtain, either online or on campus, you can begin to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are many HVAC vocational schools in the Westville IN area and all over the Country to select from. That’s why it is essential to have a list of important qualifications when making school comparisons. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the first two aspects you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you will want to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Many HVAC trade schools in the Westville IN area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Make certain that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you receive a superior education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited in order 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 percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate may signify that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It could also signify that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which may result in more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Westville IN HVAC employers to assist graduates obtain apprenticeships or employment.

Apprenticeship Programs.  A large number of HVAC training programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Westville IN HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to establish 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 up-to-date 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 regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Westville IN HVAC contracting company if they can give you some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Westville IN home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s desirable that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Talk to several of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to a few of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.

Flexible Scheduling.  Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Westville IN, confirm that the schools you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.

Attending HVAC School near Westville IN?

Westville

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Select the Right HVAC Training Course near Westville IN

Picking the right HVAC training program is a crucial beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating and cooling field. As we have discussed in this post, you should choose a vocational school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC community. Other things to look for are ample hands-on training and modern facilities. You need to check out each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to tour the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. In addition, ask about scheduling options and whether or not night or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial aid and student loan options also. 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 informed decision. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC contractor in Westville IN.

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