How to Select an HVAC Certification Class near Senatobia Mississippi
Once you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning professional, the next action is to find an HVAC trade school near Senatobia MS. But with so many to pick from, how do you select the right one to get the training that you require? A number of future students will make their decision based solely on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. Even though these are important factors to consider, they are not the only ones to take into account. A few of the other things 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 covered in more detail later in 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 specialist does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Professional in Senatobia MS
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, though each state and local municipality has its own requirements. Attaining professional certification is not required, but a voluntary way for Senatobia MS HVAC specialists to prove that they are exceptionally qualified and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are a number of respected certifications within the trade that are offered. Following are a few of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is attained by passing a proficiency exam 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 as well as passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience along with a passing score on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are made available in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for technicians 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.
Considering that licensing may be required in your area, and you may also desire to earn certification, it’s essential that you choose an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the program you select prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Classes
There are a number of options offered for HVAC training in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, usually completed in as little as six months, although some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs might provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will deliver more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short description of each option offered near Senatobia MS.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They provide a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more comprehensive background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Usually requiring 2 years to complete, some degrees include 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 require an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional four year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Picking the appropriate 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 approach is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Senatobia MS, subsequently returning to acquire 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 Training
Choosing an HVAC school online is one option to obtaining your education and receiving a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to participate in 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 balance of the classes may be attended online, this alternative may be a more practical solution for many Senatobia MS students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are less costly than other traditional options. Even driving expenses from Senatobia and study supplies may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family commitments 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 busy lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Certification Courses near Senatobia MS
As soon as you have decided on the type of certificate or degree that you wish to obtain, either online or on campus, you can start to decrease your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are a large number of HVAC technical schools in the Senatobia MS area and all over the USA to select from. That’s why it is essential to have a checklist of important qualifications when making school assessments. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the first two factors you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you need to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC trade schools in the Senatobia MS area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Verify that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you receive a superior education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of states require that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate might signify that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It may also mean that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which may mean 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 an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Senatobia MS HVAC employers to help graduates acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC training programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC businesses or trade unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with local Senatobia MS HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC specialist you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Senatobia MS HVAC contracting company if they can provide some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Senatobia MS home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Speak with several of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Senatobia MS, check that the schools you are comparing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Attending HVAC School near Senatobia MS?
Senatobia is the home of Northwest Mississippi Community College, a state community college that provides two-year academic and technical degree programs. Northwest's system-wide enrollment exceeds 8,000 on three campuses in Senatobia, Southaven and Oxford. Also located in Senatobia is the Baddour Center, a residential care facility for intellectually disabled adults.
On April 13, 1834 early settler James Peters purchased two sections of land from the Chickasaw Nation for the sum of $1.25 per acre. This land was later developed as the town of Senatobia. The name Senatobia, given by Charles Meriweather, was derived from the Indian word Senatohoba, which means “White Sycamore”—a symbol of "rest for the weary."
Senatobia received its charter as a municipality in 1860. Tate County was organized in 1873, during the Reconstruction era. During the Civil War, the town's business section was burned twice by Federal troops.
Select the Right HVAC Certification Training near Senatobia MS
Picking the ideal HVAC training course is a critical first step toward a rewarding career in the heating and air conditioning industry. As we have addressed in this article, you should select a trade school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC profession. Other features to look for are lots of 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. Try to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Additionally, ask about scheduling choices and whether evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to ask about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the proper questions as we have outlined in our guidelines for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC technician in Senatobia MS.
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