How to Select an HVAC Certification Course near Shepherd Montana
Now that you have decided on a career as a heating and cooling specialist, the next step is to find an HVAC technical school near Shepherd MT. But with so many to choose from, how do you choose the best one to obtain the training that you require? Many prospective students will make their choice based entirely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Although these are important considerations, they are not the only ones to take into account. Just some of the other things that you need to investigate are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and additional criteria will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we explore how to pick an HVAC trade school, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning technician does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Specialist in Shepherd MT
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, although each state and local municipality has its own criteria. Attaining professional certification is not compulsory, but a voluntary way for Shepherd MT HVAC specialists to establish that they are highly qualified and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are a number of respected certifications within the trade that are available. Here are a few 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 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 professional experience as well as passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience as well as 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 techs that handle refrigerants. There are three forms of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing might be mandated in your location, and you may also wish to obtain certification, it’s essential that you enroll in an HVAC vocational school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be handling refrigerants, make certain that the program you choose prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are a variety of options offered for HVAC training in a trade or technical school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the lesser period of time, usually accomplished in just six months, though 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 in the job market and will furnish more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief description of each credential offered near Shepherd MT.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning residential or commercial HVAC specialists. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more detailed background of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Normally taking two years to finish, many degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more for a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a standard four year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Picking the ideal credential program will be based on what your future career aspirations are, along with the time and money that you have to commit. One possibility is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Shepherd MT, eventually going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, be sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Classes Online
Enrolling in an HVAC program online is one alternative in attaining your training and earning a degree or certificate. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. Some also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes can be attended on the web, this alternative may be a more accessible solution for many Shepherd MT students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are more economical than other on campus alternatives. Even driving expenses from Shepherd and study materials can be minimized, helping to make schooling more budget-friendly. And many online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family commitments have left you with limited time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it easier to accommodate school into your active schedule.
What to Ask HVAC Certification Courses near Shepherd MT
When you have picked the type of certificate or degree that you desire to attain, either online or on campus, you can start to limit your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are numerous HVAC technical schools in the Shepherd MT area and all over the USA to select from. That’s why it is essential to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school assessments. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the initial 2 aspects you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you need to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC vocational programs in the Shepherd MT area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Make certain that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you receive a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate could indicate that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It may also indicate that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which can mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Shepherd MT HVAC employers to help students secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC vocational programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling contractors or trade unions. Check if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with local Shepherd MT HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are currently 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 Shepherd MT HVAC contracting company if they can provide some tips. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Shepherd MT home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Speak to a few of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to some 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 assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Shepherd MT, check that the schools you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.
Attending HVAC School near Shepherd MT?
Shepherd is a census-designated place (CDP) in Yellowstone County, Montana, United States. The population was 193 at the 2000 census. Shepherd is a Billings suburb located to the northeast. The unincorporated town was named after R.E. Shepherd, a prominent early settler and owner of the Billings Land and Irrigation Company and the Merchants National Bank.
As of the census of 2000, there were 193 people, 71 households, and 51 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 181.0 people per square mile (69.6/km²). There were 79 housing units at an average density of 74.1 per square mile (28.5/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 94.30% White, 4.15% Native American, and 1.55% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.52% of the population.
There were 71 households out of which 39.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.9% were married couples living together, 15.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.8% were non-families. 23.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.72 and the average family size was 3.23.
Pick the Right HVAC Certification Training near Shepherd MT
Finding the ideal HVAC training program is a critical first step toward a gratifying career in the heating and cooling field. As we have covered in this post, you need to pick a vocational school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC community. Other things to look for are lots of practical training and modern facilities. You should check out each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to tour the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Additionally, ask about scheduling choices and if evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to inquire about financial aid 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 options so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC specialist in Shepherd MT.
More Fabulous Cities in Montana
Business Results 1 - 10 of 12