How to Choose an HVAC Certification Class near West Stewartstown New Hampshire
Now that you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioning specialist, the next step is to choose an HVAC trade school near West Stewartstown NH. But with so many to choose from, how do you choose the ideal one to receive the training that you need? Some prospective students will make their selection based entirely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Even though these are significant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to take into account. Some 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. These and other benchmarks will be addressed in more detail later in this article. But before we explore how to select an HVAC trade school, let’s look at what a heating and a/c technician does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Contractor in West Stewartstown NH
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, though every state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Earning professional certification is not compulsory, but a voluntary means for West Stewartstown NH HVAC techs to prove that they are exceptionally qualified and experienced in their area of specialization. There are many acknowledged 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 attained by passing a competency examination and may be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience together with passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience in addition to a passing result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are made available in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for techs that work with refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing might be required in your area, and you may also intend to acquire certification, it’s essential that you choose an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be working with refrigerants, make sure that the program you decide on preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Courses
There are a variety of choices offered for HVAC training in a vocational or trade school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the least amount of time, typically accomplished in just six months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will train 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 provide more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a short summary of each credential offered near West Stewartstown NH.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more extensive background of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually requiring 2 years to finish, many degrees feature 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 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.
Choosing the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your long term career aspirations are, in addition to the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One approach is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in West Stewartstown NH, eventually going back to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Classes Online
Choosing an HVAC school online is one approach to getting your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. Some also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place 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 West Stewartstown NH students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even driving expenses from West Stewartstown and study supplies can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family commitments have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask HVAC Schools near West Stewartstown NH
Once you have selected the type of certificate or degree that you wish to obtain, either on campus or online, you can begin to decrease your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of HVAC trade schools in the West Stewartstown NH area and throughout the Country to choose 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 most likely be the first 2 aspects you will take into consideration. Following are some additional ones that you will want to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC vocational programs in the West Stewartstown NH area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Make certain that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you acquire a quality education, it may help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited programs. Additionally, some states require that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate may signify that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It might also signify 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 list 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 affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of West Stewartstown NH HVAC employers to assist graduates secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC training programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC companies or trade unions. Check if the schools you are considering have working relationships with local West Stewartstown NH HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also furnishes 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 working with on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC technician you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local West Stewartstown NH HVAC contracting company if they can give you some suggestions. Also keep in mind that unless you can move, the school must be within commuting distance of your West Stewartstown NH home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be higher 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 difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Speak to several of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near West Stewartstown NH, verify that the programs you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Attending HVAC School near West Stewartstown NH?
Stewartstown, New Hampshire
Stewartstown is a town in Coos County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 1,004 at the 2010 census. It includes the village of West Stewartstown and is part of the Berlin, NH–VT Micropolitan Statistical Area.
Stewartstown was granted in 1770 and incorporated in 1795. Originally named Stuart after Sir John Stuart, it was incorporated as Stewartstown after the Revolutionary War, following the original Scottish spelling of the name.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 46.8 square miles (121 km2), of which 46.2 square miles (120 km2) is land and 0.6 square miles (1.6 km2) is water, comprising 1.23% of the town. The highest point is the summit of Sugar Hill, at 2,985 feet (910 m) above sea level, near the town's southeastern corner.
Enroll in the Right HVAC Training Classes near West Stewartstown NH
Choosing the right HVAC training program is a critical beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating and air conditioning industry. As we have addressed in this article, you should pick a vocational school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC field. Other features to search for are sufficient practical training and state-of-the-art 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 current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the teaching 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 also. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have outlined in our guidelines for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC technician in West Stewartstown NH.
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