HVAC Schools Near Me in Harrogate TN 37752

How to Find the Right HVAC Certification Course near Harrogate Tennessee

Harrogate TN HVAC tech servicing AC compressorOnce you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning professional, the next action is to choose an HVAC vocational school near Harrogate TN. But with so many to select from, how do you decide on the best one to obtain the training that you need? Many potential students will make their selection based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Although these are important concerns, they are not the only ones to take into account. Some of the other factors that you need to investigate are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and additional criteria will be discussed in more detail later within this article. But before we explore how to select an HVAC technical school, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c technician does to become a licensed professional tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Specialist in Harrogate TN

Harrogate TN HVAC tech servicing industrial furnacesHVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, although every state and local municipality has its own criteria. Earning professional certification is not required, but an optional way for Harrogate TN HVAC techs to establish that they are exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are several acknowledged certifications within the field that are offered. Here are a few of the significant ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is earned by passing a competency exam and may be received 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 exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience in addition to a passing score on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are provided in several specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Since licensing may be required in your location, and you may also wish to obtain certification, it’s important that you select an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be working with refrigerants, make sure that the school you pick prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.

HVAC Degree and Certificate Training Programs

Harrogate TN HVAC contractor installing residential water heaterThere are several choices available for HVAC training in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the least amount of time, typically accomplished in as little as six months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree training programs may provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will provide more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a short summary of each option offered near Harrogate TN.

  • Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more detailed knowledge of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Normally taking 2 years to finish, many degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more towards 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 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 future career goals are, along with the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One possibility is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the trade in Harrogate TN, later going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Schools Online

attending HVAC Training School Online in Harrogate TNEnrolling in an HVAC program online is one alternative to obtaining your training and earning a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in 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 may be attended online, this approach may be a more convenient solution for some Harrogate TN students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are cheaper than other traditional alternatives. Even travelling expenses from Harrogate and study supplies can be lessened, helping to make schooling more affordable. 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 online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your hectic schedule.

Questions to Ask HVAC Training Programs near Harrogate TN

After you have chosen the type of degree or certificate that you desire to earn, either on campus or online, you can begin to decrease your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Harrogate TN area and across the Country to choose from. That’s why it is essential to have a checklist of key qualifiers when making school assessments. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the initial 2 variables you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you should research before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Many HVAC trade programs in the Harrogate TN area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Make sure that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you get an excellent education, it can assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, some states require that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to be approved 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 complete the course. A lower completion rate may indicate that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It may also mean that the instructors were not competent 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 more extensive directory of graduates, which can produce 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 industry, but additionally that it has the network of Harrogate TN HVAC employers to assist graduates obtain apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  A large number of HVAC trade programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling companies or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with local Harrogate TN HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Confirm that the campus 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 already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC specialist you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Harrogate TN HVAC contractor if they can give you some tips. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Harrogate TN home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s important that you receive as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Talk to some of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to some of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.

Flexible Scheduling.  Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Harrogate TN, confirm that the schools you are comparing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.

Attending HVAC School near Harrogate TN?

Harrogate, Tennessee

Harrogate is located at 36°34′56″N 83°39′25″W / 36.58222°N 83.65694°W / 36.58222; -83.65694 (37.811324, -82.806780).[5] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.6 square miles (20 km2), all land.[6]

As of the census[9] of 2000, there were 2,865 people, 1,032 households, and 747 families residing in the Harrogate-Shawanee CDP. The population density was 688.3 inhabitants per square mile (265.9/km²). There were 1,091 housing units at an average density of 262.1 per square mile (101.3/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 94.73% White, 0.94% African American, 0.42% Native American, 0.94% Asian, 0.17% from other races, and 2.79% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 0.52% of the population.

There were 1,032 households out of which 27.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.4% were married couples living together, 12.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.6% were non-families. 23.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 2.83.

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Choose the Right HVAC Trade School near Harrogate TN

Finding the ideal HVAC training course is a crucial first step toward a gratifying career in the heating and air conditioning industry. As we have addressed in this post, you should pick a trade school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC field. Other factors to look for are ample hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should visit each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to explore 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. Additionally, inquire about scheduling options and if evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the right questions as we have detailed in our checklist for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC specialist in Harrogate TN.

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