HVAC Schools Near Me in Midway TN 37809

How to Pick an HVAC Certification Course near Midway Tennessee

Midway TN HVAC tech servicing AC compressorOnce you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner specialist, the next step is to locate an HVAC technical school near Midway TN. But with so many to select from, how do you select the right one to receive the training that you need? Some prospective students will make their selection based entirely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their home. While these are relevant considerations, they are not the only ones to evaluate. A few of the other details 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 additional criteria will be discussed in more detail later within this article. But before we explore how to pick an HVAC vocational school, let’s look at what a heating and a/c specialist does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Specialist in Midway TN

Midway TN HVAC tech servicing industrial furnacesHVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are generally mandated to be licensed, although every state and local municipality has its own requirements. Earning professional certification is not mandatory, but an alternative way for Midway TN HVAC specialists to establish that they are highly proficient and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are a number of recognized certifications within the field that are offered. Following are some of the important ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is achieved by passing a proficiency examination and can be earned in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience in addition to passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience as well as a passing result on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are provided in several specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for technicians that work with refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Because licensing could be required in your location, and you may also wish to obtain certification, it’s important that you choose an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the school you choose preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.

HVAC Certificate and Degree Training Programs

Midway TN HVAC contractor installing residential water heaterThere are several alternatives offered for HVAC instruction in a trade or technical school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the lesser period of time, typically completed in as little as 6 months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will furnish more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short explanation of each credential offered near Midway TN.

  • Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level residential or commercial HVAC specialists. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more exhaustive understanding of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically requiring 2 years to finish, a number of degrees include an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more towards a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional 4 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 based on what your future career goals are, together with the time and money that you have to invest. One option is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Midway TN, later returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, be sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Online Training

attending HVAC Training School Online in Midway TNEnrolling in an HVAC school online is one approach to obtaining your training and receiving a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete hands on training. Some 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 alternative may be a more practical solution for many Midway TN students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even driving expenses from Midway and study supplies may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family responsibilities have left you with minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it easier to fit school into your busy lifestyle.

Questions to Ask HVAC Schools near Midway TN

When you have chosen the type of certificate or degree that you want to acquire, either on campus or online, you can begin to narrow down your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are numerous HVAC trade schools in the Midway TN area and across the USA to choose from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of important qualifiers when making school comparisons. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the first 2 aspects you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Numerous HVAC vocational programs in the Midway TN area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as HVAC technology. Make certain that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you acquire a superior education, it can help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, some states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the HVAC schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate may suggest that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It might also signify that the instructors were not competent to instruct 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 graduates, which may produce more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Midway TN HVAC employers to help students acquire apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Numerous HVAC trade programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship 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 reviewing have referring partnerships with local Midway TN HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make certain that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC tech you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Midway TN HVAC contractor if they can give you some suggestions. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Midway TN residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s important that you receive as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Speak with some of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to some of the instructors and learn 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 evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Midway TN, verify that the schools you are considering offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, 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 Midway TN?

Midway, Tennessee

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Select the Right HVAC Trade School near Midway TN

Selecting the right HVAC training course is a crucial beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating and air conditioning industry. As we have covered in this post, you should pick a trade school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC field. Other things to look for are lots of practical training and modern facilities. You need to check out each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to explore the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Additionally, inquire about scheduling choices and whether night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the proper questions as we have detailed in our checklist for assessing 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 commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC professional in Midway TN.

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