HVAC Schools Near Me in Oakdale TN 37829

How to Enroll In an HVAC School near Oakdale Tennessee

Oakdale TN HVAC tech servicing AC compressorNow that you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next step is to locate an HVAC technical school near Oakdale TN. But with so many to pick from, how do you select the right one to obtain the training that you require? A number of future students will make their choice based solely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Even though these are significant concerns, they are not the only ones to take into account. Just some of the other details that you need to look into are the graduation 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 within this article. But before we examine how to select an HVAC technical school, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning contractor does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.

Becoming an HVAC Technician in Oakdale TN

Oakdale TN HVAC tech servicing industrial furnacesHVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, however each state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Acquiring professional certification is not required, but an alternative way for Oakdale TN HVAC specialists to prove that they are highly qualified and experienced in their area of specialization. There are a number of acknowledged certifications within the industry that are available. Below 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 makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of professional experience in addition to passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience as well as a passing score on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are offered in various specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for techs that handle refrigerants. There are three forms of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Because licensing may be required in your area, and you may also intend to earn certification, it’s imperative that you choose an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be handling refrigerants, make certain that the program you pick prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Degree and Certificate Classes

Oakdale TN HVAC contractor installing residential water heaterThere are a number of options available for HVAC training in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the minimum period of time, usually accomplished in as little as 6 months, though some programs 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 training programs might provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will furnish more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short summary of each credential offered near Oakdale TN.

  • Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more comprehensive understanding of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Usually taking two 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 for 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 being taught how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.

Picking the right credential program will be based on what your long term career objectives are, together with the time and money that you have to commit. One approach is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Oakdale TN, later returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make certain to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Classes Online

attending HVAC Training School Online in Oakdale TNAttending an HVAC school online is one approach to attaining your education and receiving a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. Some also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be participated in online, this approach may be a more practical solution for many Oakdale TN students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are more economical than other traditional choices. Even travelling expenses from Oakdale and study materials can be reduced, helping to make schooling more budget-friendly. And numerous online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family obligations have left you with minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to fit school into your busy lifestyle.

Questions For HVAC Certification Classes near Oakdale TN

Once you have picked the type of degree or certificate that you desire to obtain, either on campus or online, you can begin to decrease your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of HVAC trade schools in the Oakdale TN area and across the United States to pick from. That’s why it is essential to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school comparisons. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the initial 2 factors you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Many HVAC vocational programs in the Oakdale TN area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Verify that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, some states require that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate might suggest that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It may also suggest that the teachers were not competent to train 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 graduates, which may result in more contacts for the school to employ 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 trade, but additionally that it has the network of Oakdale TN HVAC employers to help grads obtain apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  A large number of HVAC training programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC contractors or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with local Oakdale TN HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Confirm 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 already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC technician you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Oakdale TN HVAC contracting company if they can provide some tips. Also keep in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Oakdale TN home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s desirable that you get as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Speak with some of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with a few of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.

Flexible Scheduling.  Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Oakdale TN, verify that the schools you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.

Attending HVAC School near Oakdale TN?

Oakdale, Tennessee

Oakdale was originally known as "Honeycutt" after an early settler, Allen Honeycutt. In the 1880s, the Cincinnati Southern Railway, which connected Chattanooga and Cincinnati, was built through the area, intersecting the vast system of the East Tennessee, Virginia and Georgia Railroad (later the Southern Railway) at Emory Gap near Harriman. Allen Honeycutt donated land to the railroad for construction of a switching point. In 1892, the name of the town was changed to "Oakdale" after a nearby mining operation.[4][5]

The stretch of the Cincinnati Southern from Oakdale to Somerset, Kentucky, involves steep grades that were too difficult for normal late-19th and early-20th century steam-powered locomotives, so a railyard was set up at Oakdale where trains were modified to allow them to make the trek north.[6] By the early 1900s, Oakdale had developed into an important railroad town, with a bank, five general stores, a drugstore, a hardware store, three schools, two churches, six secret societies, and a newspaper.[7] The railroad also erected a large hotel, the Babahatchie Inn ("Babahatchie" was the original name of the Emory River), in 1880, and rebuilt it after it burned in 1892.[4] In 1905, this hotel was converted into one of the nation's largest YMCA facilities,[8] with 1,500 beds and its own library and clinic.[9] Oakdale initially incorporated in 1887, though the state repealed its charter in 1895. It incorporated again in 1911.[4]

The advent of diesel locomotives, which could handle the steep grades without modifications, eliminated the need for the Oakdale railyard, and the town declined in the mid-20th century.[6] A park and tennis courts were built in the 1970s, and a new SR 299 bridge over the Emory was completed in 1999.[5]

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Pick the Right HVAC Certification Training near Oakdale TN

Picking the right HVAC training program is an important first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating and air conditioning field. As we have discussed in this post, you need to select a trade school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC field. Other things to search for are ample hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should visit each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling choices and if evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to ask about financial aid and student loan options also. If you ask the right questions as we have detailed in our checklist for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC technician in Oakdale TN.

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