HVAC Schools Near Me in Oakland TN 38060

How to Select an HVAC Training Class near Oakland Tennessee

Oakland TN HVAC tech servicing AC compressorOnce you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner professional, the next step is to look for an HVAC vocational school near Oakland TN. But with so many to choose from, how do you decide on the right one to obtain the training that you need? Many future students will make their choice based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Although these are necessary concerns, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Just some of the other details 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 discussed in more detail later within this article. But before we explore how to choose an HVAC technical school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling specialist does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.

Becoming an HVAC Tech in Oakland TN

Oakland TN HVAC tech servicing industrial furnacesHVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are generally required to be licensed, although each state and local municipality has its own criteria. Obtaining professional certification is not compulsory, but a voluntary way for Oakland TN HVAC technicians to demonstrate that they are highly proficient and experienced in their area of specialization. There are a number of acknowledged certifications within the industry that are offered. Here are some of the important ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is earned by passing a proficiency exam and may be earned in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience in addition to passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience along with a passing score on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in various specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for techs 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.

Considering that licensing could be mandated in your location, and you may also intend to earn certification, it’s important that you enroll in an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the school you decide on readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.

HVAC Degree Schools

Oakland TN HVAC contractor installing residential water heaterThere are a number of choices available for HVAC training in a technical or vocational school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, typically completed in as little as 6 months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will deliver more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short summary of each credential offered near Oakland TN.

  • Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more comprehensive understanding of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally requiring 2 years to finish, some degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more towards a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional four year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.

Selecting the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your long term career goals are, together with the time and money that you have to commit. One approach is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Oakland TN, eventually returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Online Training

attending HVAC Training School Online in Oakland TNAttending an HVAC program online is one approach in attaining your training and receiving a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. A number also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes may be participated in on the web, this option may be a more practical solution for many Oakland TN students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even travelling expenses from Oakland and study materials can be reduced, helping to make schooling more economical. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family commitments have left you with little time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to fit school into your busy schedule.

Questions to Ask HVAC Training Programs near Oakland TN

As soon as you have selected the type of degree or certificate that you desire to obtain, either on campus or online, you can start to narrow down your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are many HVAC technical schools in the Oakland TN area and across the United States to choose from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a list of relevant qualifiers when making school evaluations. As earlier stated 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 will want to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Many HVAC technical schools in the Oakland TN area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Make certain that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you obtain a superior education, it can assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, a number of states require that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the HVAC schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate may signify that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It could also mean that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which can produce more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Oakland TN HVAC employers to assist students secure apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Many HVAC trade programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC contractors or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with local Oakland TN HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC tech you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Oakland TN HVAC contractor if they can provide some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Oakland TN home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s important that you receive as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Talk to a few of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with a few of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.

Flexible Scheduling.  Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Oakland TN, confirm that the schools you are comparing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.

Attending HVAC School near Oakland TN?

Oakland, Tennessee

Oakland is a town in Fayette County, Tennessee, United States. In 2010 the population of the town was 6,623,[5] a gain of 417.8% since 2000, for the largest gain of any municipality in the tri-state area of Memphis TN-MS-AR.[citation needed]

Oakland is located in west-central Fayette County. U.S. Route 64 is the main highway through town, leading east 9 miles (14 km) to Somerville, the county seat, and west 32 miles (51 km) to downtown Memphis. Tennessee Routes 194 and 196 are north-south state highways in Oakland.

According to the United States Census Bureau, as of 2010 the town had a total area of 10.3 square miles (26.6 km2),[5] compared to a total area in 2000 of 3.6 square miles (9.3 km2). The town limits have expanded north and south of the original town center, and especially to the west along US 64, extending 6.5 miles (10.5 km) to nearly reach the Shelby County line.

The location could not be found.

Pick the Right HVAC Certification Training near Oakland TN

Choosing the ideal HVAC training program is an important beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating and cooling trade. As we have addressed in this post, you should choose a trade school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC trade. Other features to look for are plenty of practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should go to each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Additionally, ask about scheduling options and whether evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to ask about financial aid and student loan options too. If you ask the right questions as we have laid out in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices 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 Oakland TN.

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