HVAC Schools Near Me in Summertown TN 38483

How to Choose an HVAC School near Summertown Tennessee

Summertown TN HVAC tech servicing AC compressorOnce you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning specialist, the next action is to find an HVAC vocational school near Summertown TN. But with so many to pick from, how do you select the ideal one to get the training that you require? Many prospective students will make their choice based solely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Even though these are necessary concerns, they are not the only ones to take into account. A few of the other factors 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 addressed in more detail later within this article. But before we tackle how to pick an HVAC trade school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling specialist does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Specialist in Summertown TN

Summertown TN HVAC tech servicing industrial furnacesHVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are generally mandated to be licensed, however each state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Earning professional certification is not required, but an optional way for Summertown TN HVAC specialists to prove that they are exceptionally proficient and experienced in their area of specialization. There are multiple respected certifications within the field that are available. Here are a few of the important ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is attained 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 professional experience together with passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience along with a passing result on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are made available in several specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is required for techs that handle refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Considering that licensing may be mandated in your location, and you may also wish to acquire certification, it’s imperative that you pick an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be handling refrigerants, make sure that the school you decide on preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.

HVAC Certificate and Degree Schools

Summertown TN HVAC contractor installing residential water heaterThere are several options offered for HVAC instruction in a technical or vocational school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the least amount of time, often completed in just 6 months, though some programs 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 programs may provide a competitive edge in the job market and will deliver more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short explanation of each option offered near Summertown TN.

  • Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They provide a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more extensive knowledge of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Normally taking two 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 as well as business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a standard 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.

Choosing the appropriate credential program will be based on what your future career objectives are, together with the time and money that you have to invest. One option is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Summertown TN, later returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Schools Online

attending HVAC Training School Online in Summertown TNChoosing an HVAC school online is one approach to getting your training and earning a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. Some also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be attended via the internet, this option may be a more accessible solution for some Summertown TN students that are pressed for time. And some online degree programs are cheaper than other traditional choices. Even driving expenses from Summertown and study materials can be minimized, helping to make schooling more affordable. And numerous online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family commitments have left you with minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to accommodate school into your hectic schedule.

What to Ask HVAC Training Programs near Summertown TN

After you have selected the type of degree or certificate that you would like to attain, either on campus or online, you can start to limit your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Summertown TN area and all over the United States to select from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of relevant qualifiers when making school comparisons. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the initial two aspects you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you will want to research before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Many HVAC trade programs in the Summertown TN area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as HVAC technology. Verify that the school 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 make certain that you obtain an excellent education, it can help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Additionally, many states require that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning 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 program. A low completion rate might indicate that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It might also indicate that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, 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 a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Summertown TN HVAC employers to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Many HVAC training programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC contractors or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with local Summertown TN HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC technician you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Summertown TN HVAC contractor if they can provide some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Summertown TN home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s desirable that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak to some of the students and get their opinions concerning 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 have earned.

Flexible Scheduling.  Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Summertown TN, check that the programs you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.

Attending HVAC School near Summertown TN?

Summertown, Tennessee

Summertown is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) in Lawrence County, Tennessee with a small portion in both Lewis County and Maury County.[3] The population of Summertown was 866 at the 2010 census.[2]

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Pick the Right HVAC Trade School near Summertown TN

Finding the ideal HVAC training course is an important beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating and cooling field. As we have covered in this post, you need to select a vocational school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC profession. Other things to search for are plenty of practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to go to 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 instruction and the interaction between them. In addition, ask about scheduling options and whether or not evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to ask about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the right questions as we have outlined in our checklist for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC technician in Summertown TN.

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