How to Enroll In an HVAC Training Class near Dumas Arkansas
Once you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next step is to find an HVAC technical school near Dumas AR. But with so many to choose from, how do you pick the right one to obtain the training that you require? Many potential students will make their choice based entirely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Although these are relevant concerns, they are not the only ones to take into account. Just some of the other factors that you need to look into are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and other benchmarks will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we examine how to choose an HVAC technical school, let’s look at what a heating and cooling professional does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Contractor in Dumas AR
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are generally mandated to be licensed, although every state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Acquiring professional certification is not mandatory, but an optional means for Dumas AR HVAC technicians to establish that they are exceptionally skilled and experienced in their area of specialization. There are many acknowledged certifications within the trade that are offered. Below are a few of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is achieved by passing a proficiency 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 field experience together with passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience as well as a passing score on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are made available in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are three types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing might be required in your location, and you may also intend to obtain certification, it’s essential that you pick an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be handling refrigerants, make certain that the school you pick prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Schools
There are a variety 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. Earning a certificate will take the least amount of time, typically achieved in just 6 months, although some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree programs may provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will deliver more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief description of each credential offered near Dumas AR.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning residential or commercial HVAC specialists. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more detailed background of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally taking 2 years to finish, some degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more for a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a standard 4 year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Picking the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your long term career aspirations 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 getting some experience in the trade in Dumas AR, eventually returning to obtain 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
Choosing an HVAC program online is one possibility to obtaining your training and receiving a certificate or degree. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. Many also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes may be participated in online, this option may be a more accessible solution for many Dumas AR students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even commuting expenses from Dumas and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And numerous online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family responsibilities have left you with limited time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it less complicated to fit school into your busy lifestyle.
Questions to Ask HVAC Training Classes near Dumas AR
When you have picked the type of certificate or degree that you wish to obtain, either on campus or online, you can start to narrow down your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are numerous HVAC trade schools in the Dumas AR area and all over the United States to choose from. That’s why it is imperative to have a checklist of relevant qualifiers when making school evaluations. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the initial two factors you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you should research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC trade schools in the Dumas AR area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as HVAC technology. Make sure that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you acquire a quality education, it may help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, many states require that the HVAC training course be accredited in order 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 percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate may signify that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It may also mean that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s also essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which can produce more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Dumas AR HVAC employers to assist graduates obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC vocational programs are taught together 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 HVAC companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with local Dumas AR HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC specialist you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Dumas AR HVAC contractor if they can provide some pointers. Also bear in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Dumas AR home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Speak with a few of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with a few of the teachers and learn 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 assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Dumas AR, confirm that the programs you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Attending HVAC School near Dumas AR?
Dumas is located in northwestern Desha County at 33°53′12″N 91°29′19″W / 33.88667°N 91.48861°W / 33.88667; -91.48861 (33.886626, -91.488544). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.2 square miles (8.4 km2), all land. The city is located in the Delta Lowlands sub-region of the Arkansas Delta, producing a topography which is largely flat.
The climate in the area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Dumas has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
As of the census of 2000, there were 5,238 people, 1,977 households, and 1,399 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,768.0 people per square mile (683.2/km²). There were 2,177 housing units at an average density of 734.8 per square mile (284.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 26.62% White, 70.02% Black or African American, 0.08% Native American, 0.50% Asian, 2.00% from other races, and 0.78% from two or more races. 3.19% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Choose the Right HVAC Training Classes near Dumas AR
Enrolling in the ideal HVAC training program is a critical beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating and air conditioning field. As we have addressed in this post, you need to select a vocational school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC profession. Other things to look 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 inspect the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling choices and if evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to inquire about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the proper questions as we have laid out 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 proper training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC professional in Dumas AR.
More Fabulous Cities in Arkansas