How to Enroll In an HVAC Training Class near Jonesboro Arkansas
Once you have decided on a career as a heating and cooling technician, the next step is to look for an HVAC trade school near Jonesboro AR. But with so many to pick from, how do you pick the right one to obtain the training that you need? Many potential students will make their selection based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. Although these are necessary considerations, they are not the only ones to take into account. Just some of the other factors that you need to investigate are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and additional criteria will be addressed in more detail later within this article. But before we examine how to select an HVAC vocational school, let’s look at what a heating and a/c specialist does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Technician in Jonesboro AR
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, though every state and local municipality has its own criteria. Acquiring professional certification is not required, but an optional means for Jonesboro AR HVAC techs to establish that they are highly qualified and experienced in their area of expertise. There are several acknowledged certifications within the field that are offered. Here are some of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is achieved by passing a proficiency exam and can be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience together with passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience along with a passing score on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are offered in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for technicians that handle 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 required in your area, and you may also wish to acquire certification, it’s important that you enroll in an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be handling refrigerants, make certain that the program you pick prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Courses
There are a number of options available for HVAC instruction in a technical or trade school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the minimum amount of time, usually achieved in just 6 months, however some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree training programs may provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will deliver more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short explanation of each credential offered near Jonesboro AR.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more comprehensive understanding of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically taking two years to complete, a number of degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared 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 air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.
Choosing the right credential program will be based on what your future career goals are, together with the time and money that you have to commit. One possibility is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Jonesboro AR, eventually going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Classes
Attending an HVAC program online is one alternative to obtaining your education and receiving a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. Many also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes may be participated in online, this option may be a more convenient solution for many Jonesboro AR students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are less costly than other traditional alternatives. Even driving expenses from Jonesboro and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family obligations have left you with limited time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to fit school into your busy schedule.
Questions For HVAC Schools near Jonesboro AR
As soon as you have decided on the type of degree or certificate that you desire to obtain, either online or on campus, you can begin to limit your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Jonesboro AR area and throughout the Country to choose from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school evaluations. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the first 2 variables you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you need to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC vocational programs in the Jonesboro AR area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive 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 program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Also, some states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited for it 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 program. A lower completion rate could signify that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It could also indicate that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have higher 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 will not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Jonesboro AR HVAC employers to assist graduates acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC technical programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC contractors or labor unions. Check if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with local Jonesboro AR HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC tech you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Jonesboro AR HVAC company if they can give you some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Jonesboro AR home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Speak with a few of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to some of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Jonesboro AR, check that the programs you are comparing provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Attending HVAC School near Jonesboro AR?
Jonesboro is a city in Craighead County, Arkansas, United States. According to the 2010 Census, the population of the city was 71,551. A college town, home of the Arkansas State Red Wolves, Jonesboro is the largest city in northeastern Arkansas and the Arkansas Delta; it is the fifth-most populous city in the state.
It is the principal city of and is included in the Jonesboro, Arkansas Metropolitan Statistical Area. In 2010, the Jonesboro metropolitan area had a population of 121,026 and a population of 163,116 in the Jonesboro-Paragould Combined Statistical Area.
Jonesboro is home to Arkansas State University and New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine's A-State campus. It is a regional center for manufacturing, agriculture, medicine, education, and trade.
Pick the Right HVAC Training Course near Jonesboro AR
Picking the ideal HVAC training program is a critical beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating and air conditioning field. As we have covered in this article, you need to pick a school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC community. Other features to search for are lots of practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to visit each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to tour 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. Also, inquire about scheduling options and whether or not night or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to ask about financial aid and student loan options as well. 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 right training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC technician in Jonesboro AR.
More Fabulous Cities in Arkansas
Business Results 1 - 10 of 77