How to Pick an HVAC Certification Course near Maumelle Arkansas
Now that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next step is to choose an HVAC vocational school near Maumelle AR. But with so many to choose from, how do you select the right one to get the training that you require? A number of future students will make their selection based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Although these are significant considerations, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Some of the other things 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 criteria will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we examine how to choose an HVAC vocational school, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning contractor does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Technician in Maumelle AR
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are generally required to be licensed, however every state and local municipality has its own requirements. Earning professional certification is not required, but an alternative means for Maumelle AR HVAC specialists to establish that they are highly qualified and accomplished in their area of specialization. There are many recognized certifications within the industry that are offered. Below are some 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 competency exam and may be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience as well as passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience as well as a passing result on the professional level exam. As with 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 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 wish to obtain certification, it’s imperative that you enroll in an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the school you choose prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Courses
There are a number of choices offered for HVAC instruction in a technical or vocational school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the lesser period of time, usually accomplished in just six months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive edge in the job market and will provide more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short summary of each option offered near Maumelle AR.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more comprehensive background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Usually requiring two years to complete, a number of 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 traditional four 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 ideal credential program will be dependent on what your future career aspirations are, in addition to 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 Maumelle AR, eventually going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Training
Attending an HVAC program online is one possibility in obtaining your education and receiving a degree or certificate. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in hands on training. Some also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes may be participated in online, this alternative may be a more practical solution for many Maumelle AR students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even driving expenses from Maumelle and study supplies may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online schools 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 HVAC online training program will make it easier to accommodate school into your busy lifestyle.
Questions For HVAC Schools near Maumelle AR
As soon as you have selected the type of certificate or degree that you would like to acquire, either on campus or online, you can begin to narrow down your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Maumelle AR area and across the USA to pick from. That’s why it is essential to have a checklist of important qualifications when making school comparisons. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the first two aspects you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you should research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Maumelle AR area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance HVAC technology. Confirm that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you acquire an excellent education, it can help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited programs. Additionally, some states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate could signify that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It might also signify that the instructors were not qualified 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 broader list of graduates, which can mean 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 a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Maumelle AR HVAC employers to help graduates obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC training 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 Heating and Cooling companies or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local Maumelle AR HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC tech you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Maumelle AR HVAC company if they can give you some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Maumelle AR home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Speak with some of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Maumelle AR, confirm that the schools you are looking at provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Attending HVAC School near Maumelle AR?
Maumelle is an affluent city in Pulaski County, Arkansas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 17,163. The city is located northwest of Little Rock, bordering the opposite shore of the Arkansas River and is part of the Little Rock metropolitan area.
Maumelle was founded by Jess Odom with federal assistance from the Urban Growth and New Community Development Act. Maumelle was the location of the second oldest Target Corporation distribution center. The center closed in 2009
As of the census of 2010, there are 17,163 people, 6,531 households, and 3,174 families residing in the city. The population density is 463.2/km² (1,199.3/mi²). There are 4,294 housing units at an average density of 188.4/km² (487.8/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 82.9% White, 12.1% Black or African American, 0.40% Native American, 2.3% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.41% from other races, and 0.97% from two or more races. 1.77% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Pick the Right HVAC Training Course near Maumelle AR
Picking the ideal HVAC training course is an important beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating & cooling industry. As we have discussed in this article, you need to select a trade school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC trade. Other things to search for are ample practical training and modern facilities. You need to go to each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to tour the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Additionally, ask about scheduling options and whether night or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the right questions as we have laid out in our guidelines for comparing schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC technician in Maumelle AR.
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