How to Enroll In an HVAC Training Class near New Brockton Alabama
Now that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and cooling specialist, the next step is to find an HVAC trade school near New Brockton AL. But with so many to select from, how do you select the right one to obtain the training that you require? Some prospective students will make their decision based solely on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. While these are relevant considerations, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Some of the other factors 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. Those and additional criteria will be discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we tackle how to pick an HVAC training program, let’s look at what a heating and a/c contractor does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Technician in New Brockton AL
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians 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 commonly mandated to be licensed, though every state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Acquiring professional certification is not compulsory, but a voluntary way for New Brockton AL HVAC technicians to demonstrate that they are highly proficient and experienced in their area of expertise. There are multiple respected certifications within the industry that are available. 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 competency exam and can be received in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers 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 score on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are made available in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are three types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing might be mandated in your location, and you may also intend to obtain certification, it’s essential that you select an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be working with refrigerants, make certain that the program you select readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Schools
There are several alternatives available for HVAC instruction 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 minimum amount of time, often completed in just six months, although some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree training programs may provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will provide more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief explanation of each option offered near New Brockton AL.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They provide a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more extensive knowledge of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally taking two years to finish, a number of degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more for 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 mastering how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Selecting the ideal credential program will be based on what your long term career aspirations are, along with the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One possibility is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in New Brockton AL, eventually going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Classes Online
Enrolling in an HVAC school online is one possibility to obtaining your education and receiving a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to complete practical training. A number also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes may be attended online, this alternative may be a more practical solution for some New Brockton AL students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are less costly than other traditional choices. Even driving expenses from New Brockton and study supplies may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family commitments have left you with minimal time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to fit school into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask HVAC Training Programs near New Brockton AL
When you have decided on the type of certificate or degree that you desire to acquire, either online or on campus, you can begin to narrow down your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of HVAC vocational schools in the New Brockton AL area and across the United States to select from. That’s why it is essential to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school assessments. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the initial two aspects you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you will want to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC trade schools in the New Brockton AL area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Verify that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you get a superior education, it may assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many states require that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate might suggest that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It might also suggest that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which may result in more contacts for the school to use 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 trade, but also that it has the network of New Brockton AL HVAC employers to assist graduates obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC technical programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC companies or labor unions. Check if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with local New Brockton AL HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC technician you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local New Brockton AL HVAC contracting company if they can provide some suggestions. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your New Brockton AL home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be higher 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 difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Speak to a few of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to a few of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near New Brockton AL, verify that the schools you are looking at provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Attending HVAC School near New Brockton AL?
New Brockton, Alabama
New Brockton is located east of the center of Coffee County at 31°22′52″N 85°55′28″W / 31.38111°N 85.92444°W / 31.38111; -85.92444 (31.381138, -85.924339). The city of Enterprise is directly to the southeast.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,146 people, 469 households, and 327 families residing in the town. The population density was 143 people per square mile (55.4/km²). There were 561 housing units at an average density of 70.1 per square mile (27.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 70.1% White, 21.0% Black or African American, 5.5% Native American, 0.2% from other races, and 2.7% from two or more races. 2.5% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 469 households out of which 27.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.3% were married couples living together, 15.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.3% were non-families. 27.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 2.97.
Select the Right HVAC Training Classes near New Brockton AL
Picking the ideal HVAC training course is a crucial beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating and cooling field. As we have discussed in this post, you should pick a technical school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC trade. Other things to look for are plenty of practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should go to each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to explore the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling choices and if night or weekend classes are offered 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 checklist for comparing 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 dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC contractor in New Brockton AL.
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