How to Find the Right HVAC School near Notasulga Alabama
Now that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning specialist, the next action is to choose an HVAC technical school near Notasulga AL. But with so many to select from, how do you pick the right one to obtain the training that you need? A number of potential students will make their selection based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Although these are important considerations, they are not the only ones to evaluate. A few 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. These and other benchmarks will be addressed in more detail later in this article. But before we examine how to pick an HVAC technical school, let’s take a look at what a heating and air conditioning professional does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Tech in Notasulga AL
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are generally mandated to be licensed, however each state and local municipality has its own criteria. Attaining professional certification is not mandatory, but an optional means for Notasulga AL HVAC specialists to establish that they are highly proficient and experienced in their area of expertise. There are several recognized certifications within the field that are offered. Here 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 competency examination and may be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience together with passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience along with a passing score on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are made available in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for techs that work with refrigerants. There are three forms of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing might be required in your area, and you may also desire to earn certification, it’s essential that you select an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be working with refrigerants, make sure that the program you select preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Courses
There are several alternatives available for HVAC instruction in a vocational or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the least period of time, usually completed in as little as six months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify 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 for securing employment and will provide more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief explanation of each option offered near Notasulga AL.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular 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 provides a more detailed background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Typically requiring 2 years to finish, some degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more for a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional four year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Picking the right credential program will be dependent on what your long term career aspirations are, together with the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One possibility is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Notasulga AL, eventually going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Courses Online
Choosing an HVAC school online is one alternative to getting your training and earning a degree or certificate. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. A number also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes may be attended on the web, this option may be a more accessible solution for many Notasulga AL students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even commuting expenses from Notasulga and study supplies may be reduced, 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 little time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to fit school into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Classes near Notasulga AL
Once you have decided on the type of degree or certificate that you would like to acquire, either on campus or online, you can begin to narrow down your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are many HVAC technical schools in the Notasulga AL area and all over the USA to choose from. That’s why it is very important to have a checklist of key qualifiers when making school assessments. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the initial 2 factors you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you will want to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC technical programs in the Notasulga AL area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Confirm that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you acquire an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, some states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to qualify 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 percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate might indicate that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It might also indicate that the instructors were not qualified 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 broader list 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Notasulga AL HVAC employers to help graduates obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC vocational programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with local Notasulga AL HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC technician you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Notasulga AL HVAC contracting company if they can give you some suggestions. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Notasulga 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 get as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Talk to a few of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with a few of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Notasulga AL, confirm that the programs you are looking at provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Attending HVAC School near Notasulga AL?
Notasulga is a town in Lee and Macon counties in the U.S. state of Alabama. As of the 2010 census, the population of the town was 965, up from 916 in 2000. The portion in Lee County is part of the Auburn Metropolitan Area. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, it incorporated in 1893. Author Zora Neale Hurston was born in Notasulga in 1891.
As of the census of 2000, there were 916 people, 393 households, and 260 families residing in the town. The population density was 65.9 people per square mile (25.4/km²). There were 446 housing units at an average density of 32.1 per square mile (12.4/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 66.27% White, 32.42% Black or African American, 0.22% Native American, 0.55% from other races, and 0.55% from two or more races. 0.76% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 393 households out of which 26.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.6% were married couples living together, 14.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.6% were non-families. 29.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.87.
Choose the Right HVAC Trade School near Notasulga AL
Picking the right HVAC training program is a crucial first step toward a rewarding career in the heating & cooling industry. As we have addressed in this post, you should select a school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC trade. Other factors to look for are plenty of hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should check out 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 training and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling options and if evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to inquire about financial aid and student loan options too. If you ask the proper questions as we have detailed in our guidelines for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC technician in Notasulga AL.
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