How to Find the Right HVAC Training Class near Augusta Kentucky
Now that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning professional, the next action is to locate an HVAC vocational school near Augusta KY. But with so many to pick from, how do you decide on the right one to obtain the training that you require? Some prospective students will make their decision based solely on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Although these are significant considerations, they are not the only ones to take into account. Just some of the other factors that you need to research are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and other criteria will be covered in more detail later within this article. But before we explore how to select an HVAC vocational 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 Augusta KY
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, however every state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Attaining professional certification is not required, but an optional means for Augusta KY HVAC specialists to prove that they are highly skilled and experienced in their area of expertise. There are many recognized certifications within the industry that are available. Below are a few of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is achieved by passing a proficiency examination and can be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience as well as passing a comprehensive examination are needed 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 several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for technicians that work with refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing may be required in your location, and you may also wish to obtain certification, it’s important that you pick an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be working with refrigerants, make certain that the program you choose readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Courses
There are a number of alternatives available for HVAC training in a vocational or trade school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the least amount of time, typically accomplished in just 6 months, however 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 may provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will furnish more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a short explanation of each option offered near Augusta KY.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They provide a solid foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more comprehensive knowledge of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Normally requiring two years to complete, some degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more towards a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional four year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.
Selecting the appropriate credential program will be based on what your future career goals are, as well as 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 getting some experience in the field in Augusta KY, subsequently returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make certain to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Courses Online
Enrolling in an HVAC program online is one option in obtaining your education and earning a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. A number 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 attended on the web, this option may be a more practical solution for many Augusta KY students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are more economical than other traditional choices. Even travelling expenses from Augusta and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family commitments have left you with minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your active lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Trade Schools near Augusta KY
After 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 certainly aware, there are a large number of HVAC technical schools in the Augusta KY area and throughout the Country to select from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of important qualifiers when making school assessments. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the first 2 variables you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you will want to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC technical schools in the Augusta KY area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Confirm that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you get a superior education, it may help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, many states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate could suggest that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It may also indicate that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which may mean more contacts for the school to employ 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 trade, but additionally that it has the network of Augusta KY HVAC employers to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC training programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC companies or trade unions. Check if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with local Augusta KY HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the equipment 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, talk to the HVAC technician you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Augusta KY HVAC contracting company if they can give you some tips. Also keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Augusta KY residence. Remember 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 receive as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Speak to a few of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Augusta KY, confirm that the schools you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain 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, illness or family issues.
Attending HVAC School near Augusta KY?
Augusta is a home rule-class city in Bracken County, Kentucky, in the United States. It is sited upon the southern bank of the Ohio River. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 1,190. When Bracken County was organized in 1796, Augusta was the county seat. In 1839, a new county courthouse was built at a more central location in Brooksville. The city was formally incorporated by the state assembly in 1850.
Augusta is located in northeastern Kentucky at 38°46′21″N 84°0′6″W / 38.77250°N 84.00167°W / 38.77250; -84.00167 (38.772556, -84.001530).Kentucky Route 8 (Fifth Street) is the main road through the city. Route 8 leads northwest 42 miles (68 km) to downtown Cincinnati and southeast 19 miles (31 km) to Maysville. The Augusta Ferry crosses the Ohio River into Lewis Township, Brown County, Ohio, near Higginsport.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Augusta has a total area of 1.6 square miles (4.2 km2), of which 1.4 square miles (3.5 km2) is land and 0.27 square miles (0.7 km2), or 16.6%, is water.
Pick the Right HVAC Certification Training near Augusta KY
Enrolling in the right HVAC training program is a crucial first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating and air conditioning trade. As we have discussed in this post, you need to choose a technical school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC profession. Other features to search for are ample practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to check out each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to explore 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. Also, ask about scheduling options and whether or not evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to inquire about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the proper questions as we have outlined in our guidelines for assessing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC specialist in Augusta KY.
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