How to Choose an HVAC Certification Class near Brandenburg Kentucky
Once you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner specialist, the next action is to find an HVAC technical school near Brandenburg KY. But with so many to pick from, how do you choose the right one to receive the training that you need? Many prospective students will make their choice based exclusively on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their home. While these are relevant considerations, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Some of the other details 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. Those and other benchmarks will be discussed in more detail later within this article. But before we explore how to choose an HVAC training program, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning contractor does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Specialist in Brandenburg KY
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, however every state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Attaining professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary way for Brandenburg KY HVAC techs to establish that they are highly qualified and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are many acknowledged certifications within the trade that are offered. Below are a few of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is achieved by passing a proficiency exam and may be received in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of professional experience in addition to passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience in addition to a passing score on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are made available in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for techs that work with refrigerants. There are three forms of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing might be required in your area, and you may also wish to earn certification, it’s important that you choose an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be handling refrigerants, make sure that the school you select preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree Courses
There are a number of options available for HVAC training in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, typically achieved in as little as six months, however some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree programs may provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will deliver more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief description of each credential offered near Brandenburg KY.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They provide a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more extensive background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Typically requiring two years to complete, many degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more towards a career in management as well as 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 air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Selecting the right credential program will be based on what your long term career aspirations are, in addition to the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One option is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Brandenburg KY, subsequently returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, be sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Courses Online
Enrolling in an HVAC program online is one alternative in getting your education and earning a certificate or degree. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. A number also provide 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 accessible solution for many Brandenburg KY students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even commuting expenses from Brandenburg and study supplies can be reduced, helping to make schooling more economical. And many online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family responsibilities have left you with limited time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to fit school into your busy schedule.
Questions For HVAC Training Classes near Brandenburg KY
After you have decided on the type of certificate or degree that you would like to obtain, either on campus or online, you can begin to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are many HVAC technical schools in the Brandenburg KY area and throughout the Country to pick from. That’s why it is very important to have a checklist of important qualifiers when making school comparisons. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the initial 2 variables you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you should explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC vocational programs in the Brandenburg KY area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Make sure that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you get an excellent education, it may help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, some states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited for it 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 percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate may suggest that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It could also indicate that the teachers were not qualified to instruct 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 directory of alumni, which may produce more contacts for the school to use 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 Brandenburg KY HVAC employers to assist graduates obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC trade programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC businesses or labor unions. Check if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with local Brandenburg KY HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm 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 currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC tech you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Brandenburg KY HVAC contractor if they can give you some suggestions. Also keep in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Brandenburg KY home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Speak to some of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with a few of the teachers and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Brandenburg KY, verify that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. 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 because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Attending HVAC School near Brandenburg KY?
Brandenburg is a home rule-class city on the Ohio River in Meade County, Kentucky, in the United States. The city is 46 miles (74 km) southwest of Louisville. It is the seat of its county. The population was 2,049 at the 2000 census. The city was not named after Brandenburg, Germany, but for a local barkeep and land owner.
Brandenburg was built on a 3,000-acre (12 km2) tract of land called Falling Springs, purchased in 1804 by Solomon Brandenburg. He opened a tavern around which the community grew. In 1825, the community became the seat of Meade County, but it wasn't formally incorporated by the state assembly until March 28, 1872.
During the Civil War, Confederate General John Hunt Morgan crossed at Brandenburg to start his raid into Indiana in July, 1863. During the Battle of Brandenburg Crossing, two men on the Indiana side of the river were killed by cannon fire from Brandenburg. A Union gunship was deployed to block the crossing, but it ran out of ammunition and Morgan and his men were able to pass into Indiana.
Choose the Right HVAC Training Course near Brandenburg KY
Enrolling in the right HVAC training course is an important first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating & cooling trade. As we have covered in this article, you need to select a trade school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC trade. Other features to look for are ample practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to visit each of the schools personally 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 training and the interaction between them. Additionally, ask about scheduling choices and whether or not evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to ask about financial assistance and student loan options as well. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have outlined in our guidelines for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC specialist in Brandenburg KY.
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