How to Find the Right HVAC School near Butler Kentucky
Now that you have decided on a career as a heating and cooling specialist, the next step is to locate an HVAC vocational school near Butler KY. But with so many to choose from, how do you decide on the best one to obtain the training that you require? Many prospective students will make their choice based entirely on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. While these are relevant considerations, they are not the only ones to investigate. Just some of the other details that you need to investigate 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 discussed in more detail later within this article. But before we tackle how to pick an HVAC technical school, let’s look at what a heating and cooling specialist does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Pro in Butler KY
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, although every state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Acquiring professional certification is not mandatory, but an alternative means for Butler KY HVAC techs to establish that they are highly proficient and accomplished in their area of specialization. There are a number of respected certifications within the trade that are offered. Here are some of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is attained by passing a competency exam and may be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of professional experience together with passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience together with a passing score on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are provided in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for techs that work with refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing might be required in your area, and you may also intend to earn certification, it’s imperative that you choose an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the program you choose prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Schools
There are several alternatives available for HVAC training in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the least amount of time, typically accomplished in just six months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive edge in the job market and will provide more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief explanation of each credential offered near Butler KY.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They provide a strong foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more comprehensive background of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually taking 2 years to finish, a number of degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more for a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a standard 4 year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Selecting the appropriate 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 invest. One possibility is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the trade in Butler KY, subsequently going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Classes Online
Attending an HVAC school online is one option to attaining your training and receiving a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in hands on 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 can be participated in online, this approach may be a more convenient solution for many Butler KY students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even travelling expenses from Butler and study materials may be lessened, helping to make schooling more budget-friendly. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family obligations have left you with limited time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it easier to fit school into your hectic lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Training Programs near Butler KY
Once you have picked the type of degree or certificate that you would like to earn, either on campus or online, you can begin to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are numerous HVAC trade schools in the Butler KY area and throughout the Country to select from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a checklist of key qualifiers when making school assessments. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the first 2 aspects you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you should explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Butler KY area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Make sure that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you acquire a superior education, it can help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training program 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 or portion of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate could suggest that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It could also mean that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which may result in more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Butler KY HVAC employers to help students acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC training programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC companies or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with local Butler KY HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC specialist you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Butler KY HVAC contractor if they can give you some tips. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Butler KY home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive 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 see how large they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Speak to several of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with some 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 assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Butler KY, confirm that the programs you are considering provide those choices. 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 because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Attending HVAC School near Butler KY?
The city of Butler was established around 1852 when the Kentucky Central Railroad was built through the area. When it was incorporated on February 1, 1868, the city was named for area's earlier U.S. representative William O. Butler.
As of the census of 2000, there were 613 people, 237 households, and 164 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,632.4 people per square mile (1,029.0/km²). There were 268 housing units at an average density of 1,150.9 per square mile (449.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 98.69% White, 0.49% African American, 0.16% from other races, and 0.65% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.49% of the population.
There were 237 households out of which 43.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.4% were married couples living together, 16.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.4% were non-families. 23.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 2.97.
Enroll in the Right HVAC Training Classes near Butler KY
Selecting the right HVAC training course is a crucial beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating and cooling field. As we have addressed in this post, you need to select a vocational school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC trade. Other things to search for are lots of hands-on training and modern facilities. You should check out each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to tour the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Also, inquire about scheduling choices and whether evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to ask about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have detailed in our checklist for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC contractor in Butler KY.
More Fabulous Cities in Kentucky
Business Results 1 - 10 of 94