How to Enroll In an HVAC Certification Class near Canada Kentucky
Once you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and cooling professional, the next action is to find an HVAC vocational school near Canada KY. But with so many to pick from, how do you pick the right one to receive the training that you need? Some future students will make their selection based entirely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Even though these are necessary concerns, they are not the only ones to take into account. A few of the other factors that you need to research 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 discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we tackle how to choose an HVAC technical school, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning technician does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Specialist in Canada KY
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the industry 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 skilled tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, though every state and local municipality has its own criteria. Earning professional certification is not compulsory, but a voluntary way for Canada KY HVAC technicians to establish that they are highly qualified and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are multiple acknowledged certifications within the industry that are offered. Below are a few of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is earned by passing a competency examination and can 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 in addition to passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience along with a passing result on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for technicians that work with refrigerants. There are three forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing might be mandated in your location, and you may also intend to earn certification, it’s important that you choose an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be handling refrigerants, make sure that the program you select preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree Training Programs
There are a number of options available for HVAC instruction in a technical or trade school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the least period of time, usually achieved in just 6 months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree programs may provide a competitive edge in the job market and will furnish more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short explanation of each credential offered near Canada KY.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They provide a solid foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more exhaustive background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Typically requiring 2 years to complete, some degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more towards a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional four year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.
Choosing the appropriate credential program will be based on what your future career objectives are, in addition to the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One option is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the trade in Canada KY, eventually going back to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, be sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Courses
Attending an HVAC program online is one option to attaining your education and earning a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in hands on training. Many also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes may be attended online, this approach may be a more practical solution for some Canada KY students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even driving expenses from Canada and study supplies may be lessened, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family commitments have left you with minimal time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it less complicated to fit school into your active lifestyle.
Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Classes near Canada KY
Once you have picked the type of degree or certificate that you desire to obtain, either on campus or online, you can begin to decrease your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of HVAC technical schools in the Canada KY area and across the Country to select from. That’s why it is imperative to have a checklist of relevant qualifiers when making school evaluations. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the first two variables you will take into consideration. Following are some additional ones that you need to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Canada KY 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 pertains to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Make certain that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you receive a quality education, it can assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited in order 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 could indicate that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It could also indicate that the teachers were not competent 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 alumni, which can produce more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Canada KY HVAC employers to help grads obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC trade programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC contractors or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with local Canada KY HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC technician you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Canada KY HVAC contracting company if they can provide some suggestions. Additionally keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Canada KY home. Take note 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 desirable that you receive as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Speak to some of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Canada KY, verify that the schools you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.
Attending HVAC School near Canada KY?
Select the Right HVAC Certification Training near Canada KY
Picking the right HVAC training course is an important first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating and air conditioning trade. As we have discussed in this article, you need to choose a trade school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC field. Other factors to look for are plenty of practical training and modern facilities. You should check out each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to inspect 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. Also, ask about scheduling choices and if night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to ask about financial aid and student loan options too. If you ask the right questions as we have laid out in our guidelines for comparing schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC professional in Canada KY.
More Fabulous Cities in Kentucky