How to Pick an HVAC School near Danville Kentucky
Now that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning specialist, the next action is to find an HVAC trade school near Danville KY. But with so many to select from, how do you pick the best one to receive the training that you need? Some prospective students will make their decision based entirely on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Even though these are important concerns, they are not the only ones to take into account. 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 benchmarks will be discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we tackle how to choose an HVAC trade school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling specialist does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Specialist in Danville KY
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals specialize in 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, although each state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Acquiring professional certification is not required, but an optional way for Danville KY HVAC techs to prove that they are highly qualified and experienced in their area of expertise. There are many respected certifications within the trade that are available. Here are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is earned by passing a competency exam 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 professional experience together with passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience together with a passing result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are three types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing may be mandated in your location, and you may also wish to acquire certification, it’s important that you choose an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the program you select prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Classes
There are a number of choices available for HVAC training in a technical or vocational school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the lesser period of time, typically accomplished in as little as 6 months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree training programs may provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will provide more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief explanation of each credential offered near Danville KY.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more detailed understanding of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically taking two years to complete, some degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more towards a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional four year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Selecting the right credential program will be dependent on what your long term career objectives are, along with the time and money that you have to commit. One possibility is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Danville KY, subsequently going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Training Online
Enrolling in an HVAC school online is one possibility to attaining your training and earning a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in hands on training. Many also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be attended via the internet, this approach may be a more convenient solution for many Danville KY students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even commuting expenses from Danville and study materials may be minimized, helping to make schooling more economical. And numerous online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family commitments have left you with limited time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it easier to accommodate school into your busy schedule.
Questions For HVAC Trade Schools near Danville KY
As soon as you have selected the type of certificate or degree that you would like to obtain, either on campus or online, you can begin to decrease your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are numerous HVAC trade schools in the Danville KY area and throughout the United States to pick from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a checklist of key qualifications when making school evaluations. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the first two factors you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you will want to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC technical schools in the Danville KY area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance HVAC technology. Make certain that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, a number of states require that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate could suggest that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It could also signify that the instructors were not competent 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 result in more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Danville KY HVAC employers to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC training programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling contractors or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with local Danville KY HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC specialist you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Danville KY HVAC contractor if they can give you some pointers. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Danville KY 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 desirable that you get as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Speak to several of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Danville KY, verify that the schools you are comparing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family issues.
Attending HVAC School near Danville KY?
Danville is a home rule-class city in Boyle County, Kentucky, United States. It is the seat of its county. The population was 16,690 at the 2015 Census. Danville is the principal city of the Danville Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Boyle and Lincoln counties.
In 2001, Danville received a Great American Main Street Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. In 2011, Money magazine placed Danville as the fourth-best place to retire in the United States. Danville has recently been twice chosen to host U.S. Vice-Presidential debates, in 2000 and in 2012.
Danville was part of the Great Settlement Area around Harrod's Fort (present-day Harrodsburg), which was first settled in 1774. The site was originally known as Crow's Station for settler John Crow, but the town was surveyed and platted by Walker Daniel, Kentucky's first district attorney, who bought 76 acres (31 ha) near the Wilderness Road from Crow in 1783. The city was named for Daniel. The Virginia legislature officially established Danville on December 4, 1787.
Enroll in the Right HVAC Training Course near Danville KY
Picking the ideal HVAC training course is a critical first step toward a rewarding career in the heating & cooling field. As we have discussed in this post, you should choose a school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC trade. Other features to search for are ample practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should check out each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Also, inquire about scheduling options and if evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options as well. If you ask the proper questions as we have detailed in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC contractor in Danville KY.
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