How to Choose an HVAC Certification Class near Dawson Springs Kentucky
Now that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and cooling technician, the next action is to locate an HVAC vocational school near Dawson Springs KY. But with so many to select from, how do you choose the ideal one to obtain the training that you need? Some future students will make their decision based entirely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Even though these are important considerations, they are not the only ones to investigate. A few 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 addressed in more detail later in this article. But before we examine how to choose an HVAC technical school, let’s look at what a heating and a/c professional does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Tech in Dawson Springs KY
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, though every state and local municipality has its own criteria. Earning professional certification is not mandatory, but an optional way for Dawson Springs KY HVAC specialists to establish that they are highly qualified and experienced in their area of expertise. There are several acknowledged certifications within the trade that are offered. Below are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is attained by passing a competency exam and can be received in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience together with passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience in addition to a passing score on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for techs that work with refrigerants. There are three types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing may be mandated in your location, and you may also desire to earn certification, it’s essential 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 school you choose preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Training Programs
There are several choices offered for HVAC training in a technical or vocational school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, often achieved in just six months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs may provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will deliver more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a short description of each option offered near Dawson Springs KY.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more detailed background of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually taking two years to complete, some degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more for a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional 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.
Choosing the appropriate credential program will be based on what your future career aspirations are, along with the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One option is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the trade in Dawson Springs KY, subsequently going back to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Schools Online
Choosing an HVAC school online is one approach to attaining your education and receiving a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. Many 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 on the web, this alternative may be a more practical solution for many Dawson Springs KY students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are cheaper than other traditional options. Even driving expenses from Dawson Springs and study supplies may be reduced, helping to make schooling more budget-friendly. And a large number of online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family responsibilities have left you with little time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Courses near Dawson Springs KY
When 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 probably aware, there are numerous HVAC technical schools in the Dawson Springs KY area and throughout the USA to select from. That’s why it is essential to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school comparisons. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the initial two variables you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you should research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC technical schools in the Dawson Springs KY area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Verify 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 ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it can help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many 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 portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate may suggest that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It may also indicate that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which can result in more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Dawson Springs KY HVAC employers to help students acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC trade programs are taught along 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 Heating and Cooling companies or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with local Dawson Springs KY HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC specialist you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Dawson Springs KY HVAC contracting company if they can give you some suggestions. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Dawson Springs KY home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may be higher 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 difficult in larger 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 students and instructors. Talk with some of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to a few of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Dawson Springs KY, verify that the schools you are comparing provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Attending HVAC School near Dawson Springs KY?
Dawson Springs, Kentucky
Dawson Springs is a home rule-class city in Hopkins and Caldwell counties in the U.S. state of Kentucky. The population was 2,764 at the 2010 census. It is the birthplace of former governor Steve L. Beshear.
From the late 1800s to the 1930s, Dawson Springs was well known as a spa and resort town. Outwood Veterans Hospital was constructed here in 1922. Dawson Springs is still popular as a tourist destination because of the Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park and nearby lakes and hiking .
Dawson Springs is located in southwestern Hopkins County at 37°10′18″N 87°41′21″W / 37.17167°N 87.68917°W / 37.17167; -87.68917 (37.171799, -87.689190). Its southern and western border is the Tradewater River, which is also the Hopkins/Caldwell County line. A small portion of Dawson Springs extends across the river into Caldwell County.
Choose the Right HVAC Training Classes near Dawson Springs KY
Choosing the ideal HVAC training program is a crucial beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating and cooling field. As we have discussed in this article, you need to choose a technical school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC field. Other factors to search for are plenty of hands-on training and modern facilities. You need to go to each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to tour the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Also, inquire about scheduling options and whether evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the proper questions as we have laid out in our checklist for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC specialist in Dawson Springs KY.
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