How to Pick an HVAC School near Ft Mitchell Kentucky
Once you have made a decision on a career as a heating and cooling specialist, the next step is to choose an HVAC technical school near Ft Mitchell KY. But with so many to pick from, how do you choose the right one to receive the training that you require? A number of potential students will make their selection based solely 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 evaluate. A few of the other things that you need to research are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and additional criteria will be discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we tackle how to select an HVAC trade school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling professional does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Contractor in Ft Mitchell KY
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, although every state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Earning professional certification is not mandatory, but an optional means for Ft Mitchell KY HVAC specialists to prove that they are highly qualified and experienced in their area of specialization. There are multiple respected certifications within the trade that are available. Here are a few of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is achieved by passing a proficiency examination and may be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience as well as 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 examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for specialists 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.
Considering that licensing may be required in your location, and you may also desire to earn certification, it’s imperative that you choose an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be working with refrigerants, make sure that the school you decide on preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Classes
There are several choices available for HVAC instruction in a trade or technical school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the lesser period of time, typically completed in just 6 months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will train 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 deliver more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short explanation of each credential offered near Ft Mitchell KY.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They provide a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more detailed knowledge of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically requiring two years to complete, a number of 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 as well as business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional 4 year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Selecting the ideal credential program will be based on what your long term career aspirations are, along with the time and money 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 field in Ft Mitchell KY, subsequently returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make certain 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 in getting your training and earning a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in hands on training. Some also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes can be participated in online, this option may be a more accessible solution for some Ft Mitchell KY students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other traditional alternatives. Even driving expenses from Ft Mitchell and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many 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, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it easier to accommodate school into your active lifestyle.
Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Classes near Ft Mitchell KY
Once you have decided on the type of certificate or degree that you want to earn, either online or on campus, you can start to decrease your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are numerous HVAC technical schools in the Ft Mitchell KY area and throughout the USA to select from. That’s why it is imperative to have a checklist of relevant qualifications when making school evaluations. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the first 2 aspects you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Ft Mitchell KY area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as HVAC technology. Make certain that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you receive a superior education, it may assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, a number of states require that the HVAC training course 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 of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate may indicate that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It might also mean that the teachers were not qualified to train 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 list of graduates, which can result in more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Ft Mitchell KY HVAC employers to help students secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC trade programs are taught together 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 contractors or labor unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with local Ft Mitchell KY HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm 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 presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC specialist you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Ft Mitchell KY HVAC contractor if they can give you some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Ft Mitchell KY home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much personalized training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Speak with a few of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Ft Mitchell KY, confirm that the schools you are comparing offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.
Attending HVAC School near Ft Mitchell KY?
Fort Mitchell, Kentucky
Fort Mitchell was the site of one of seven Civil War fortifications built for the Defense of Cincinnati. The community was named for General Ormsby M. Mitchel, a professor at Cincinnati College (now the University of Cincinnati) who designed the fortifications.
Fort Mitchell is home to Beechwood Independent School District, a public K-12 institution and Blessed Sacrament, a Catholic K-8 institution. Although Dixie Heights High School has a Fort Mitchell mailing address, it is actually within the city limits of Edgewood. Beechwood High School was ranked #333 on the U.S. News & World Report 2015 list of best high schools nationwide.
As of the census of 2010, there were 8,207 people, 3,530 households, and 2,033 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,581.8 people per square mile (997.8/km²). There were 3,744 housing units at an average density of 1,195.0 per square mile (461.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.87% White, 0.99% African American, 0.10% Native American, 0.80% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.47% from other races, and 0.74% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.85% of the population.
Enroll in the Right HVAC Certification Training near Ft Mitchell KY
Choosing the ideal HVAC training course is a critical beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating and cooling field. As we have addressed in this post, you should pick a school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC community. Other features to look for are lots of practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to visit each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to explore the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. In addition, inquire about scheduling choices and whether or not evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial aid and student loan options also. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have outlined 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 commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC contractor in Ft Mitchell KY.
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