How to Pick an HVAC Certification Class near Greenup Kentucky
Once you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next action is to choose an HVAC trade school near Greenup KY. But with so many to pick from, how do you pick the best one to receive the training that you require? Many prospective 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 evaluate. Some of the other things that you need to investigate are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and other criteria will be covered in more detail later within this article. But before we examine how to pick an HVAC training program, let’s look at what a heating and a/c professional does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Technician in Greenup KY
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, although each state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Obtaining professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary way for Greenup KY HVAC specialists to demonstrate that they are highly skilled and experienced in their area of specialization. There are several respected certifications within the field that are offered. Following are some of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is earned by passing a competency exam and can be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience in addition to passing a comprehensive examination are required 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 various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing could be mandated in your location, and you may also wish to earn certification, it’s imperative that you choose an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be handling refrigerants, make sure that the program you choose readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Classes
There are several alternatives available for HVAC training in a trade or technical school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the minimum amount of time, usually accomplished in as little as 6 months, although some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree training programs may provide a competitive edge in the job market and will deliver more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief description of each credential offered near Greenup KY.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more exhaustive background of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually requiring two years to complete, a number of degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more for a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs call for 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.
Selecting the ideal credential program will be based on what your long term career aspirations are, together with the time and money that you have to commit. One option is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Greenup KY, later going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make certain to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Training Online
Attending an HVAC program online is one approach to attaining your training and receiving a certificate or degree. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in hands on training. Some also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes may be participated in via the internet, this option may be a more practical solution for many Greenup KY students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are more economical than other on campus options. Even travelling expenses from Greenup and study supplies can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family responsibilities have left you with minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to fit school into your hectic schedule.
Questions For HVAC Trade Schools near Greenup KY
Once you have picked the type of degree or certificate that you want to acquire, either on campus or online, you can start to narrow down your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are many HVAC technical schools in the Greenup KY area and across the USA to pick from. That’s why it is imperative to have a checklist of important qualifications when making school assessments. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the initial 2 variables you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC trade programs in the Greenup KY area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Verify that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you get a superior education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, many states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate could indicate that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It could also mean that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of graduates, which can mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Greenup KY HVAC employers to assist students acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC technical programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling companies or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with local Greenup KY HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC tech you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Greenup KY HVAC contractor if they can give you some tips. Also bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Greenup KY residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak with some of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Greenup KY, check that the programs you are comparing provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.
Attending HVAC School near Greenup KY?
Greenup is a home rule-class city located at the confluence of the Little Sandy River with the Ohio River in Greenup County, Kentucky, in the United States. The population was 1,188 at the 2010 census. Greenup is one of three county seats in the Commonwealth of Kentucky to share its name with its county; the other two being Harlan and Henderson.
Greenup was laid out in 1803 and 1804 by Robert Johnson, a pioneer and legislator who owned the land. Upon the formation of Greenup County (named for the former congressman Christopher Greenup, who later served as governor) out of land separated from Mason County, Johnson's settlement was chosen to be the seat of government and adopted the name "Greenupsburg". Its post office was erected on July 1, 1811. The state assembly formally established the town on February 4, 1818, and incorporated the city thirty years later on February 29, 1848. The name was shortened to "Greenup" on March 13, 1872, partially to avoid confusion with Greensburg.
The Ohio River flood of 1937 brought devastation to Greenup and many other towns along the river. Some people left the area permanently, with the population of Greenup showing a decline of 5.5% in the 1940 census.
Enroll in the Right HVAC Trade School near Greenup KY
Choosing the right HVAC training program is a crucial beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating & cooling industry. As we have covered in this post, you need to select a school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC field. Other factors to search for are plenty of practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should visit each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to tour the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Additionally, inquire about scheduling choices and if night or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to ask about financial aid and student loan options also. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have detailed in our guidelines for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC specialist in Greenup KY.
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