How to Select an HVAC Training Class near Hebron Kentucky
Once you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner professional, the next step is to find an HVAC technical school near Hebron KY. But with so many to choose from, how do you select the right one to get the training that you require? Many future students will make their decision based solely on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. Although these are significant concerns, they are not the only ones to evaluate. A few of the other factors that you need to look into are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and other criteria will be discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we examine how to pick an HVAC vocational school, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning specialist does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Technician in Hebron KY
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are generally mandated to be licensed, though each state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Earning professional certification is not mandatory, but an optional way for Hebron KY HVAC techs to establish that they are highly proficient and experienced in their area of expertise. There are multiple respected certifications within the field that are available. Following are a few 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 acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of professional experience in addition to passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience as well as a passing score on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are offered in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for technicians 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 may be mandated in your area, and you may also wish to obtain certification, it’s important that you choose an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be handling refrigerants, make sure that the program you select readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Courses
There are a number of alternatives offered for HVAC instruction in a trade or technical school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, often completed in as little as six months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs may provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will provide more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief summary of each option offered near Hebron KY.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level 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 delivers a more extensive understanding of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually requiring two years to complete, many 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 require an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional four year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Choosing the right credential program will be based on what your long term career goals are, together with the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One possibility is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Hebron KY, later returning to obtain 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 Online Courses
Attending an HVAC school online is one possibility to getting your education and earning a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete hands on training. Some also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes may be participated in on the web, this approach may be a more convenient solution for some Hebron KY students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are more economical than other on campus alternatives. Even driving expenses from Hebron and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family commitments have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask HVAC Training Classes near Hebron KY
After you have chosen the type of certificate or degree that you desire to attain, either online or on campus, you can start to decrease your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are numerous HVAC trade schools in the Hebron KY area and across the Country to select from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school evaluations. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the first two factors you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you will want to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC technical schools in the Hebron KY area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Verify that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, it may help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, some states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate could indicate that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It may also signify that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s also 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 result in 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 an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Hebron KY HVAC employers to assist graduates secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC training programs are taught along 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 businesses or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with local Hebron KY HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are presently 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 Hebron KY HVAC contractor if they can provide some suggestions. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Hebron KY residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in 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 desirable that you receive as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Talk to a few of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with some 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 evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Hebron KY, confirm that the schools you are comparing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.
Attending HVAC School near Hebron KY?
Hebron is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) in Boone County, Kentucky, United States. As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 5,929. It is the home to the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, which serves Cincinnati and the Tri-State (Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana) area.
Hebron is located in northern Boone County, on the western edge of the Cincinnati-Covington suburbs. Interstate 275 forms the northern edge of the CDP, with the CDP of Francisville to the north. The center of Hebron is focused around the intersection of Kentucky Route 20 and Kentucky Route 237, located 3 miles (5 km) west of the entrance to Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. Downtown Cincinnati is 16 miles (26 km) to the east of Hebron by I-275 and I-75/71.
Hebron is served by one daily newspaper, The Kentucky Enquirer (an edition of The Cincinnati Enquirer), and by one weekly newspaper, The Boone County Recorder. Hebron is also served by twelve television stations and many radio stations as part of the Greater Cincinnati media market.
Select the Right HVAC Certification Training near Hebron KY
Choosing the ideal HVAC training program is a crucial first step toward a gratifying career in the heating and cooling industry. 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 trade. Other things to search for are plenty of practical training and modern facilities. You need to check out each of the schools personally 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 instruction and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling choices and whether evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to ask about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the right questions as we have laid out in our checklist for comparing schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC contractor in Hebron KY.
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