How to Enroll In an HVAC Training Course near Henderson Kentucky
Once you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and cooling professional, the next step is to find an HVAC trade school near Henderson KY. But with so many to select from, how do you pick the right one to obtain the training that you need? A number of future students will make their selection based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. While these are important considerations, they are not the only ones to investigate. Just some of the other factors that you need to investigate 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 covered in more detail later in this article. But before we discuss how to choose an HVAC vocational school, let’s look at what a heating and a/c technician does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Professional in Henderson KY
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, however each state and local municipality has its own criteria. Attaining professional certification is not required, but an optional way for Henderson KY HVAC technicians to demonstrate that they are highly qualified and experienced in their area of expertise. There are multiple respected certifications within the industry that are offered. Following are a few of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is earned by passing a proficiency exam and may be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of professional experience as well as passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience in addition to a passing result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are made available in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for techs that handle refrigerants. There are three types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing might be mandated in your area, and you may also intend to acquire certification, it’s essential that you enroll in an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be handling refrigerants, make certain that the program you select readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Classes
There are a variety of options available for HVAC training in a vocational or trade school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, typically accomplished in as little as six months, although some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree training programs might provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will provide more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short explanation of each option offered near Henderson KY.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level residential or commercial HVAC specialists. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more comprehensive knowledge of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually taking 2 years to complete, some degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored 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 being taught how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.
Selecting the right credential program will be based on what your long term career aspirations are, in addition to 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 getting some experience in the field in Henderson KY, later returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Classes
Attending an HVAC program online is one option in obtaining your training and receiving a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. A number also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes may be attended online, this alternative may be a more practical solution for many Henderson KY students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are more economical than other on campus choices. Even commuting expenses from Henderson and study materials can be lessened, helping to make schooling more affordable. And numerous online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family responsibilities have left you with limited time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to fit school into your busy schedule.
What to Ask HVAC Certification Classes near Henderson KY
After you have selected the type of degree or certificate that you wish to earn, either on campus or online, you can begin to limit your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are many HVAC technical schools in the Henderson KY area and throughout the Country to choose from. That’s why it is essential to have a checklist of important qualifiers when making school evaluations. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the initial 2 variables you will take into consideration. Following are some additional ones that you will want to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC trade programs in the Henderson KY area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Verify that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you get a quality education, it can assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, a number of states mandate 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 portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate may suggest that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It may also mean that the teachers were not qualified 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 broader list of graduates, which can mean 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 Henderson KY HVAC employers to assist grads acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC training programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC businesses or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have working relationships with local Henderson KY HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC technician you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Henderson KY HVAC contractor if they can provide some suggestions. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Henderson KY home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Speak with a few of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Henderson KY, confirm 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. Also, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending HVAC School near Henderson KY?
Henderson is a home rule-class city along the Ohio River in Henderson County in western Kentucky in the United States. The population was 28,757 at the 2010 U.S. census. It is part of the Evansville Metropolitan Area, locally known as the "Kentuckiana" or the "Tri-State Area".
Notable residents have included the ornithologist, naturalist, and painter John James Audubon and blues legend W. C. Handy. For more than 100 years the city has been home to the Southern Cherokee Nation.
Henderson has its roots in a small, block-wide strip of land high above the Ohio River, the site of the present Audubon Mill Park directly south of the city's riverfront boat dock. A village on this site was called "Red Banks" by the local Cherokee on account of its reddish clay soil. By the early 1790s, Red Banks had a tavern and several European-American families along with the Cherokee. On November 16, 1792, resident Robert Simpson wrote to Alexander D. Orr in Lexington, requesting help to appoint a magistrate for Red Banks to deal with some of its 30 families he felt were of dubious (criminal) character. During this period, the Red Banks settlement had gained notoriety as a frontier haven for westward-moving outlaws and their families. One such family was that of Squire Samuel Mason. By that time, excluding the Cherokee, the free male inhabitants of Red Bank totaled 62.
Pick the Right HVAC Certification Training near Henderson KY
Choosing the right HVAC training course is a crucial beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating & cooling field. As we have covered in this article, you should select a school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC trade. Other things to look for are plenty of hands-on training and modern facilities. You need to 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 instruction and the interaction between them. Additionally, inquire about scheduling choices and whether night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the right questions as we have outlined in our guidelines for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC professional in Henderson KY.
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