How to Pick an HVAC Training Course near Hickman Kentucky
Once you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioner specialist, the next action is to locate an HVAC vocational school near Hickman KY. But with so many to choose from, how do you decide on the ideal one to get the training that you require? Some prospective students will make their selection based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Although these are significant considerations, they are not the only ones to investigate. Just some 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 other criteria will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we explore how to select an HVAC technical school, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning technician does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Specialist in Hickman KY
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, although every state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Acquiring professional certification is not mandatory, but an alternative means for Hickman KY HVAC specialists to establish that they are exceptionally qualified and accomplished in their area of specialization. There are multiple acknowledged certifications within the industry that are offered. Below are a few of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is attained by passing a competency examination and may be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience in addition to passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience as well as a passing result on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are offered in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are three forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing may be required in your area, and you may also wish to acquire certification, it’s essential that you choose an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be working with refrigerants, make certain that the school you pick readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree Classes
There are a number of alternatives available for HVAC training in a vocational or trade school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the minimum period of time, often accomplished in just six months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will furnish more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short explanation of each option offered near Hickman KY.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more comprehensive understanding of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Normally taking two years to complete, many degrees include 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 four year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Picking the right credential program will be dependent on what your long term career goals are, along with the time and money that you have to invest. One possibility is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Hickman KY, later going back to acquire 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 Training Online
Choosing an HVAC program online is one approach to obtaining your education and earning a degree or certificate. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. A number also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes may be participated in online, this approach may be a more practical solution for many Hickman KY students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are more economical than other on campus alternatives. Even commuting expenses from Hickman and study supplies can be minimized, helping to make schooling more budget-friendly. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family obligations have left you with limited time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to fit school into your active schedule.
What to Ask HVAC Trade Schools near Hickman KY
Once 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 decrease your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are numerous HVAC technical schools in the Hickman KY area and across the United States to select from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of key qualifiers when making school comparisons. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the first 2 variables you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC trade schools in the Hickman KY area have received 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 an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Make sure that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you obtain a quality education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, a number of 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 reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate might suggest that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It might also signify that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which can produce 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 industry, but also that it has the network of Hickman KY HVAC employers to help grads secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC technical programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC companies or trade unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local Hickman KY HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC tech you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Hickman KY HVAC company if they can provide some suggestions. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Hickman KY residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger 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 to several of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Hickman KY, confirm that the schools you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, 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 Hickman KY?
Hickman is a city in and the county seat of Fulton County, Kentucky, United States. Located on the Mississippi River, the city had a population of 2,395 at the 2010 U.S. census and is classified as a home rule-class city. Hickman is part of the Union City micropolitan area.
European-American settlement of this area did not begin until decades after the American Revolutionary War. James Mills built the first cabin on the site in 1819. The community of Mills Point was large enough to receive a post office in 1830. Around 1834, G. Marr purchased much of the surrounding area and laid out more streets.
Two floods devastated Hickman, the first in 1912 and the second in 1913. The flood of 1912 began when a levee located near Hickman broke. Within a few hours the water had risen to the roofs of houses. The flood of 1913 began when a levee near West Hickman broke on April 4. Baseball pitcher Rube Waddell was among the many who helped save the city during both floods. Waddell came down with pneumonia after each flood and subsequently died of tuberculosis.
Pick the Right HVAC Training Classes near Hickman KY
Enrolling in the ideal HVAC training program is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating and cooling trade. As we have discussed in this article, you should choose a trade school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC field. Other features to look for are sufficient practical training and modern facilities. You should visit each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to explore the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Additionally, inquire about scheduling choices and whether or not evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the right questions as we have detailed in our guidelines for assessing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC specialist in Hickman KY.
More Fabulous Cities in Kentucky
Business Results 1 - 10 of 3