How to Choose an HVAC Training Class near Hyden Kentucky
Now that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner professional, the next action is to locate an HVAC technical school near Hyden KY. But with so many to select from, how do you select the right one to obtain the training that you require? A number of future students will make their choice based solely on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their home. While these are significant concerns, they are not the only ones to evaluate. A few of the other factors that you need to research are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and additional benchmarks will be discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we examine how to choose an HVAC training program, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning specialist does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Professional in Hyden 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, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, though every state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Earning professional certification is not required, but an alternative means for Hyden KY HVAC technicians to prove that they are exceptionally proficient and experienced in their area of specialization. There are multiple respected certifications within the trade that are offered. Here are a few of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is attained by passing a proficiency exam and may be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience together with passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience along with a passing result on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are made available in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for techs that work with refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing might be required in your location, and you may also wish to earn certification, it’s important that you choose an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be handling refrigerants, make certain that the school you decide on preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Courses
There are a variety of choices offered for HVAC training in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, usually achieved in just 6 months, though 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 in the job market and will deliver more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short summary of each credential offered near Hyden KY.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more detailed understanding of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Typically requiring 2 years to complete, many 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 require 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.
Choosing the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your long term career goals are, as well as the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One approach is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Hyden KY, subsequently returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make certain to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Classes
Attending an HVAC school online is one approach in obtaining your training and receiving a certificate or degree. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. A number also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes may be attended on the web, this option may be a more practical solution for some Hyden KY students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are less costly than other traditional choices. Even travelling expenses from Hyden and study supplies can be reduced, helping to make schooling more affordable. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family commitments have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to accommodate school into your busy lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Certification Courses near Hyden KY
When you have decided on the type of degree or certificate that you would like to earn, either on campus or online, you can begin to limit your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of HVAC trade schools in the Hyden KY area and throughout the Country to choose from. That’s why it is very important to have a checklist of key qualifications when making school comparisons. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the first 2 factors you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you should explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC trade schools in the Hyden KY area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Confirm that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, many states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate might suggest that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It could also signify that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which may mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Hyden KY HVAC employers to assist grads obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC vocational programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling businesses or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with local Hyden KY HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC specialist you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Hyden KY HVAC contractor if they can provide some suggestions. Also bear in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Hyden KY home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Talk with some of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to a few of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Hyden KY, check that the programs you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.
Attending HVAC School near Hyden KY?
Hyden is a home rule-class city in and the county seat of Leslie County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 365 at the 2010 census. It is located at the junction of U.S. Route 421 and Kentucky Route 80, along the Middle Fork of the Kentucky River.
The area was first settled around 1800 by the Sizemore family, a Native American family migrating from North Carolina, with a brief stay in Hawkins, Tennessee, before making it to Kentucky. John "Rock House" Sizemore and wife, Nancy (Bowling) Sizemore (descendant of John Rolfe and Pocahontas) lived in a rock house about a hundred yards up from the mouth of the creek which would later bear his name (RockHouse Creek). John Rock House later sold the land to a Lewis man who then donated the land to the government, which became the town of Hyden. The town was established in 1878 and incorporated in 1882, and was named after John Hyden, a state senator of the time who helped form Leslie County. The mountainous terrain made the region difficult to access except by river, which was no longer the dominant form of transportation by the late 19th century, hindering growth.
In July 1978, Richard Nixon came to Hyden to make his first public speech since resigning from the presidency during the Watergate crisis. Hyden was picked because U.S. Rep. Tim Lee Carter invited him to attend the dedication of a recreation facility and Nixon wanted a town that had heavily supported his presidential runs. Leslie County Judge-Executive C. Allen Muncy claimed the Nixon invitation prompted the U.S. Department of Justice to obtain indictments of him and his associates on vote-fraud charges; while on appeal for his conviction, he won renomination in the Republican primary but lost the 1981 general election to independent Kermit Keen.
Enroll in the Right HVAC Certification Training near Hyden KY
Enrolling in the right HVAC training course is a crucial first step toward a rewarding career in the heating and cooling industry. As we have addressed in this article, you need to select a vocational school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC trade. Other things to search for are lots of hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to visit each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Also, inquire about scheduling options and if evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have outlined in our guidelines for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC technician in Hyden KY.
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