How to Choose an HVAC Training Course near Lawrenceburg Kentucky
Once you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning professional, the next step is to look for an HVAC vocational school near Lawrenceburg KY. But with so many to pick from, how do you choose the best one to receive the training that you need? Some prospective students will make their decision based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their home. While these are important considerations, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Some 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 other criteria will be discussed in more detail later within this article. But before we explore how to choose an HVAC trade school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling technician does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Tech in Lawrenceburg KY
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are generally required to be licensed, however each state and local municipality has its own criteria. Earning professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary means for Lawrenceburg KY HVAC techs to demonstrate that they are exceptionally skilled and experienced in their area of expertise. There are a number of acknowledged certifications within the industry that are available. Here are some of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is earned by passing a competency examination and may be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of professional experience as well as passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience along with a passing result on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for technicians that work with refrigerants. There are three forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing could be mandated in your area, and you may also intend to acquire certification, it’s imperative that you select an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be handling refrigerants, make certain that the program you choose preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Courses
There are a variety of alternatives offered for HVAC instruction in a technical or vocational school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the least amount of time, often accomplished in as little as 6 months, however 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 training programs may provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will deliver more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief description of each option offered near Lawrenceburg KY.
- Certificate. Usually 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 delivers a more detailed background of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically taking two years to finish, a number of 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 require an Associate Degree, while others are a standard 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.
Choosing the ideal credential program will be based on what your future career goals are, together with the time and money that you have to invest. One possibility is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Lawrenceburg KY, later going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, be sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Courses
Enrolling in an HVAC program online is one option in getting your education and receiving a certificate or degree. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. Many also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes may be participated in via the internet, this option may be a more convenient solution for many Lawrenceburg KY students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are more economical than other on campus options. Even driving expenses from Lawrenceburg and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family responsibilities have left you with minimal time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your hectic schedule.
Questions For HVAC Certification Courses near Lawrenceburg KY
When 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 limit your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of HVAC trade schools in the Lawrenceburg KY area and throughout the United States to pick from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school comparisons. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the first two variables you will take into consideration. Following are some additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC trade programs in the Lawrenceburg KY area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on 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 approved accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you acquire a quality education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, many states require that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate may signify that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It could also indicate that the instructors were not qualified to instruct 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 list of alumni, which may result in 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 a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Lawrenceburg KY HVAC employers to help grads secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC technical programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Lawrenceburg KY HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the equipment 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 with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Lawrenceburg KY HVAC contractor if they can provide some suggestions. Also keep in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Lawrenceburg KY residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much one-on-one 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 instructors and students. Speak to a few of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Lawrenceburg KY, check that the programs you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Attending HVAC School near Lawrenceburg KY?
Lawrenceburg is a home rule-class city in Anderson County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 10,505 at the 2010 census. It is the seat of its county. Lawrenceburg is part of the Frankfort, Kentucky, micropolitan statistical area.
The site of Lawrenceburg was settled in the early 1780s by a German immigrant named Jacob Kaufman and was first called Kaufman's or Coffman's Station. The post office was established as Lawrenceburgh on January 22, 1817, for William Lawrence, a local tavern owner. The community was incorporated as Lawrence in 1820 by the Court of Franklin County (of which it was then a part) but renamed Lawrenceburg in 1827.James Lawrence, a naval officer, is the namesake.
The Four Roses distillery in Lawrenceburg was founded in 1888 and the physical distillery was built in 1910 in Spanish Mission-style architecture, and it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Wild Turkey bourbon distillery is also located in Lawrenceburg.
Select the Right HVAC Trade School near Lawrenceburg KY
Finding the ideal HVAC training program is an important first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating and cooling trade. As we have addressed in this article, you need to choose a school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC field. Other factors to look for are ample hands-on training and modern facilities. You should visit each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to explore 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, ask about scheduling choices and whether or not night or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options as well. If you ask the right questions as we have outlined in our guidelines for comparing schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC contractor in Lawrenceburg KY.
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