How to Choose an HVAC Certification Class near Lebanon Kentucky
Once you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioning specialist, the next step is to choose an HVAC technical school near Lebanon KY. But with so many to select from, how do you pick the best one to receive the training that you require? Many future students will make their decision based exclusively on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Although these are significant concerns, they are not the only ones to investigate. Some of the other details 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 additional criteria will be discussed in more detail later within this article. But before we examine how to choose an HVAC technical school, let’s look at what a heating and cooling technician does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Specialist in Lebanon KY
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, however every state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Obtaining professional certification is not required, but an optional way for Lebanon KY HVAC specialists to demonstrate that they are exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are a number of respected certifications within the industry that are offered. Here are some 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 can be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience together with passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience in addition to a passing result on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are provided in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are three forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing may be required in your area, and you may also wish to acquire certification, it’s imperative that you select an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the program you select readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree Schools
There are several choices available for HVAC training in a technical or vocational school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the least amount of time, usually completed in just six months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will provide more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief summary of each credential offered near Lebanon KY.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more comprehensive background of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Normally taking two years to finish, many degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more for a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional 4 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 dependent on what your future career aspirations are, along with the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One approach is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the trade in Lebanon KY, later going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Schools Online
Choosing an HVAC school online is one possibility to getting your training and receiving a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to complete 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 can be participated in online, this approach may be a more practical solution for many Lebanon KY students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are more economical than other traditional alternatives. Even driving expenses from Lebanon and study supplies may be reduced, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And many online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family obligations have left you with minimal time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to fit school into your busy schedule.
What to Ask HVAC Certification Classes near Lebanon KY
As soon as you have decided on the type of degree or certificate that you desire to earn, either on campus or online, you can start to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are many HVAC trade schools in the Lebanon KY area and throughout the Country to select from. That’s why it is imperative to have a checklist of relevant qualifiers when making school evaluations. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the initial 2 aspects you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you need to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC technical programs in the Lebanon KY area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, such as HVAC technology. Verify that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you acquire an excellent education, it can help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to be approved 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 course. A low completion rate might suggest that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It could also indicate that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which can produce 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 field, but additionally that it has the network of Lebanon KY HVAC employers to assist grads acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC trade programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC companies or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have working relationships with local Lebanon KY HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained 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, talk to the HVAC technician you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Lebanon KY HVAC contracting company if they can provide some pointers. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Lebanon KY residence. Remember that if you decide to attend 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 receive as much personalized 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 large they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Speak with several of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with a few of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Lebanon KY, confirm that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.
Attending HVAC School near Lebanon KY?
Lebanon is a home rule-class city in Marion County, Kentucky, in the United States. The population was 6,331 at the 2010 census. It is the seat of its county. Lebanon is located in central Kentucky, southeast of Louisville. A national cemetery is located nearby.
Lebanon is renowned for its Ham Days Festival and Tractor Show which is held during the last weekend of September. In the 1960s and early 1970s, it was known as an entertainment hotspot, as nationally known acts appeared at Club 68 and the Golden Horseshoe nightclubs.
Lebanon is located at 37°34′14″N 85°15′23″W / 37.57056°N 85.25639°W / 37.57056; -85.25639 (37.570623, -85.256263). It is approximately 30 miles (48 km) from Danville and 20 miles (32 km) north of Campbellsville. It is located at the junction of US 68 and Ky. 55, Ky. 52, and Ky. 49. Ky. 84 intersects Ky. 49 and 52 just west of town.
Choose the Right HVAC Certification Training near Lebanon KY
Finding the right HVAC training program is a crucial first step toward a gratifying career in the heating and air conditioning industry. As we have addressed in this article, you need to pick a trade school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC profession. Other factors to look for are lots of practical training and modern facilities. You need to visit each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Additionally, ask about scheduling options and if night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to ask about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the proper questions as we have detailed in our guidelines for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC technician in Lebanon KY.
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