How to Select an HVAC School near Lloyd Kentucky
Once you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and cooling technician, the next step is to find an HVAC vocational school near Lloyd KY. But with so many to choose from, how do you select the right one to obtain the training that you need? Some prospective students will make their choice based exclusively on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Although these are important factors to consider, they are not the only ones to take into account. Just 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 covered in more detail later in this article. But before we tackle how to pick an HVAC trade school, let’s look at what a heating and cooling professional does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Technician in Lloyd KY
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are generally required to be licensed, although each state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Acquiring professional certification is not required, but an optional way for Lloyd KY HVAC technicians to prove that they are highly proficient and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are a number of acknowledged certifications within the field that are offered. Below are some 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 examination and may 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 in addition to passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience as well as a passing result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are three types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing may be required in your location, and you may also desire to acquire certification, it’s important that you enroll in an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be handling refrigerants, make sure that the school you select prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Classes
There are several choices offered for HVAC training in a technical or trade school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the least period of time, often completed in just 6 months, although some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will provide more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a short summary of each credential offered near Lloyd KY.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more exhaustive knowledge of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally requiring 2 years to complete, some degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more towards a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional four year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.
Picking the right credential program will be dependent on what your future career goals are, together with the time and money that you have to invest. One approach is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Lloyd KY, subsequently returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, be sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Classes Online
Enrolling in an HVAC program online is one possibility in getting your education and earning a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. Some also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes can be attended on the web, this approach may be a more practical solution for some Lloyd KY students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are more economical than other on campus choices. Even travelling expenses from Lloyd and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family commitments have left you with minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it less complicated to fit school into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Classes near Lloyd KY
As soon as you have chosen the type of certificate or degree that you wish to earn, either online or on campus, you can begin to decrease your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many HVAC vocational schools in the Lloyd KY area and across the United States to choose from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school evaluations. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the initial two factors you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you will want to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC technical schools in the Lloyd KY area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Verify that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you acquire a superior education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, some states require that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate could suggest that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It may also suggest that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which may produce more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Lloyd KY HVAC employers to assist students secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC trade programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC contractors or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with local Lloyd KY HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional 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 using in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC technician you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Lloyd KY HVAC contracting company if they can give you some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Lloyd KY residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there might be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Talk with several of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Lloyd KY, verify that the programs you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.
Attending HVAC School near Lloyd KY?
Heather French Henry
Raised in Augusta, Kentucky, French Henry graduated from the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning. She competed in pageants through her teens, including the Miss Ohio pageant. She competed in the Miss Kentucky Pageant four times before winning the title on her fifth attempt in 1999. She won the 2000 Miss America pageant in September 1999, the first Kentuckian to do so. Her platform for her reign was raising awareness of homeless veterans; her father was a wounded veteran of the Vietnam War. She has received numerous awards for her work with veterans.
On October 27, 2000, she married Kentucky Lieutenant Governor Steve Henry, 21 years her senior, in Louisville, Kentucky. The couple have two daughters, Harper Renee (born 2001) and Taylor Augusta (born 2003).
In October 2003, French Henry struck and subsequently killed Karola Stede, 44, a native of Germany and mother of four who was crossing against the traffic light in a Louisville intersection. French said that the accident deeply affected her, and she subsequently recounted her story in venues such as The Oprah Winfrey Show.
Pick the Right HVAC Training Course near Lloyd KY
Enrolling in the ideal HVAC training program is a crucial beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating and cooling industry. As we have covered in this post, you need to select a technical school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC profession. Other things to search for are sufficient practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should visit each of the schools in person 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 teaching and the interaction between them. In addition, ask about scheduling options and if evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options as well. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have detailed in our checklist for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC technician in Lloyd KY.
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