How to Pick an HVAC School near Middlesboro Kentucky
Now that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next step is to choose an HVAC trade school near Middlesboro KY. But with so many to select from, how do you choose the ideal one to obtain the training that you need? Many potential students will make their decision based solely on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. While these are important concerns, they are not the only ones to investigate. Just some of the other details that you need to look into are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and other benchmarks will be addressed in more detail later within this article. But before we tackle how to choose an HVAC training program, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c technician does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Professional in Middlesboro KY
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, however every state and local municipality has its own requirements. Obtaining professional certification is not required, but an alternative way for Middlesboro KY HVAC techs to establish that they are exceptionally proficient and experienced in their area of specialization. There are many recognized certifications within the trade that are available. Following are a few of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is attained by passing a competency exam and can be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers 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 must have 3 years of experience along with a passing score on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for techs that work with refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing might be required in your location, and you may also desire to acquire certification, it’s imperative that you pick an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be working with refrigerants, make certain that the school you select readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree Schools
There are a variety of choices available for HVAC training in a trade or technical school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the lesser period of time, usually achieved in as little as six months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will provide more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short description of each credential offered near Middlesboro KY.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more extensive background of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually requiring two years to finish, a number of degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more towards a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a standard four year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Selecting the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your future career aspirations are, in addition to the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One option is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the trade in Middlesboro KY, later returning to obtain 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 Classes Online
Enrolling in an HVAC school online is one possibility to getting your education and receiving a certificate or degree. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. Many also offer 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 on the web, this approach may be a more accessible solution for many Middlesboro KY students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are more economical than other traditional options. Even driving expenses from Middlesboro and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family commitments have left you with minimal time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to fit school into your hectic lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Certification Classes near Middlesboro KY
When you have picked the type of degree or certificate that you would like to attain, either online or on campus, you can start to decrease your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Middlesboro KY area and throughout the USA to choose from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a list of relevant qualifiers when making school comparisons. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the first 2 aspects you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you should research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC trade schools in the Middlesboro 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, for instance HVAC technology. Confirm that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you acquire a superior education, it may assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, many states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate might indicate that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It may also suggest that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which can 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 an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Middlesboro KY HVAC employers to help grads obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC trade programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC contractors or labor unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Middlesboro KY HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC technician you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Middlesboro KY HVAC company if they can provide some pointers. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Middlesboro KY residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive 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 see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Talk with several of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with some of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Middlesboro KY, confirm that the programs you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure 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, sickness or family emergencies.
Attending HVAC School near Middlesboro KY?
Middlesboro (locally /ˈmɪdəlzbʌrə/) is a home rule-class city in Bell County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 10,334 at the 2010 U.S. census, while its micropolitan area had a population of 69,060.
It is located 1 mile west of the Cumberland Gap and is the largest city in southeastern Kentucky. It is located entirely between Pine Mountain and the Cumberland Mountains in the Middlesboro Basin, an enormous meteorite crater (one of three known astroblemes in the state). The city claims to be the only one in the United States built entirely inside such a crater, as well as the home of ragtime music and the oldest continuously-played golf course in the country.
Originally funded by English businessmen, the town opened its first post office on September 14, 1888, under the name Middlesborough, presumably in honor of the English town of almost the same name. The city was formally incorporated under that spelling on March 14 two years later, but the post office switched to "Middlesboro" in 1894 and that spelling has since been adopted by the city itself, the Kentucky Land Office, and the U.S. Board on Geographic Names. Some still contend "Middlesborough" remains official, however.
Pick the Right HVAC Training Classes near Middlesboro KY
Finding the right HVAC training program is an important beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating and cooling industry. As we have addressed in this post, you should choose a school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC field. Other factors to search for are lots of hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to check out each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Additionally, inquire about scheduling options and whether night or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to ask about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the proper questions as we have outlined in our checklist for assessing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC technician in Middlesboro KY.
More Fabulous Cities in Kentucky
Business Results 1 - 10 of 5