How to Choose an HVAC Training Course near Mount Vernon Kentucky
Now that you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioner professional, the next action is to look for an HVAC trade school near Mount Vernon KY. But with so many to select from, how do you select the best one to get the training that you require? Many future students will make their choice based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Even though these are relevant concerns, they are not the only ones to take into account. Just some of the other details that you need to look into are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and other criteria will be addressed in more detail later in this article. But before we explore how to pick an HVAC training program, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c specialist does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Contractor in Mount Vernon 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, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, however each state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Attaining professional certification is not mandatory, but an alternative means for Mount Vernon KY HVAC technicians to establish that they are exceptionally qualified and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are many acknowledged certifications within the industry that are available. Here are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is achieved by passing a competency exam and may be acquired 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 examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience as well as a passing score on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are three forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing may be required in your location, and you may also wish to acquire certification, it’s important that you select an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the program you pick preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree Classes
There are several options available 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 lesser amount of time, usually accomplished in as little as 6 months, however some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will deliver more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short summary of each credential offered near Mount Vernon KY.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level residential or commercial HVAC specialists. They provide a strong foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more extensive background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Normally requiring 2 years to complete, some degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared 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 mastering how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Selecting the right credential program will be dependent on what your long term career goals are, together with the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One approach is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Mount Vernon KY, later returning to earn 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 Courses Online
Enrolling in an HVAC program online is one possibility in obtaining your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete hands on training. Many also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes may be attended via the internet, this option may be a more accessible solution for some Mount Vernon KY students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even driving expenses from Mount Vernon and study materials may be reduced, helping to make schooling more budget-friendly. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family commitments have left you with minimal time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it easier to accommodate school into your hectic schedule.
Questions For HVAC Training Programs near Mount Vernon KY
As soon as you have selected the type of certificate or degree that you want to attain, either online or on campus, you can start to decrease your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Mount Vernon KY area and all over the Country to select from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school assessments. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the first 2 variables you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC vocational programs in the Mount Vernon KY area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Confirm that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it can assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are reviewing 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 could suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It may also suggest that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s also essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which can mean more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Mount Vernon KY HVAC employers to assist graduates secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC vocational programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with local Mount Vernon KY HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC technician you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Mount Vernon KY HVAC contractor if they can provide some pointers. Also bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Mount Vernon KY residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Talk with some of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to a few of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools 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 Mount Vernon KY, confirm that the programs you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending HVAC School near Mount Vernon KY?
Mount Vernon, Kentucky
Mount Vernon is a home rule-class city at the intersection of U.S. Routes 25 and 150 in Rockcastle County, Kentucky, in the United States. It is the seat of its county. The population was 2,477 at the time of the 2010 U.S. census. Mount Vernon is part of the Richmond-Berea micropolitan area.
The area was first settled in 1790 around a feature called Spout Springs. Much of the area was originally swampland. The settlement was named for George Washington's home, Mount Vernon. The Wilderness Road arrived in 1792, and the town was the principal settlement when Rockcastle Co. was created in 1810.
In 1883, an L&N spur was built through the town, connecting it by rail to Louisville and Knoxville. The county's first newspaper, the Mount Vernon Signal, began publication in 1887. Although still a largely rural town and county, the construction of I-75 in the 1970s has drawn some industry to the area, and the population has increased about 50% from 1,639 in 1970.
Choose the Right HVAC Trade School near Mount Vernon KY
Selecting the ideal HVAC training program is an important first step toward a gratifying career in the heating & cooling field. As we have covered in this post, you need to pick a school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC profession. Other things to look for are lots of hands-on training and modern facilities. You should check out each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to tour the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Additionally, ask about scheduling options and whether or not night or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to ask about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have laid out in our guidelines for assessing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC specialist in Mount Vernon KY.
More Fabulous Cities in Kentucky
Business Results 1 - 10 of 16