How to Enroll In an HVAC Certification Course near Pembroke Kentucky
Once you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning professional, the next step is to locate an HVAC technical school near Pembroke KY. But with so many to choose from, how do you choose the right one to get the training that you need? Some prospective students will make their selection based entirely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Even though these are important considerations, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Some of the other factors 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 additional benchmarks will be discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we explore how to select an HVAC training program, let’s look at what a heating and a/c professional does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Technician in Pembroke KY
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot 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. Acquiring professional certification is not compulsory, but a voluntary way for Pembroke KY HVAC specialists to demonstrate that they are exceptionally proficient and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are several 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 techs. The certification is achieved by passing a competency exam and may be earned 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 examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience together with a passing result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are three types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing might be mandated in your area, and you may also intend to earn certification, it’s important that you pick an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be handling refrigerants, make certain that the program you select readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Training Programs
There are a variety of options available 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 achieved in just six months, however some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify 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 edge in the job market and will deliver more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief description of each option offered near Pembroke KY.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They provide a strong foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more comprehensive understanding of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Normally taking 2 years to finish, some degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more for a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a standard four year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Selecting the ideal credential program will be dependent on what your long term career aspirations are, in addition to the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One possibility is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Pembroke KY, subsequently going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Courses
Attending an HVAC program online is one alternative in attaining your training and earning a degree or certificate. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. Many also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes may be attended via the internet, this approach may be a more convenient solution for some Pembroke KY students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are more economical than other traditional options. Even driving expenses from Pembroke and study materials may be minimized, helping to make schooling more budget-friendly. And numerous online programs 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 less complicated to accommodate school into your busy lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Certification Classes near Pembroke KY
As soon as you have selected the type of degree or certificate that you want to earn, either on campus or online, you can begin to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are many HVAC trade schools in the Pembroke KY area and all over the Country to pick from. That’s why it is very important to have a checklist of relevant qualifiers when making school assessments. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the initial two variables you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you should research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC trade schools in the Pembroke KY area have earned 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 relates to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Verify that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate could suggest that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It might also indicate that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also essential that the schools have higher 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 confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Pembroke KY HVAC employers to assist students obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC trade programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling businesses or labor unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with local Pembroke KY HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC specialist you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Pembroke KY HVAC contractor if they can give you some tips. Also bear in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Pembroke KY home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult 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 experience the interaction between teachers and students. Speak with a few of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Pembroke KY, confirm that the programs you are comparing offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.
Attending HVAC School near Pembroke KY?
Pembroke is a home rule-class city in Christian County, Kentucky, in the United States. The population was 869 as of the 2010 U.S. Census. It is part of the Clarksville, Tennessee metropolitan area.
The town was settled in 1836 and named for Pembroke Somerset, Esq., a character in Jane Porter's 1803 novel Thaddeus of Warsaw, by Dr. Lunsford Lindsay, a local store owner. It was incorporated as a city in 1869.
Pembroke is located in eastern Christian County at 36°46′29″N 87°21′23″W / 36.77472°N 87.35639°W / 36.77472; -87.35639 (36.774633, -87.356361).U.S. Route 41 passes through the town as Nashville Street, leading northwest 9 miles (14 km) to Hopkinsville, the county seat, and southeast 14 miles (23 km) to Guthrie at the Tennessee border.
Pick the Right HVAC Training Classes near Pembroke KY
Selecting the ideal HVAC training course is a crucial beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating & cooling industry. As we have addressed in this article, you need to select a school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC trade. Other features to look for are sufficient practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should go to each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Attempt 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 laid out in our guidelines for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC contractor in Pembroke KY.
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