How to Choose an HVAC Training Class near Salt Lick Kentucky
Once you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next action is to find an HVAC vocational school near Salt Lick KY. But with so many to pick from, how do you select the best one to receive the training that you require? Some future students will make their selection based entirely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. While 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 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 discuss how to choose an HVAC technical school, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning contractor does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Tech in Salt Lick KY
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently 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 professional tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, although each state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Acquiring professional certification is not mandatory, but an optional way for Salt Lick KY HVAC techs to demonstrate that they are exceptionally qualified and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are a number of acknowledged certifications within the industry that are offered. Following are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is earned by passing a proficiency examination and can be received in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience as well as passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience together with a passing score on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are offered in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are three forms of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing could be mandated in your area, and you may also wish to earn certification, it’s essential that you pick an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be handling refrigerants, make certain that the school you select preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Schools
There are several alternatives offered for HVAC instruction in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the least period of time, often achieved in as little as 6 months, however some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree programs might provide a competitive edge in the job market and will furnish more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short explanation of each credential offered near Salt Lick KY.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They provide a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more extensive knowledge of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Usually requiring 2 years to complete, many degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more towards a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a standard 4 year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Selecting the ideal credential program will be dependent on what your long term career objectives are, as well as the time and money that you have to invest. One approach is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Salt Lick KY, later going back to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Classes Online
Enrolling in an HVAC school online is one possibility to obtaining your education and receiving a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. A number 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 attended on the web, this alternative may be a more convenient solution for many Salt Lick KY students that are pressed for time. And some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even travelling expenses from Salt Lick and study supplies can be minimized, helping to make schooling more budget-friendly. And a large number of online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family obligations have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to fit school into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Courses near Salt Lick KY
As soon as you have picked the type of degree or certificate that you desire to obtain, either online or on campus, you can begin to limit your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are numerous HVAC trade schools in the Salt Lick KY area and across the United States to pick from. That’s why it is essential to have a checklist of important qualifications when making school comparisons. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the initial two variables you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC vocational schools in the Salt Lick KY area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Confirm that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you obtain a superior education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Also, some states require that the HVAC training course 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 of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate might indicate that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It might also indicate that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which can result in more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Salt Lick KY HVAC employers to assist graduates secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC training programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC businesses or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Salt Lick KY HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC technician you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Salt Lick KY HVAC contractor if they can provide some tips. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Salt Lick KY home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Speak to a few of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to some of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications 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 can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Salt Lick KY, verify that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Attending HVAC School near Salt Lick KY?
Salt Lick, Kentucky
The community at the present site of Salt Lick was originally named Vail when the first post office was established in 1882. The town was laid out and renamed in 1884; the post office followed suit four years later after the city was formally incorporated.
Salt Lick is located at 38°7′10″N 83°36′58″W / 38.11944°N 83.61611°W / 38.11944; -83.61611 (38.119555, -83.616069), at the intersection of US 60 and KY 211 beside the Licking River. It is part of the Mount Sterling micropolitan area. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.77 square miles (2.0 km2), of which 0.008 square miles (0.02 km2), or 1.15%, is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 342 people, 130 households, and 89 families residing in the city. The population density was 437.6 people per square mile (169.3/km²). There were 157 housing units at an average density of 200.9 per square mile (77.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 99.12% White, 0.58% Native American, and 0.29% from two or more races.
Select the Right HVAC Certification Training near Salt Lick KY
Choosing the right HVAC training course is a critical beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating and air conditioning field. As we have addressed in this article, you need to pick a 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 sufficient hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to visit each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to tour the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Additionally, ask about scheduling choices and if evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to ask about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the right questions as we have detailed in our guidelines for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices 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 Salt Lick KY.
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