How to Pick an HVAC Training Class near Salyersville Kentucky
Once you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next step is to find an HVAC technical school near Salyersville KY. But with so many to select from, how do you select the best one to receive the training that you need? A number of 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 take into account. Just some of the other details that you need to investigate are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and additional criteria will be discussed in more detail later within this article. But before we examine how to select an HVAC technical school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling technician does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Contractor in Salyersville 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, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are generally mandated to be licensed, however each state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Attaining professional certification is not compulsory, but an alternative means for Salyersville KY HVAC technicians to establish that they are exceptionally proficient and experienced in their area of expertise. There are several recognized certifications within the industry that are available. Here are some of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is attained by passing a competency 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 needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience as well as a passing result on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required 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.
Since licensing may be mandated in your area, and you may also intend to obtain certification, it’s important that you enroll in an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be working with refrigerants, make sure that the school you choose readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Schools
There are a variety of alternatives available for HVAC training in a trade or technical school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the minimum amount of time, often achieved in as little as six months, however some courses 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 training programs may provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will deliver more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief summary of each credential offered near Salyersville KY.
- Certificate. Normally 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 trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more comprehensive knowledge of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Typically requiring 2 years to finish, some degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more towards 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.
Choosing the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your long term career aspirations are, as well as the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One option is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Salyersville KY, subsequently returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Schools
Choosing an HVAC school online is one alternative to getting your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete practical training. Some 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 practical solution for some Salyersville KY students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are less expensive than other traditional choices. Even commuting expenses from Salyersville and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family obligations have left you with limited time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask HVAC Training Classes near Salyersville KY
Once you have selected the type of degree or certificate that you want to earn, either online or on campus, you can start to decrease your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are many HVAC trade schools in the Salyersville KY area and all over the USA to choose from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school evaluations. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the first two aspects you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you will want to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC trade schools in the Salyersville KY area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance HVAC technology. Make sure that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, many states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate could suggest that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It could also signify that the instructors 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 more extensive directory of graduates, which may 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 field, but also that it has the network of Salyersville KY HVAC employers to help graduates secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC vocational programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling contractors or trade unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Salyersville KY HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC technician you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Salyersville KY HVAC contractor if they can provide some pointers. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Salyersville KY home. Remember 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 desirable that you receive as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Talk to a few of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with a few of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Salyersville KY, check that the programs you are considering offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Attending HVAC School near Salyersville KY?
Salyersville (/ˈsæljərzvəl/) is a home rule-class city on the Licking River in Magoffin County, Kentucky, in the United States. It is the seat of its county. According to the United States Census Bureau, the population was approximately 1,754 as of 2015.
After an aborted attempt at settlement in 1794, the hill overlooking the Horseshoe Bend of the Licking River just downriver from the present city was fortified and settled c. 1800 by Archibald Prater, Ebenezer Hanna, and others. Originally known as Prater's Fort, the community had become Licking Station by the time of its first post office in 1839.
In 1849, the post office was moved to the community at site of the present city and renamed Adamsville after local landowner William "Uncle Billy" Adams. In addition to his farmland, Adams operated a hotel, a gristmill, a tannery and a blacksmith at the new location.
Choose the Right HVAC Training Course near Salyersville KY
Selecting the ideal HVAC training program is an important first step toward a gratifying career in the heating and cooling trade. As we have addressed in this article, you should pick a technical school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC profession. Other features to look for are lots of hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to visit each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Additionally, inquire about scheduling choices and whether night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have detailed in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC contractor in Salyersville KY.
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