How to Select an HVAC Training Class near Smithland Kentucky
Once you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioning specialist, the next action is to choose an HVAC technical school near Smithland KY. But with so many to pick from, how do you choose the right one to get the training that you need? Some prospective students will make their choice based solely on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Even though these are important factors to consider, they are not the only ones to evaluate. A few 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 criteria will be addressed in more detail later in this article. But before we discuss how to choose an HVAC technical school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling specialist does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Technician in Smithland KY
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are generally mandated to be licensed, however each state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Earning professional certification is not mandatory, but an alternative way for Smithland KY HVAC technicians to establish that they are highly qualified and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are a number of acknowledged certifications within the trade that are available. Following are a few of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is attained by passing a proficiency exam and can 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 exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience along with a passing result on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are made available in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for technicians that work with refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing could be mandated in your area, and you may also intend to earn certification, it’s essential that you select an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the school you select preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Classes
There are several alternatives available for HVAC training in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the minimum period of time, usually completed in just 6 months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will furnish more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a short description of each option offered near Smithland KY.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level residential or commercial HVAC specialists. They provide a solid foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more extensive knowledge of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally requiring two years to complete, many degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more for a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional 4 year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Picking the ideal credential program will be dependent on what your future career objectives are, in addition to the time and money that you have to commit. One possibility is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Smithland KY, eventually going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Courses
Choosing an HVAC school online is one alternative in getting your education and receiving a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. Some 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 participated in via the internet, this alternative may be a more convenient solution for many Smithland KY students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are cheaper than other traditional alternatives. Even travelling expenses from Smithland and study supplies can be reduced, helping to make schooling more budget-friendly. And a large number of online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family obligations have left you with limited time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it easier to accommodate school into your hectic lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Training Classes near Smithland KY
Once you have picked the type of certificate or degree that you want to acquire, either online or on campus, you can start to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are numerous HVAC technical schools in the Smithland KY area and throughout the United States to select from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a list of key qualifiers when making school assessments. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the initial 2 variables you will take into consideration. Following are some additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC technical schools in the Smithland KY area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, such as HVAC technology. Make sure that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, many states require 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 looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate might indicate that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It could also mean that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which may produce more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Smithland KY HVAC employers to assist graduates secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC technical programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling businesses or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with local Smithland KY HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC specialist you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Smithland KY HVAC contracting company if they can provide some tips. Additionally keep in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Smithland KY home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Speak to some of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools 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 Smithland KY, confirm that the programs you are considering offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Attending HVAC School near Smithland KY?
Smithland is a home rule-class city in Livingston County, Kentucky, United States, at the confluence of the Ohio and Cumberland Rivers. The population was 301 at the 2010 census, a drop from 401 in 2000. It is the county seat of Livingston County.
As of the census of 2000, there were 401 people, 157 households, and 105 families residing in the city. The population density was 647.7 people per square mile (249.7/km²). There were 188 housing units at an average density of 303.7 per square mile (117.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 98.75% White, 0.25% African American, 0.75% from other races, and 0.25% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.75% of the population.
There were 157 households out of which 24.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.3% were married couples living together, 12.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.1% were non-families. 28.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.22 and the average family size was 2.72.
Enroll in the Right HVAC Training Classes near Smithland KY
Selecting the right HVAC training course is a crucial beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating and cooling field. As we have covered in this article, you need to select a technical school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC field. Other things to look for are lots of practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should go to each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to tour the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the teaching 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 right questions as we have outlined in our guidelines for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC contractor in Smithland KY.
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