How to Enroll In an HVAC Certification Class near Ulysses Kentucky
Once you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next step is to locate an HVAC technical school near Ulysses KY. But with so many to pick from, how do you pick the right one to receive the training that you require? A number of future students will make their selection based solely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Although these are relevant considerations, they are not the only ones to investigate. Some of the other things that you need to investigate 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 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 air conditioning technician does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Contractor in Ulysses KY
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, though each state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Attaining professional certification is not compulsory, but an alternative means for Ulysses KY HVAC specialists to establish that they are highly qualified and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are a number of acknowledged certifications within the industry that are offered. Below are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is achieved by passing a proficiency exam and can be received in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience together with passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience along with a passing result on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are provided in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary 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.
Because licensing could be required in your area, and you may also intend to obtain certification, it’s important that you enroll in an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be handling refrigerants, make certain that the school you select preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree Training Programs
There are a number of alternatives available for HVAC instruction in a vocational or trade school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the minimum amount of time, typically accomplished in just 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 training programs can provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will provide more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short description of each option offered near Ulysses KY.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They provide a solid foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more comprehensive background of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally taking 2 years to finish, many 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 as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a standard four year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Choosing the right credential program will be based on what your long term career aspirations are, together with the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One possibility is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Ulysses KY, later going back to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, be sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Training
Enrolling in an HVAC school online is one alternative to attaining your training and earning a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in hands on 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 participated in online, this option may be a more practical solution for many Ulysses KY students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even travelling expenses from Ulysses and study materials may be reduced, helping to make schooling more budget-friendly. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family obligations have left you with minimal time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your active schedule.
What to Ask HVAC Certification Classes near Ulysses KY
Once you have decided on the type of degree or certificate that you wish to attain, either online or on campus, you can begin to narrow down your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are numerous HVAC trade schools in the Ulysses KY area and across the United States to choose from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of important qualifiers when making school assessments. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the first two factors you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you need to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC vocational programs in the Ulysses KY area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Confirm that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it can 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 for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are considering 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 could suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It might also suggest that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It’s also important that the schools have high 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 affirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Ulysses KY HVAC employers to assist grads obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC training programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC contractors or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local Ulysses KY HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC specialist you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Ulysses KY HVAC contracting company if they can provide some suggestions. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Ulysses KY home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be higher 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 larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Talk to some of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Ulysses KY, confirm that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Attending HVAC School near Ulysses KY?
Choose the Right HVAC Training Course near Ulysses KY
Choosing the ideal HVAC training course is an important beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating and cooling trade. As we have discussed in this post, you should pick a school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC community. Other features to look for are plenty of practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should check out 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 teaching and the interaction between them. Also, inquire about scheduling options and whether or not evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the right questions as we have detailed in our guidelines for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC contractor in Ulysses KY.
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