How to Pick an HVAC Training Class near Williamsburg Kentucky
Now that you have decided on a career as a heating and cooling professional, the next step is to locate an HVAC trade school near Williamsburg KY. But with so many to choose from, how do you decide on the ideal one to get the training that you require? Some prospective students will make their choice based solely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Although these are necessary factors to consider, they are not the only ones to investigate. Just some of the other things that you need to research are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and other benchmarks will be discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we tackle how to pick an HVAC technical school, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c specialist does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Specialist in Williamsburg KY
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, though each state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Obtaining professional certification is not required, but an optional way for Williamsburg KY HVAC technicians to prove that they are exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are many respected certifications within the industry that are available. Below are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is attained by passing a competency exam and can be earned 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 exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience along with a passing result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are made available in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for technicians that work with refrigerants. There are three types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing could be required in your location, and you may also wish to acquire certification, it’s essential that you choose an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be handling refrigerants, make certain that the program you choose prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Classes
There are a variety of alternatives offered for HVAC instruction in a technical or vocational school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, often accomplished in as little as six months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will provide more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a short explanation of each credential offered near Williamsburg KY.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more comprehensive background of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally taking 2 years to complete, a number of 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 traditional 4 year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.
Selecting the right credential program will be dependent on what your future career objectives are, as well as the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One option is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Williamsburg KY, later returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Schools Online
Enrolling in an HVAC school online is one option to getting your education and receiving a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to complete hands on training. Many also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes can be participated in on the web, this approach may be a more convenient solution for some Williamsburg KY students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are cheaper than other traditional alternatives. Even commuting expenses from Williamsburg and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family obligations have left you with minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your active lifestyle.
Questions For HVAC Schools near Williamsburg KY
As soon as you have selected the type of certificate or degree that you would like to earn, either on campus or online, you can begin to decrease your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are many HVAC vocational schools in the Williamsburg KY area and throughout the USA to select from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a checklist of important qualifiers when making school assessments. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the first two factors you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you need to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC trade programs in the Williamsburg KY area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Make sure that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you acquire a superior education, it can help in obtaining 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 be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate could indicate that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It could also suggest that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which may result in more contacts for the school to utilize 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 additionally that it has the network of Williamsburg KY HVAC employers to help grads acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC technical programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling companies or trade unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with local Williamsburg KY HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC specialist you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Williamsburg KY HVAC contractor if they can provide some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you can move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Williamsburg KY residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Speak with some of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with a few of the instructors and learn 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 attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Williamsburg KY, verify that the schools you are comparing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family issues.
Attending HVAC School near Williamsburg KY?
Williamsburg is a home rule-class city in and the county seat of Whitley County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 5,245 at the 2010 census. The city was founded in 1818 and named after William Whitley. The Cumberland River flows through the city.
Williamsburg was first known as the Spring Ford after a nearby ford crossing the Cumberland River. On 19 April 1818 the first meeting of the Whitley County Court was held at Samuel Cox's own home. This first court appointed local officials as well as constables to work with the county militia. The town was then known simply as Whitley Courthouse. This name would be changed in 1882 to Williamsburgh, and later changed in 1890 to its current Williamsburg.
The town's initial growth was fueled by three fresh water springs in the area and then by coal and lumber industries. This growth was greatly accelerated by the introduction of the L&N railroad coming to the town in 1883, opening the town to far flung markets and greatly easing the flow of population. Shortly thereafter in 1886 the town would elect W. H. Parker as its first mayor.
Pick the Right HVAC Trade School near Williamsburg KY
Choosing the right HVAC training course is a crucial beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating and cooling industry. As we have discussed in this article, you need to choose a school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC trade. Other things to search for are plenty of practical training and modern facilities. You should check out each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to tour the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Also, inquire about scheduling options and if night or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options as well. If you ask the right 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 proper training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC contractor in Williamsburg KY.
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