How to Select an HVAC Certification Class near Woody Creek Colorado
Now that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner specialist, the next step is to choose an HVAC vocational school near Woody Creek CO. But with so many to choose from, how do you choose the right one to obtain the training that you require? Many potential students will make their selection based entirely on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Although these are necessary concerns, they are not the only ones to take into account. Some of the other details 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 other benchmarks will be discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we tackle how to select an HVAC training program, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c contractor does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Professional in Woody Creek CO
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, although every state and local municipality has its own criteria. Earning professional certification is not required, but an optional way for Woody Creek CO HVAC techs to establish that they are exceptionally proficient and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are multiple respected certifications within the industry that are offered. Below are a few of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is achieved by passing a proficiency exam and can be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience as well as passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience in addition to a passing score on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are made available in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing might be mandated in your location, and you may also intend to obtain certification, it’s important that you select an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the program you pick prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Schools
There are a variety of choices available for HVAC training in a trade or technical school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the minimum period of time, often completed in just six months, however some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification related 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 brief description of each credential offered near Woody Creek CO.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They provide a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more exhaustive understanding of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Typically taking 2 years to complete, many degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more towards a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional four year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Selecting the appropriate credential program will be based 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 acquiring some experience in the trade in Woody Creek CO, later going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Training
Enrolling in an HVAC school online is one alternative in attaining your training and earning a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in hands on 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 participated in via the internet, this option may be a more convenient solution for many Woody Creek CO students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even driving expenses from Woody Creek and study supplies may 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 job or family obligations have left you with limited time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to fit school into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask HVAC Training Programs near Woody Creek CO
After you have picked the type of degree or certificate that you want to acquire, either on campus or online, you can begin to limit your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Woody Creek CO area and all over the Country to pick from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of key qualifications when making school comparisons. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the initial two aspects you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you will want to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC technical programs in the Woody Creek CO area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Make sure that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Additionally, many states require that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate might indicate that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It could also signify that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader 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 affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Woody Creek CO HVAC employers to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC vocational programs are taught in conjunction 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 HVAC contractors or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with local Woody Creek CO HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to form 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 working with in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC technician you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Woody Creek CO HVAC contractor if they can give you some tips. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Woody Creek CO residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Talk to a few of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Woody Creek CO, confirm that the schools you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending HVAC School near Woody Creek CO?
Woody Creek, Colorado
Woody Creek is a census-designated place and a U.S. Post Office located in Pitkin County, Colorado, United States and is part of the Roaring Fork Valley. The population as of the 2010 Census was 263. The Woody Creek Post Office has the ZIP Code 81656.
Woody Creek is situated in the valley of the Roaring Fork River northwest of Aspen, along State Highway 82, where Woody Creek exits a canyon and joins the Roaring Fork. It is situated at the northwest (and least developed) end of a small valley that stretches southeast along the Roaring Fork to Aspen. Woody Creek is located at 39°16′15″N 106°53′10″W / 39.27083°N 106.88611°W / 39.27083; -106.88611 (39.270803,-106.886158).
The community is centered on a log cabin built in the 1940s by the Lee Jones family, which now houses the Woody Creek Tavern, a well-known landmark, as well as the Woody Creek Community Center. The cabin sits along a county road, somewhat concealed from State Highway 82. Adjacent is a trailer park and several homes, ranging from modest older ones to newer upscale structures. Patrons of the Woody Creek Tavern or the Woody Creek Community Center can request a postcard which comes with postage for USA delivery, which can be scrawled upon and dropped off at the nearby post office.
Select the Right HVAC Certification Training near Woody Creek CO
Finding the right HVAC training program is an important first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating and air conditioning industry. As we have addressed in this post, you should select a vocational school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC field. Other factors to look for are plenty of hands-on training and modern facilities. You should visit each of the schools personally 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 teaching and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling choices and whether or not night 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 appropriate questions as we have laid out in our checklist for comparing schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC professional in Woody Creek CO.
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