How to Find the Right HVAC Training Class near Washington Connecticut
Once you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner specialist, the next step is to find an HVAC trade school near Washington CT. But with so many to select from, how do you select the ideal one to receive the training that you need? Some potential students will make their decision based solely on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. Even though these are relevant concerns, they are not the only ones to evaluate. A few 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. These and additional criteria will be addressed in more detail later within this article. But before we discuss how to choose an HVAC training program, let’s look at what a heating and cooling professional does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Pro in Washington CT
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, although each state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Attaining professional certification is not compulsory, but an optional way for Washington CT HVAC technicians to establish that they are highly qualified and accomplished in their area of specialization. There are several respected certifications within the field that are available. Here are a few of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is achieved by passing a competency examination 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 professional experience together with passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience together with a passing score on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are three types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing may be mandated in your location, and you may also wish to acquire certification, it’s important that you pick an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be handling refrigerants, make certain that the school you choose prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Schools
There are a number of alternatives offered for HVAC training in a technical or vocational school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, often accomplished in as little as six months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree programs might provide a competitive edge in the job market and will furnish more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief explanation of each option offered near Washington CT.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more extensive background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Usually requiring 2 years to finish, some degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more towards 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 learning how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Choosing the appropriate credential program will be based on what your long term career aspirations are, together with the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One possibility is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Washington CT, later going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Courses Online
Attending an HVAC school online is one option to obtaining your training and receiving a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to complete practical training. Some also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes can be participated in online, this option may be a more practical solution for some Washington CT students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are more economical than other traditional alternatives. Even driving expenses from Washington and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family responsibilities have left you with little time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to fit school into your active lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Training Classes near Washington CT
When you have selected the type of degree or certificate that you desire to attain, either online or on campus, you can begin to limit your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are numerous HVAC technical schools in the Washington CT area and throughout the United States to pick from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of key qualifiers when making school comparisons. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the initial 2 factors you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you will want to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC trade programs in the Washington CT area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance HVAC technology. Make sure that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you obtain an excellent education, it can help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, some states require 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 reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate could signify that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It might also mean that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which can produce more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Washington CT HVAC employers to help students acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC technical programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC businesses or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with local Washington CT HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain 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, talk to the HVAC tech you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Washington CT HVAC company if they can provide some tips. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Washington CT residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Talk to some of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with some of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise 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 can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Washington CT, check that the programs you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.
Attending HVAC School near Washington CT?
Washington is a rural town in Litchfield County, Connecticut, in the New England region of the United States. The population was 3,578 at the 2010 census. Washington is known for its picturesque countryside, historic architecture, and active civic and cultural life. The town has strong ties to New York City, and is home to many cultural and business elites.
Archeological evidence suggests that Native Americans first settled along the banks of the Shepaug River about 10,000 years ago, following the conclusion of the last ice age. Before the arrival of European settlers, the lands today comprising Washington were inhabited by the Wyantenock tribe.
In 1734, Joseph Hurlbut settled the eastern section of what is now Washington, marking the beginning of the town's inhabitation by Colonists. The area around the Hurlbut homestead came to be known as the Judea Parish, a name preserved in the still active Judea Cemetery. It was initially part of Woodbury. In 1746, when Edward Cogswell secured the right to mine iron ore, as part of the New Milford North Purchase, and established an ironworks along the East Aspetuck River in New Preston. 1746 also marked the purchase of land from the Wyantenock tribe by the Averill family for a homestead on Baldwin Hill, which is still occupied and farmed by direct descendants of the original inhabitants . Washington was incorporated in 1779, with lands carved from the towns of Woodbury, Litchfield, Kent and New Milford. The town was named after George Washington, who traveled through the area several times during the American Revolution, and proverbially slept in New Preston in 1781. Major William Cogswell, son of Edward Cogswell, was elected the town's first selectman.
Select the Right HVAC Trade School near Washington CT
Enrolling in the right HVAC training program is an important first step toward a gratifying career in the heating and air conditioning field. As we have discussed in this post, you need to select a school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC field. Other things to look for are plenty 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 training and the interaction between them. In addition, inquire about scheduling options and whether evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the proper questions as we have outlined in our guidelines for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC specialist in Washington CT.
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