How to Choose an HVAC Certification Course near Tolland Connecticut
Now that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and cooling technician, the next step is to look for an HVAC technical school near Tolland CT. But with so many to pick from, how do you decide on the ideal one to receive the training that you need? Many potential students will make their choice based entirely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their home. While these are relevant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to investigate. A few of the other factors that you need to look into are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and other benchmarks will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we discuss how to select an HVAC training program, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning contractor does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Specialist in Tolland CT
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are generally required to be licensed, though each state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Attaining professional certification is not compulsory, but a voluntary means for Tolland CT HVAC techs to demonstrate that they are highly skilled and accomplished in their area of specialization. There are many recognized certifications within the industry that are offered. Here are a few of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is achieved by passing a proficiency examination and may be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience together with passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience in addition to a passing score on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are provided in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing may be mandated in your area, and you may also intend to acquire certification, it’s important that you pick an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be working with refrigerants, make sure that the school you decide on readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are a number of alternatives available for HVAC instruction in a trade or technical school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the minimum amount of time, usually achieved in just six months, however 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 programs can provide a competitive edge in the job market and will furnish more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief description of each credential offered near Tolland CT.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level residential or commercial HVAC specialists. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more exhaustive understanding of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Usually requiring 2 years to complete, many 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 call for an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional 4 year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Selecting the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your future career goals 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 getting some experience in the field in Tolland CT, eventually returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make certain to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Training Online
Attending an HVAC school online is one approach in getting your training and receiving a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in hands on training. A number also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes may be attended via the internet, this alternative may be a more practical solution for many Tolland CT students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are less costly than other traditional alternatives. Even driving expenses from Tolland and study materials can be lessened, helping to make schooling more economical. 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, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it easier to accommodate school into your hectic schedule.
Questions For HVAC Certification Classes near Tolland CT
Once you have selected the type of degree or certificate that you wish to attain, either online or on campus, you can start to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are many HVAC vocational schools in the Tolland CT area and throughout the USA to select from. That’s why it is essential to have a checklist of important qualifiers when making school assessments. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the first two factors you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you need to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC vocational programs in the Tolland CT area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Confirm that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain a superior education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, a number of states require that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate may suggest that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It could also suggest 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 can mean more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Tolland CT HVAC employers to assist students obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC vocational programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC businesses or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with local Tolland CT HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus 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 currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC tech you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Tolland CT HVAC contractor if they can provide some suggestions. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Tolland CT residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few 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 expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Tolland CT, verify that the schools you are looking at provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Attending HVAC School near Tolland CT?
Tolland was named in May, 1715, and incorporated in May, 1722. According to some, the town derives its name from being a toll station on the old road between Boston and New York. Alternatively, its name could have been taken after Tolland in Somerset, England. Today Interstate 84, the main highway connecting New York City, Hartford, Connecticut and Boston, bisects Tolland, but the town retains a charming village feel. Tolland Green is the informal center of the community, and a national historic district. The Green's features include an old-fashioned penny candy and antiques store known to locals as the 'Red and White'; the town's original 19th-century town hall, now an arts center; the 'Old Tolland Jail' museum; the 'Tolland Inn' bed and breakfast; and the Hicks-Stearns Museum, a restored Victorian house. The architectural styles on display, including the white steeples of several churches, are reminiscent of a picture-postcard New England scene. The town is also home to the supposedly haunted 'Benton Homestead'.
Many of the town's adults work in Hartford, located about 25 minutes away, often at one of the city's many insurance companies, or for the neighbouring University of Connecticut in Storrs to the south. A family-oriented town, the landscape of Tolland is primarily composed of large houses, and mansions on plots of around two acres. Undeveloped, forested land covers the area between the town's many residential developments. Containing two state forests and several municipal parks, the town retains a relatively rural character.
As of the census of 2000, there were 13,146 people, 4,586 households, and 3,788 families residing in the town. The population density was 331.0 people per square mile (127.8/km²). There were 4,665 housing units at an average density of 117.5 per square mile (45.4/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 97.36% White, 0.57% African American, 0.08% Native American, 1.19% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.39% from other races, and 0.81% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were .75% of the population.
Select the Right HVAC Training Course near Tolland CT
Finding the right HVAC training course is an important beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating and air conditioning industry. As we have covered in this post, you need to select a vocational school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC field. Other factors to look for are plenty of practical training and modern facilities. You need to visit each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to explore the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. In addition, ask about scheduling options and whether or not night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the right questions as we have outlined in our guidelines for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC technician in Tolland CT.
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Since 1946, Lincoln Tech has been helping students achieve professional success through personalized career support and hands-on, job-specific education. our in- depth training programs are designed to meet the changing needs of today’s tough job market, and cover a variety of fields, including: Health Sciences, Business and information Technology, Spa & Cosmetology, Automotive Technology, Welding, HVAC and Electrical.