How to Select an HVAC School near Greenwood Delaware
Once you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioner professional, the next step is to locate an HVAC technical school near Greenwood DE. But with so many to pick from, how do you choose the right one to get the training that you need? Many prospective students will make their choice based solely 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 evaluate. 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. Those and other benchmarks will be discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we tackle how to select an HVAC vocational school, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c contractor does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Technician in Greenwood DE
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, though each state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Acquiring professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary way for Greenwood DE HVAC technicians to demonstrate that they are highly skilled and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are multiple respected certifications within the field that are available. Following are a few of the significant 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 can be received in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience as well as passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience as well as a passing score on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are made available in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing might be mandated in your area, and you may also intend to earn certification, it’s imperative that you select an HVAC vocational school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be working with refrigerants, make sure that the school you select prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Training Programs
There are a variety of alternatives offered for HVAC training 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 least period of time, usually accomplished in just six months, although some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree programs might provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will furnish more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a short summary of each option offered near Greenwood DE.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They provide a strong foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more detailed understanding of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Typically taking 2 years to finish, many degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more for a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a standard four year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.
Choosing the appropriate credential program will be based on what your long term career objectives are, along with the time and money that you have to invest. One approach is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Greenwood DE, later returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, be sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Schools Online
Choosing an HVAC program online is one approach in obtaining your education and earning a certificate or degree. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in hands on training. Many also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be participated in via the internet, this approach may be a more practical solution for some Greenwood DE students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are cheaper than other traditional options. Even driving expenses from Greenwood and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And a large number of online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family responsibilities have left you with little time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to accommodate school into your busy lifestyle.
Questions to Ask HVAC Schools near Greenwood DE
Once you have picked the type of certificate or degree that you want to earn, either on campus or online, you can begin to limit your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of HVAC technical schools in the Greenwood DE area and throughout the Country to pick from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of important qualifications when making school evaluations. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the first two factors you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you need to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC trade programs in the Greenwood DE area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance HVAC technology. Make certain that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many states require that the HVAC training program 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 finish the course. A low completion rate may signify that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It may also indicate that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which can produce more contacts for the school to employ 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 trade, but also that it has the network of Greenwood DE HVAC employers to help grads secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC technical programs are taught in conjunction 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 companies or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with local Greenwood DE HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC specialist you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Greenwood DE HVAC contractor if they can give you some suggestions. Also bear in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Greenwood DE residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Speak with a few of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Greenwood DE, confirm that the schools you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.
Attending HVAC School near Greenwood DE?
Greenwood is a town in Sussex County, Delaware, United States. The population was 973 at the 2010 census, an increase of 16.2% over the previous decade. It is part of the Salisbury, Maryland-Delaware Metropolitan Statistical Area.
As of the census of 2000, there were 837 people, 335 households, and 211 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,267.2 people per square mile (489.6/km²). There were 394 housing units at an average density of 596.5 per square mile (230.5/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 74.91% White, 22.58% African American, 1.08% Asian, 0.12% Pacific Islander, 0.24% from other races, and 1.08% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.87% of the population.
There were 335 households out of which 38.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.2% were married couples living together, 14.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.0% were non-families. 31.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 3.15.
Select the Right HVAC Certification Training near Greenwood DE
Picking the right HVAC training course is a crucial beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating and air conditioning field. As we have addressed in this post, you should choose a school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC profession. Other features to search for are plenty of practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to visit each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. In addition, ask about scheduling choices and whether night or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to inquire about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have detailed in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC specialist in Greenwood DE.
More Fabulous Cities in Delaware
Business Results 1 - 10 of 133