How to Select an HVAC Certification Class near Spring Hill Florida
Now that you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next step is to choose an HVAC vocational school near Spring Hill FL. But with so many to pick from, how do you select the ideal one to obtain the training that you require? Some prospective students will make their decision based exclusively on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Even though these are necessary factors to consider, they are not the only ones to evaluate. A few of the other things that you need to investigate are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and additional criteria will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we examine how to pick an HVAC trade school, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c specialist does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Technician in Spring Hill FL
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals specialize in 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, although each state and local municipality has its own criteria. Earning professional certification is not required, but an optional means for Spring Hill FL HVAC specialists to prove that they are highly proficient and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are many acknowledged certifications within the field that are available. Following are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. 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 professional experience as well as passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience in addition to a passing result on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are offered in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification available, 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 pick an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the program you choose readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree Classes
There are a number of options 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 lesser period of time, usually completed in just six months, although some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will deliver more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short explanation of each credential offered near Spring Hill FL.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more detailed background of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally taking two years to finish, some degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more towards a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional four year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Picking the right credential program will be based on what your future career goals are, in addition to the time and money that you have to invest. One possibility is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Spring Hill FL, eventually returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make certain to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Schools Online
Enrolling in an HVAC program online is one approach to attaining your education and earning a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete hands on training. Many 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 approach may be a more practical solution for many Spring Hill FL students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are more economical than other traditional options. Even travelling expenses from Spring Hill and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family commitments have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to fit school into your busy lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Trade Schools near Spring Hill FL
When you have chosen the type of degree or certificate that you want to acquire, either online or on campus, 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 Spring Hill FL area and across the Country to choose from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a list of important qualifiers when making school evaluations. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the first two variables you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you will want to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Spring Hill FL area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Confirm 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 make certain that you obtain a quality education, it can assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available 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 Heating and Cooling schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate might signify that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It may also suggest that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which may produce more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Spring Hill FL HVAC employers to help students secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC trade programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC businesses or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with local Spring Hill FL HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local 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 working with in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC technician you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Spring Hill FL HVAC contracting company if they can give you some pointers. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Spring Hill FL home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Talk to some of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Spring Hill FL, check that the programs you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.
Attending HVAC School near Spring Hill FL?
Spring Hill, Florida
Spring Hill is a census-designated place (CDP) in Hernando County, Florida, United States. The population was 98,621 at the 2010 census, up from 69,078 at the 2000 census. The American Community Survey estimated the population in 2015 to be 103,197. Spring Hill belongs to Florida's Nature Coast region and is in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metro area. It is east of Hernando Beach, southwest of Brooksville, and north of Tampa.
Spring Hill first appeared on Hernando County maps as early as 1856 along what is today Fort Dade Avenue just north of the community of Wiscon. The modern Spring Hill was founded in 1967 as a planned community, which was developed by the Deltona Corporation and the Mackle Brothers. The developers originally wanted to call the community Spring Lake and used that as the working name through the development process. They were forced to use a different name due to the name Spring Lake already being in use locally and chose Spring Hill. The plans for the community are identical to the community of Deltona. The Mackle Brothers sold many of the properties and land in the area through intense advertising. It has since become a sprawling semi-city in its own right, though it is an unincorporated area. The main entrance to the original development is marked by the Spring Hill waterfall on Spring Hill Drive and U.S. Route 19 (Commercial Way).
Spring Hill is located in southwestern Hernando County at 28°28′44″N 82°32′52″W / 28.47889°N 82.54778°W / 28.47889; -82.54778 (28.478929, & 82.547732). It is bordered to the west by Timber Pines; to the north by Weeki Wachee, North Weeki Wachee, High Point, Brookridge, and Wiscon; and to the east by South Brooksville, Garden Grove, and Masaryktown. To the south it is bordered by Shady Hills and Heritage Pines in Pasco County.
Choose the Right HVAC Training Course near Spring Hill FL
Picking the right HVAC training course is an important beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating & cooling field. As we have covered in this post, you need to select a technical school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC community. Other things to look for are ample practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to visit each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to inspect 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. Also, ask about scheduling options and whether or not evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options as well. If you ask the proper questions as we have detailed in our checklist for evaluating 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 ultimately become a licensed HVAC professional in Spring Hill FL.
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