How to Enroll In an HVAC School near Russellville Kentucky
Once you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioning professional, the next step is to find an HVAC trade school near Russellville KY. But with so many to select from, how do you choose the ideal one to receive the training that you need? Some future students will make their choice based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Even though these are necessary concerns, they are not the only ones to investigate. Some of the other details that you need to look into are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and additional benchmarks will be discussed in more detail later within this article. But before we examine how to pick an HVAC technical school, let’s take a look at what a heating and air conditioning technician does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Pro in Russellville KY
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, though each state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Attaining professional certification is not required, but a voluntary way for Russellville KY HVAC specialists to prove that they are exceptionally proficient and experienced in their area of expertise. There are several acknowledged certifications within the field that are available. Here are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is earned by passing a competency exam and can be received in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience in addition to passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience as well as a passing result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing might be required in your area, and you may also intend to acquire certification, it’s imperative that you select an HVAC vocational school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the program you decide on preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Training Programs
There are a variety of options available for HVAC training in a technical or vocational school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the lesser period of time, typically achieved in just 6 months, however some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will deliver more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short explanation of each option offered near Russellville KY.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level residential or commercial HVAC specialists. They provide a strong foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more comprehensive understanding of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Normally requiring 2 years to finish, many degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more for a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a standard 4 year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Picking the right 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 option is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Russellville KY, eventually returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make certain to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Schools Online
Choosing an HVAC school online is one approach in attaining your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. Some also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes can be attended via the internet, this approach may be a more convenient solution for many Russellville KY students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are cheaper than other traditional alternatives. Even driving expenses from Russellville and study supplies may be minimized, helping to make schooling more economical. 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 limited time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it less complicated to fit school into your busy lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Certification Courses near Russellville KY
When you have selected the type of degree or certificate that you wish to attain, either on campus or online, you can start to limit your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Russellville KY area and throughout the Country to choose from. That’s why it is essential to have a checklist of important qualifications when making school assessments. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the first 2 variables you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC trade programs in the Russellville KY area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Make sure that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it can assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate may signify that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It might also suggest that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of graduates, which may mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Russellville KY HVAC employers to assist graduates secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC trade programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling businesses or labor unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with local Russellville KY HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC technician you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Russellville KY HVAC contractor if they can give you some pointers. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Russellville KY residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Speak to some of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Russellville KY, verify that the schools you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Attending HVAC School near Russellville KY?
Local historian Alex C. Finley claimed the area was first settled by Gasper Butcher, as a frontier settlement of the Transylvania Colony of Virginia, around 1780, but others have questioned this claim. Although the area is known to have been called Big Boiling Spring, Gasper Butcher's Spring, and Butcher's Station, W.R. Jillson was unable to find written records of any habitation before 1790. That year William Cook and his wife erected Cook's Cabin, accompanied by eighteen-year-old William Stewart. Also known as Cook's Station, the community was located about 1 mile (1.6 km) east of the present city. It was renamed as Logan Court House when it was chosen as the seat of newly formed Logan County in 1792.
General William Russell was given a 2,000-acre (810 ha) grant here for his military service during the American Revolution. He donated part of this property, in 1795, as a platted section for the county seat, known as Logan Court House. The town was renamed in Russell's honor in 1798. It was formally established by the state legislature on January 15, 1810. It was incorporated as a city on February 19, 1840.
In the early 19th century, the community had leaders who were politically prominent in the state. Four homes in the city still stand which were residences of future governors of Kentucky: John Breathitt, James Morehead, John J. Crittenden, and Charles S. Morehead.
Pick the Right HVAC Certification Training near Russellville KY
Finding the right HVAC training program is a critical beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating & cooling trade. As we have addressed in this article, you need to pick a school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC trade. Other factors to search for are sufficient hands-on training and modern facilities. You should visit each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to explore the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Additionally, ask about scheduling choices and whether night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial aid and student loan options also. If you ask the right questions as we have laid out in our guidelines for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices 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 Russellville KY.
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