How to Select an HVAC School near White Sulphur Springs West Virginia
Once you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning professional, the next step is to choose an HVAC trade school near White Sulphur Springs WV. But with so many to pick from, how do you decide on the ideal one to receive the training that you require? A number of potential students will make their decision based solely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their home. While these are significant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Just some 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. These and additional benchmarks will be discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we examine how to choose an HVAC trade school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling professional does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Tech in White Sulphur Springs WV
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are generally mandated to be licensed, although each state and local municipality has its own criteria. Earning professional certification is not compulsory, but an alternative way for White Sulphur Springs WV HVAC technicians to prove that they are highly skilled and experienced in their area of specialization. There are many recognized certifications within the trade that are offered. Here 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 exam and can be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience together with passing a comprehensive examination are required 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 offered in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for techs that work with refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing might be required in your area, and you may also desire to acquire certification, it’s essential that you choose an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be handling refrigerants, make sure that the program you select preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Training Programs
There are a variety of choices offered for HVAC instruction in a trade or technical school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the least amount of time, usually achieved in just 6 months, though 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 edge in the job market and will provide more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short description of each option offered near White Sulphur Springs WV.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more extensive understanding of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Typically requiring two years to finish, some degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more for a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional four year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Selecting the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your future career objectives are, in addition to the time and money that you have to commit. One approach is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the trade in White Sulphur Springs WV, eventually going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Training
Attending an HVAC school online is one alternative to obtaining your training and earning a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. A number also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes may be participated in via the internet, this approach may be a more practical solution for many White Sulphur Springs WV students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even travelling expenses from White Sulphur Springs and study materials may be lessened, helping to make schooling more affordable. 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 minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to fit school into your active lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Trade Schools near White Sulphur Springs WV
Once you have decided on the type of degree or certificate that you want to acquire, either online or on campus, you can start to narrow down your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are numerous HVAC trade schools in the White Sulphur Springs WV area and throughout the USA to choose from. That’s why it is essential to have a checklist of key qualifiers when making school comparisons. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the initial two variables you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you should research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC vocational schools in the White Sulphur Springs WV area have attained 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 a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Confirm that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you obtain an excellent education, it can help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Additionally, many states require that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate might suggest that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It might also indicate that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which can result in 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 trade, but also that it has the network of White Sulphur Springs WV HVAC employers to assist grads acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC vocational programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling contractors or labor unions. Check if the schools you are considering have working relationships with local White Sulphur Springs WV HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC specialist you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local White Sulphur Springs WV HVAC contractor if they can give you some pointers. Also bear in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your White Sulphur Springs WV home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in 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 desirable that you receive as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Talk to a few of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to some of the teachers 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 reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near White Sulphur Springs WV, confirm that the schools you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.
Attending HVAC School near White Sulphur Springs WV?
White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia
White Sulphur Springs grew in the first half of the nineteenth century as the southern "Queen of the Watering Places". The springs resort first became the standard summer destination for wealthy Virginia Low Country residents seeking reprieve from heat, humidity, and disease of the "sickly season". As its popularity increased and it gained status as a socially exclusive site, the springs attracted elite guests from all areas of the South.
The resort, now known as The Greenbrier, remains one of the country's most luxurious and exclusive resorts. For many years, Sam Snead was the resort's golf pro. The resort has another significant place in golf history; in 1979, it hosted the first Ryder Cup to feature the current competitive setup of the United States and European sides. Golf in the United States began near White Sulphur Springs when the Montague family founded Oakhurst Links in 1884, making it the oldest organized golf club in the country.
In 1992 the Washington Post reported that, during the Cold War, the resort had been the site of a "bunker", the Emergency Relocation Center, which was intended to house and protect the U.S. Congress in the event of a nuclear attack.
Pick the Right HVAC Trade School near White Sulphur Springs WV
Choosing the ideal HVAC training course is a crucial first step toward a rewarding career in the heating and air conditioning industry. As we have covered in this post, you need to choose a vocational school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC community. Other features to search for are sufficient practical training and modern facilities. You need to go to each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to tour 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. Additionally, inquire about scheduling options and if evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial assistance and student loan options as well. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have laid out in our checklist for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC specialist in White Sulphur Springs WV.
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HVAC Schools in West Virginia, including hands-on and online
Additional HVAC Schools in West Virginia. Academy of Careers and Technology. 390 Stanaford Road, Berkley, WV 25801. Phone : (304) 256-4615 www.wvact.net. Programs : Electrical; Refrigeration. Cabell County Career Technology Center. 1035 Norway Avenue, Huntington, WV 25705.
HVAC Schools in West Virginia (Top Programs Listed)
500 28th StDunbar, West Virginia 25064: Blue Ridge Community and Technical College: 13650 Apple Harvest Dr, Martinsburg, WV 25403, Cabell County Career Technology Center: 1035 Norway AveHuntington, West Virginia 25705: Carver Career Center: 4799 Midland DrCharleston, West Virginia 25306: Dudley's HVAC & Maintenance: 37 Meadow Ln #3807, Martinsburg, WV 25404
HVAC Training Schools in West Virginia ... - Career School Now
HVAC Training Schools in West Virginia. Find a West Virginia trade school with HVAC technician training and learn to install, repair and maintain residential and industrial HVAC systems. All partner schools are accredited and have financial aid assistance for students who qualify. All online and part online HVAC training programs are available in many locations.
HVAC Schools in West Virginia
West Virginia Northern Community College. 1704 Market St. Wheeling, West Virginia 26003. (304) 233-5900. Program (s) offered: Associate of Applied Science in Refrigeration, Air Conditioning, and Heating.
HVAC Training Schools in West Virginia - HVAC Career Now
1000 Mississippi Street, Morgantown, WV 26501. Ralph R Willis Career and Technical Center. 144 Vocational Road, Stollings, WV 25646. West Virginia Community and Technical College. 1704 Market St., Wheeling, WV 26003. West Virginia Higher Education. 300 Roosevelt Boulevard, Eleanor, WV 25070. West Virginia University.
HVAC Classes in West Virginia (Top Schools) - HVAC Schools 411
Approved HVAC training programs are a perfect marriage of theory and practice. Therefore, you will definitely benefit greatly from them. Here is a list of schools that offer approved HVAC training programs in West Virginia: