How to Pick the Right HVAC Training Class near Hazel Green Alabama
Once you have made a decision on a career as a heating and cooling technician, the next step is to choose an HVAC technical school near Hazel Green AL. But with so many to pick from, how do you choose the best one to get the training that you require? Many future students will make their selection based solely on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their home. While these are important considerations, they are not the only ones to investigate. Some of the other details 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 additional benchmarks will be addressed in more detail later within this article. But before we examine how to select an HVAC trade school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling contractor does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Pro
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, although each state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Acquiring professional certification is not mandatory, but an optional way for Hazel Green AL HVAC technicians to establish that they are highly skilled and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are a number of respected certifications within the field that are offered. 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 may be received in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience as well as passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience together with a passing score on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are offered in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for techs 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.
Since licensing could be mandated in your location, and you may also wish to obtain certification, it’s imperative that you select an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the program you pick 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 technical or vocational school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, typically completed in just six months, although some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs may provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will deliver more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief summary of each option offered near Hazel Green AL.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more exhaustive understanding of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually taking 2 years to complete, many degrees include 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 standard 4 year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Selecting the ideal credential program will be dependent on what your future career goals are, as well as the time and money that you have to invest. One possibility is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Hazel Green AL, 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 Schools Online
Attending an HVAC program online is one approach to obtaining your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in hands on training. A number also provide 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 attended on the web, this option may be a more practical solution for some Hazel Green AL students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are less expensive than other traditional alternatives. Even travelling expenses from Hazel Green and study supplies can be minimized, helping to make schooling more budget-friendly. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family responsibilities have left you with minimal time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to fit school into your active lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Training Programs
When you have picked the type of degree or certificate that you want to earn, either online or on campus, you can begin to narrow down your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are a large number of HVAC technical schools in the Hazel Green AL area and across the United States to choose from. That’s why it is very important to have a checklist of key qualifiers when making school evaluations. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the initial 2 variables you will take into consideration. Following are some additional ones that you will want to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC technical programs in the Hazel Green AL area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Make sure that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you obtain a superior education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, some states require that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate might signify that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It might also indicate that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which can produce more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Hazel Green AL HVAC employers to assist graduates secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC technical 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 within their network of HVAC businesses or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have working relationships with local Hazel Green AL HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also provides employment 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 already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC tech you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Hazel Green AL HVAC contractor if they can give you some tips. Also keep in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Hazel Green AL home. Remember 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 important that you get as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak with several of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to some 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 assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Hazel Green AL, confirm that the programs you are considering offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Considering an HVAC School near Hazel Green AL?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Hazel Green Alabama area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Hazel Green, Alabama
Hazel Green is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) in Madison County, Alabama, United States, and is included in the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the population of the community was 3,630. The 2010 estimated population for the Hazel Green zip code 35750 was 12,783.
The town was named Hazel Green because of the hazel bushes along the road were of a vibrant green. In the early 19th century, several farmers from Georgia and the Carolinas settled in Hazel Green after discovering that the area had some of the richest soil in the Southeast. A post office was built in 1819 on the southeast corner of the intersection now known as Hwy. 231-431 & Joe Quick Road. Several grocers and rest stops were also built along this intersection. It became a bustling community and incorporated into a town on June 15, 1821 by an act of the state legislature with a population of approximately 400. At the time, Hazel Green was a small, rural community that served as a crossroads. Roads connected Hazel Green with Athens to the west, Winchester, TN to the east, Huntsville to the south, and Nashville to the north. These roads intersected at what is now known as the intersection of US Highway 231/431, Joe Quick Road, and West Limestone Road. The town eventually became unincorporated and despite recent growth, remains unincorporated to this day.
After several months of rumors and speculation, Walmart began construction of a Supercenter on the southwest corner of US Highway 231/431 and Charity Lane in June 2014. This brought attention to several local residents and media outlets, as Walmart typically does not build supercenters in unincorporated areas. After completion in March 2015, the store attracted several other businesses in the same vicinity, including multiple fast food restaurants and shopping centers. As of December 2016, Zaxby's, Burger King, Arby's, Papa Murphy's Pizza, Taco Bell, AT&T, Great Clips, Dollar Tree, Hibbett Sports, Verizon, and Pet Depot make up the list of new businesses in the area. Hazel Green is slated for continued residential and commercial growth in the upcoming years.
Cooling Classes Hazel Green AL
Choosing the ideal HVAC school course is a critical beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating and cooling industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Cooling Classes. However, as we have covered in this post, you need to choose an HVAC vocational school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC field. Other things to search for are lots of hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should go to 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 training and the interaction between them. Additionally, ask about scheduling choices and whether night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to inquire about financial aid and student loan options too. If you ask the right 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 appropriate training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC contractor in Hazel Green AL.
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