How to Find the Right HVAC Training Class near Leesburg Alabama
Once you have decided on a career as a heating and cooling professional, the next step is to locate an HVAC trade school near Leesburg AL. But with so many to select from, how do you pick the best one to receive the training that you require? Some prospective students will make their choice based solely on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their home. While these are necessary concerns, they are not the only ones to evaluate. A few of the other factors 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. Those and additional benchmarks will be addressed in more detail later in this article. But before we examine how to select an HVAC vocational school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling specialist does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Pro
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, however every state and local municipality has its own requirements. Acquiring professional certification is not required, but an alternative way for Leesburg AL HVAC techs to demonstrate that they are highly qualified and experienced in their area of expertise. There are several acknowledged certifications within the field that are offered. Here are some of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is earned by passing a proficiency examination and may 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 together with passing a comprehensive exam 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. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are three forms of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing may be mandated in your location, and you may also intend to earn certification, it’s essential that you pick an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the school you pick preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are a variety of alternatives available for HVAC instruction in a technical or vocational 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 accomplished in as little as six months, though some courses 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 may provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will provide more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short description of each credential offered near Leesburg AL.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more exhaustive background of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Normally taking two years to finish, many degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more towards a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional 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.
Choosing the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your future career objectives are, as well as the time and money that you have to commit. One possibility is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Leesburg AL, subsequently returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Courses Online
Attending an HVAC school online is one possibility in obtaining your education and receiving a degree or certificate. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete practical training. Many also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be attended online, this option may be a more accessible solution for many Leesburg AL students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even travelling expenses from Leesburg and study materials may be reduced, helping to make schooling more economical. And numerous online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family obligations have left you with limited time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to fit school into your busy lifestyle.
Questions For HVAC Trade Schools
When you have decided on the type of degree or certificate that you want to attain, either on campus or online, you can start to narrow down your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Leesburg AL area and across the Country to choose from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of relevant qualifiers when making school evaluations. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the first two factors 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 technical programs in the Leesburg AL area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as HVAC technology. Verify that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it can help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, some 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 of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate could indicate that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It might also indicate that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s also important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which may produce more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Leesburg AL HVAC employers to assist grads obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC training programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC contractors or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with local Leesburg AL HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC technician you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Leesburg AL HVAC company if they can provide some pointers. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Leesburg AL home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Speak with a few of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with a few of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Leesburg AL, check that the programs you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Considering an HVAC School near Leesburg AL?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Leesburg Alabama area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Leesburg was originally called Hamptonville; it was named for Joseph Hampton and the Henslee family respectively. A post office was established as Hamptonville in 1836, and in 1839 the name was changed to Leesburg.
Leesburg is located in western Cherokee County at 34°10'57.446" North, 85°46'8.350" West (34.182624, -85.768986). It is bordered by Lookout Mountain and the town of Sand Rock to the north and Weiss Lake on the Coosa River to the south. Weiss Dam, forming the lake, is located just south of the town limits.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,027 people, 409 households, and 298 families residing in the town. The population density was 160 people per square mile (61.8/km²). There were 663 housing units at an average density of 103.6 per square mile (39.8/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 96.5% White, 0.0% Native American, 0.0% Asian, 0.5% from other races, and 1.9% from two or more races. 1.3% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Air Conditioning Programs Leesburg AL
Finding the ideal HVAC training course is a critical beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating and air conditioning industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Air Conditioning Programs. However, as we have discussed in this article, you should choose an HVAC trade school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC profession. Other features to look for are ample hands-on training and modern facilities. You should check out each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to tour the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Additionally, inquire about scheduling options and if evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to inquire about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the proper questions as we have laid out in our guidelines for comparing schools, you’ll be able to filter 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 contractor in Leesburg AL.
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