How to Pick the Right Heating and Cooling Certification Course near Glennallen Alaska
Now that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next action is to find an HVAC trade school near Glennallen AK. But with so many to pick from, how do you decide on the best one to obtain the training that you require? A number of prospective students will make their decision based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Even though these are important considerations, they are not the only ones to evaluate. A few of the other things 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. These and other criteria will be discussed in more detail later within this article. But before we discuss how to choose an HVAC trade school, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning contractor does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Pro
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, however every state and local municipality has its own requirements. Acquiring professional certification is not compulsory, but an optional means for Glennallen AK HVAC technicians to prove that they are highly qualified and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are many respected certifications within the industry that are available. Below are a few 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 proficiency examination and can be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available 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 need to have three years of experience in addition to a passing score on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are offered in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for technicians that work with refrigerants. There are three forms of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing could be required in your location, and you may also desire to earn certification, it’s essential that you enroll in an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be working 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 number of options offered for HVAC training in a vocational or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the lesser period of time, often accomplished in just 6 months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs may provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will provide more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief summary of each option offered near Glennallen AK.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more extensive knowledge of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually taking two years to complete, many 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 as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a standard four year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Selecting the right credential program will be based on what your long term career goals are, along with the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One possibility is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Glennallen AK, subsequently going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Courses Online
Attending an HVAC school online is one alternative in attaining your training and earning a certificate or degree. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. A number also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes may be participated in via the internet, this approach may be a more accessible solution for some Glennallen AK students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are less expensive than other traditional choices. Even driving expenses from Glennallen and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family responsibilities have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your hectic lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Training Classes
Once you have selected the type of degree or certificate that you would like to earn, either on campus or online, you can begin to decrease your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many HVAC trade schools in the Glennallen AK area and across the United States to pick from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a checklist of important qualifiers when making school evaluations. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the first two variables you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Glennallen AK area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Make certain that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you receive an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, some states require that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to be approved 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 portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate could indicate that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It might also mean that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which may result in more contacts for the school to employ 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 Glennallen AK HVAC employers to help graduates obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC technical programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling companies or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with local Glennallen AK HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC specialist you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Glennallen AK HVAC contractor if they can provide some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Glennallen AK home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much individualized training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger 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 students and teachers. Talk with a few of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the teachers and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Glennallen AK, confirm that the schools you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.
Considering an HVAC School near Glennallen AK?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Glennallen Alaska area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Glennallen /ɡlɛˈnælən/ (Ciisik’e Na’ in Ahtna) is a census-designated place (CDP) in the Valdez–Cordova Census Area in the Unorganized Borough of the U.S. state of Alaska. As of the 2010 census, the population of the CDP was 483, down from 554 in 2000.
Glennallen is located at 62°06′33″N 145°32′47″W / 62.10917°N 145.54639°W / 62.10917; -145.54639 (62.109170, -145.54639; Sec. 23, T004N, R002W, Copper River Meridian), in the Chitina Recording District and Game Management Unit 13.
It lies along the Glenn Highway at its junction with the Richardson Highway, 189 road miles (304 km) east of Anchorage. It is just outside the western boundary of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve.
Best HVAC Training Schools Glennallen AK
Selecting the ideal HVAC school course is an important beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating and cooling industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Best HVAC Training Schools. However, as we have discussed in this article, you should pick an HVAC school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC field. Other factors to look for are sufficient 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 teaching and the interaction between them. In addition, inquire about scheduling choices and whether evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have detailed in our guidelines for assessing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC technician in Glennallen AK.
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