How to Select the Right HVAC Training Program near Hattieville Arkansas
Now that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next step is to locate an HVAC trade school near Hattieville AR. But with so many to choose from, how do you decide on the ideal one to receive the training that you need? A number of potential students will make their selection based solely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. While these are relevant concerns, they are not the only ones to take into account. Just some of the other things that you need to research are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and additional criteria will be discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we tackle how to pick an HVAC trade school, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning specialist does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Tech
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are generally required to be licensed, although every state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Attaining professional certification is not required, but an alternative way for Hattieville AR HVAC techs to demonstrate that they are highly qualified and experienced in their area of specialization. There are a number of acknowledged certifications within the field that are offered. Here are a few of the important 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 offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience in addition to passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience together with a passing result on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are provided in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing might be required in your location, and you may also intend to acquire certification, it’s imperative that you choose an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be working with refrigerants, make sure that the program you select preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree Courses
There are several alternatives available for HVAC training in a trade or technical school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the lesser period of time, often accomplished in as little as 6 months, although some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree training programs may provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will furnish more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short explanation of each credential offered near Hattieville AR.
- 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 extensive understanding of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually taking 2 years to complete, a number of 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 traditional 4 year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Choosing the ideal credential program will be dependent on what your long term career goals are, along 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 Hattieville AR, eventually going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, be sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Courses
Enrolling in an HVAC school online is one approach in getting your training and earning a degree or certificate. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete practical training. Some also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes can be attended via the internet, this option may be a more practical solution for some Hattieville AR students that are pressed for time. And some online degree programs are cheaper than other traditional options. Even travelling expenses from Hattieville and study supplies may be reduced, helping to make education 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 easier to fit school into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask HVAC Training Classes
When you have selected the type of degree or certificate that you wish to acquire, either online or on campus, you can begin to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Hattieville AR area and across the Country to pick from. That’s why it is imperative to have a checklist of key qualifications when making school assessments. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the initial two variables you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you need to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC vocational programs in the Hattieville AR area have received 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 relates to an individual program, for instance HVAC technology. Make sure that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you acquire a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Additionally, a number of states require that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to be approved 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It could also indicate that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which can result in more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Hattieville AR HVAC employers to assist grads acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC trade programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling businesses or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with local Hattieville AR HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC technician you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Hattieville AR HVAC company if they can give you some tips. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Hattieville AR home. Remember that if you decide to attend 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 individualized training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger 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 teachers. Talk to several of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Hattieville AR, check that the programs you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering an HVAC School near Hattieville AR?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Hattieville Arkansas area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Arkansas Highway 247
Highway 247 (AR 247, Ark. 247, and Hwy. 247) is a designation for four north–south state highways in the Arkansas River Valley. All segments are maintained by the Arkansas Department of Transportation (ArDOT).
Highway 247 (AR 247, Ark. 247, and Hwy. 247) is a north–south state highway in southern Pope County. The highway connects Pottsville and I-40 to southern Russellville along the Arkansas Valley Plains. The route is a former alignment of the Butterfield Overland Mail, a predecessor of the Pony Express running from Memphis, Tennessee to California in the 1850s.
Highway 247 begins at Highway 7 (Arkansas Avenue/Scenic 7 Byway) in southern Russellville just east of Whig Creek, and less than one mile (1.6 km) from the Arkansas River. The highway runs east along the southern city limits of Russellville through a largely vacant industrial area, shortly passing through unincorporated area before entering Pottsville. Though within city limits, Highway 247 continues due east through mostly undeveloped terrain, crossing the Tanyard Branch and Galla Creek before turning north. Highway 247 passes over the Union Pacific Railway tracks just before an intersection with US Highway 64 (US 64) and Highway 363 (Crow Mountain Drive) just south of Interstate 40 (I-40).
Top HVAC Trade Schools Hattieville AR
Picking the right HVAC training course is a critical beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating & cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Top HVAC Trade Schools. However, as we have covered in this article, you should pick an Heating and Cooling technical school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC community. Other features to search for are sufficient practical training and modern facilities. You should visit each of the schools personally 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. In addition, ask about scheduling options and whether night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to ask about financial aid and student loan options also. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have outlined in our guidelines for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC professional in Hattieville AR.
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