How to Find the Right HVAC Certification Course near Killen Alabama
Once you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioner professional, the next action is to choose an HVAC trade school near Killen AL. But with so many to pick from, how do you choose the best one to get the training that you need? A number of prospective students will make their choice based entirely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Although these are important considerations, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Some of the other factors that you need to research are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and other criteria will be covered in more detail later within this article. But before we tackle how to select an HVAC trade school, let’s look at what a heating and cooling technician does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Technician
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, however every state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Earning professional certification is not required, but an alternative means for Killen AL HVAC technicians to establish that they are highly skilled and experienced in their area of specialization. There are multiple recognized certifications within the trade that are available. Following 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 exam and may be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience in addition to passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience together with a passing result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are made available in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are three forms of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing might be mandated in your area, and you may also wish to earn certification, it’s important that you choose an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be working with refrigerants, make sure that the program you pick prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are a number of choices available for HVAC training 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 minimum amount of time, typically completed in as little as six months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree programs might provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will furnish more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a short explanation of each credential offered near Killen AL.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more comprehensive background of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally requiring 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 or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional 4 year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.
Picking the appropriate credential program will be based on what your long term career aspirations are, in addition to the time and money that you have to commit. One possibility is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Killen AL, subsequently returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Schools
Choosing an HVAC program online is one possibility in getting your education and earning a degree or certificate. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to take part 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 can be participated in on the web, this alternative may be a more accessible solution for many Killen AL students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are more economical than other traditional alternatives. Even travelling expenses from Killen and study materials can be lessened, helping to make schooling more economical. And numerous online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family commitments have left you with minimal time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your busy lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Schools
As soon as you have chosen the type of degree or certificate that you desire to obtain, either online or on campus, you can start to decrease your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous HVAC trade schools in the Killen AL area and throughout the USA to select from. That’s why it is imperative to have a checklist of relevant qualifiers when making school comparisons. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the first 2 variables you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you will want to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Killen AL area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Confirm that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you get a superior education, it may help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, some states require that the HVAC training course be accredited for it 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 portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate could signify that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It could also suggest that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which may produce more contacts for the school to use 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 industry, but additionally that it has the network of Killen AL HVAC employers to help grads acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC training programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling businesses or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Killen AL HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained 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 specialist you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Killen AL HVAC contracting company if they can provide some pointers. Also bear in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Killen AL home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Speak with some of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with a few of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Killen AL, check that the programs you are reviewing offer those choices. 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 policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Considering an HVAC School near Killen AL?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Killen Alabama area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Killen is a town in Lauderdale County, Alabama, United States. It is part of the Florence - Muscle Shoals Metropolitan Statistical Area known as "The Shoals". It was incorporated in 1957. As of the 2010 census, the population of the town is 1,108, down from its record high of 1,119 in 2000.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,119 people, 435 households, and 338 families residing in the town. The population density was 585.0 people per square mile (226.2/km²). There were 484 housing units at an average density of 253.0 per square mile (97.8/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 95.26% White, 2.23% Black or African American, 0.45% Asian, 1.61% from other races, and 0.45% from two or more races. 2.59% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Of the 435 households, 35.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.9% were married couples living together, 7.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.1% were non-families. 18.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57, and the average family size was 2.94.
Trade School HVAC Killen AL
Choosing the ideal HVAC training course is a crucial first step toward a gratifying career in the heating and air conditioning industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Trade School HVAC. However, as we have addressed in this post, you should select an HVAC school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC trade. Other features to search for are lots of hands-on training and modern facilities. You need to go to each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Also, inquire about scheduling options and whether or not night or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to ask 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 narrow down your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC specialist in Killen AL.
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