How to Select the Right HVAC Certification Training near New Market Alabama
Once you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner professional, the next step is to choose an HVAC technical school near New Market AL. But with so many to choose from, how do you decide on the ideal one to receive the training that you require? Many prospective students will make their selection based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their home. While these are significant concerns, they are not the only ones to take into account. A few 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 other criteria will be covered in more detail later within this article. But before we discuss how to choose an HVAC training program, let’s take a look at what a heating and air conditioning professional does to become a licensed qualified 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 techs specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are generally required to be licensed, however each state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Acquiring professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary means for New Market AL HVAC techs to demonstrate that they are highly skilled and experienced in their area of specialization. There are many respected certifications within the industry that are offered. Following are a few of the important 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 earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience as well as passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience in addition to a passing score on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are made available in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for technicians that work with refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing may be mandated in your area, and you may also intend to acquire certification, it’s essential that you choose an HVAC vocational school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the program you select prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are a number of alternatives available for HVAC training in a trade or technical school. You can attain 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 most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive edge in the job market and will furnish more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief description of each option offered near New Market AL.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more exhaustive understanding of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually requiring two years to complete, a number of degrees feature 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 call for 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 study how to design them.
Selecting the ideal credential program will be based on what your long term career aspirations are, as well as the time and money that you have to commit. One approach is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in New Market AL, eventually returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, be sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Classes
Choosing an HVAC school online is one possibility to getting your training and receiving a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete practical training. A number also offer 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 approach may be a more convenient solution for many New Market AL students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even travelling expenses from New Market 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 work or family obligations have left you with limited time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your hectic schedule.
Questions For HVAC Training Programs
When you have chosen the type of certificate or degree that you desire to obtain, either online or on campus, you can start to decrease your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are numerous HVAC vocational schools in the New Market AL area and across the United States to select from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of important qualifications when making school evaluations. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the first two factors you will take into consideration. Following are some additional ones that you will want to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC technical programs in the New Market AL area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, such as HVAC technology. Make sure that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you acquire an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, a number of states require that the HVAC training program be accredited in order 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 percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate might suggest that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It could also signify that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which may mean more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of New Market AL HVAC employers to assist grads secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC technical programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC businesses or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with local New Market AL HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date 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 New Market AL HVAC contracting company if they can provide some tips. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your New Market AL home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Talk to several of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the instructors 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 schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near New Market AL, confirm that the programs you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering an HVAC School near New Market AL?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the New Market Alabama area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
New Market, Alabama
New Market is a 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 CDP is 1,597. Although it was the first area settled in Madison County, the town has never been incorporated.
In the early 19th century, several persons from Tennessee explored the area just across the border in what eventually became Madison County in Alabama. Isaac and Joseph Criner also explored the area and, in 1804, settled in the northern part near what is now called Mountain Fork of the Flint River. George Smith, landowner of town site, built first log house and established a mercantile business in 1814. John Miller excavated millrace, erected gristmill and sawmill in 1819. Later settlers gave the name New Market to the community.
Four sites in New Market are listed on the National Register of Historic Places: the New Market Historic District, New Market Presbyterian Church, New Market United Methodist Church, and the Whitman-Cobb House.
HVAC Refrigeration Training New Market AL
Picking the ideal HVAC school course is a crucial first step toward a rewarding career in the heating and cooling trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Refrigeration Training. However, as we have covered in this post, you should select an Heating and Cooling vocational school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC profession. Other features to look for are plenty of practical training and modern facilities. You need to go to each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to tour the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. In addition, inquire about scheduling options and whether night or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial aid and student loan options too. If you ask the right questions as we have detailed in our checklist for comparing schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC professional in New Market AL.
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