How to Choose HVAC Certification Training Albany KY

How to Select the Right HVAC Certification Class near Albany Kentucky

air conditioner condensers in Albany KYOnce you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioning specialist, the next action is to choose an HVAC technical school near Albany KY. But with so many to choose from, how do you select the ideal one to obtain the training that you need? A number of prospective students will make their selection based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Even though these are relevant concerns, they are not the only ones to take into account. Just some of the other things that you need to investigate are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and additional benchmarks will be addressed in more detail later within this article. But before we tackle how to choose an HVAC vocational school, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c specialist does to become a licensed professional tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Contractor

Albany KY HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are generally mandated to be licensed, however each state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Obtaining professional certification is not required, but a voluntary means for Albany KY HVAC technicians to prove that they are exceptionally qualified and experienced in their area of expertise. There are many acknowledged certifications within the field that are offered. Below are some of the important ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is earned by passing a competency exam and can be acquired in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience together with passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience along with a passing result on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are provided in multiple specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for techs that handle refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Considering that licensing may be required in your area, and you may also intend to earn certification, it’s imperative that you choose an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the program you pick prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Degree Schools

radiator heater in Albany KY homeThere are a variety of options offered for HVAC training in a technical or vocational school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, typically accomplished in just 6 months, however some programs 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 edge for securing employment and will deliver more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief description of each option offered near Albany KY.

  • Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more extensive understanding of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually requiring two years to finish, a number of 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 traditional 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 ideal credential program will be based on what your future career goals are, along with the time and money that you have to invest. One option is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Albany KY, eventually returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Training Online

Albany KY student attending HVAC school onlineAttending an HVAC school online is one possibility to attaining your education and earning a certificate or degree. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to participate 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 attended online, this approach may be a more practical solution for some Albany KY students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are cheaper than other traditional options. Even travelling expenses from Albany and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family obligations have left you with limited time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to accommodate school into your active schedule.

Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Courses

Questions to ask Albany KY HVAC training schoolsAs soon as you have chosen the type of certificate or degree that you want to acquire, either online or on campus, you can begin to limit your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many HVAC vocational schools in the Albany KY area and all over the Country to choose from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school comparisons. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the first two variables you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you will want to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Many HVAC trade programs in the Albany KY area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Make sure that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you receive a quality education, it can help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Also, 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 Cooling schools you are looking at 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 may signify that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It might also signify that the instructors were not qualified 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 broader directory of alumni, which may produce more contacts for the school to use 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 trade, but also that it has the network of Albany KY HVAC employers to help graduates secure apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  A large number of HVAC trade programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC businesses or labor unions. Check if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with local Albany KY HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make sure that the school 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 presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC technician you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Albany KY HVAC company if they can give you some tips. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Albany KY home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s desirable that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Talk to several of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to some of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.

Flexible Scheduling.  Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Albany KY, confirm that the programs you are considering offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, 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 Albany KY?

Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Albany Kentucky area.  If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.

Albany, Kentucky

Albany is a home rule-class city[2] in Clinton County, Kentucky, in the United States. The population was 2,033 at the 2010 census.[3] It is the county seat of Clinton County.[4] It is located on U.S. Route 127, about 6 miles (10 km) north of the Tennessee border.

The community of Albany grew up around a tavern established by Benjamin Dowell in the early 19th century. In 1837, residents voted to make the location the seat of county government.[5] It is generally accepted that the town, formally incorporated on January 27, 1838, was named after Albany, New York, but a local legend holds that, during the vote to determine the location of the county seat, patrons of Dowell's tavern shouted "All for Benny!", then "all Benny," which led to the town being called Albany.[5]

During the Civil War, Albany was attacked by Confederate forces, and many buildings, including the courthouse, were burned.[5] A marker in the courthouse square notes that Clinton was the native county of Civil War terrorist Champ Ferguson, hanged after the war for atrocities.[5]

How to Choose HVAC Certification Training Albany KY

Selecting the ideal HVAC training course is an important beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating and cooling industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding How to Choose HVAC Certification Training. However, as we have addressed in this post, you should pick an HVAC school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC community. Other factors to search for are plenty of hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to 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. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. In addition, inquire about scheduling choices and if evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the proper 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 dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC contractor in Albany KY.

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