How to Choose HVAC Training Classes Augusta KY

How to Select the Right HVAC Certificate Program near Augusta Kentucky

air conditioner condensers in Augusta KYNow that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next step is to look for an HVAC trade school near Augusta KY. But with so many to select from, how do you choose the ideal one to obtain the training that you need? Many prospective students will make their selection based entirely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. While these are important concerns, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Some of the other details 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 additional criteria will be discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we examine how to choose an HVAC trade school, let’s look at what a heating and a/c professional does to become a licensed professional tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Tech

Augusta KY HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, though every state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Acquiring professional certification is not required, but a voluntary means for Augusta KY HVAC specialists to prove that they are exceptionally proficient and experienced in their area of expertise. There are a number of acknowledged certifications within the trade 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 proficiency examination and may be earned in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience as well as passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience along with a passing result on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are provided in several specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for techs that handle refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Since licensing might be required in your location, and you may also desire to obtain certification, it’s imperative that you choose an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the program you decide on preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Degree and Certificate Courses

radiator heater in Augusta KY homeThere are a variety of options offered for HVAC training in a vocational or trade school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the least 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, particularly if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs might provide a competitive edge in the job market and will furnish more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short explanation of each option offered near Augusta KY.

  • Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more comprehensive background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Generally taking two years to finish, a number of degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more towards a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a standard four year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.

Selecting the ideal credential program will be based on what your future career objectives are, in addition to the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One approach is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Augusta KY, later returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Training Online

Augusta KY student attending HVAC school onlineEnrolling in an HVAC program online is one option to obtaining your training and earning a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to participate in hands on training. Some also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes may be attended via the internet, this alternative may be a more practical solution for many Augusta KY students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are less expensive than other traditional alternatives. Even commuting expenses from Augusta and study supplies can be reduced, helping to make schooling more economical. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family responsibilities have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to fit school into your busy lifestyle.

Questions For HVAC Training Programs

Questions to ask Augusta KY HVAC training schoolsWhen you have chosen the type of certificate or degree that you would like to obtain, either online or on campus, you can begin to limit your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are numerous HVAC trade schools in the Augusta KY area and all over the USA to select from. That’s why it is essential to have a checklist of important qualifications when making school assessments. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the first 2 factors you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Numerous HVAC vocational programs in the Augusta KY area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Make certain that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you acquire a quality education, it may assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to qualify 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 of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate could suggest that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It could also suggest that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which can produce more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Augusta KY HVAC employers to help students secure apprenticeships or employment.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Numerous HVAC technical programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling businesses or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with local Augusta KY HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Confirm that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC tech you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Augusta KY HVAC contracting company if they can provide some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Augusta KY residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s desirable 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 teachers. Talk to a few of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to some of the teachers 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 meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Augusta KY, verify that the programs you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.

Considering an HVAC School near Augusta KY?

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

Augusta, Kentucky

Augusta is a home rule-class city[2] in Bracken County, Kentucky, in the United States. It is sited upon the southern bank of the Ohio River. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 1,190.[3] When Bracken County was organized in 1796, Augusta was the county seat. In 1839, a new county courthouse was built at a more central location in Brooksville. The city was formally incorporated by the state assembly in 1850.[4]

Augusta is located in northeastern Kentucky at 38°46′21″N 84°0′6″W / 38.77250°N 84.00167°W / 38.77250; -84.00167 (38.772556, -84.001530).[5]Kentucky Route 8 (Fifth Street) is the main road through the city. Route 8 leads northwest 42 miles (68 km) to downtown Cincinnati and southeast 19 miles (31 km) to Maysville. The Augusta Ferry crosses the Ohio River into Lewis Township, Brown County, Ohio, near Higginsport.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Augusta has a total area of 1.6 square miles (4.2 km2), of which 1.4 square miles (3.5 km2) is land and 0.27 square miles (0.7 km2), or 16.6%, is water.[3]

How to Choose HVAC Training Classes Augusta KY

Enrolling in the right HVAC school course is a crucial beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating and air conditioning industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding How to Choose HVAC Training Classes. However, as we have covered in this post, you need to choose an Heating and Cooling school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC community. Other things to look for are sufficient hands-on training and modern facilities. You should 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 training and the interaction between them. Additionally, inquire about scheduling choices and whether or not night or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options as well. If you ask the right questions as we have laid out in our checklist for assessing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC technician in Augusta KY.

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