How to Choose HVAC Training Courses Barbourville KY

How to Choose the Right Heating and Cooling Program near Barbourville Kentucky

air conditioner condensers in Barbourville KYOnce you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning professional, the next action is to locate an HVAC trade school near Barbourville KY. But with so many to pick from, how do you decide on the right one to receive the training that you need? Many potential students will make their choice based solely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Even though these are relevant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to investigate. 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 other benchmarks will be discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we explore how to pick an HVAC vocational school, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c specialist does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Technician

Barbourville KY HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs 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, though each state and local municipality has its own requirements. Attaining professional certification is not mandatory, but an alternative means for Barbourville KY HVAC techs to establish that they are highly proficient and accomplished in their area of specialization. There are several acknowledged certifications within the industry that are available. Here are some of the significant ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is earned by passing a competency exam and may be received 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 exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience as well as a passing score on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are provided 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 additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Considering that licensing could be mandated in your location, and you may also desire to acquire certification, it’s essential that you pick an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the program you decide on readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.

HVAC Certificate and Degree Schools

radiator heater in Barbourville KY homeThere are a number of alternatives available for HVAC training in a technical or trade school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the minimum period of time, typically accomplished in as little as six months, however some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree training programs may provide a competitive edge in the job market and will provide more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief explanation of each option offered near Barbourville KY.

  • Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning residential or commercial HVAC specialists. They provide a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more exhaustive knowledge of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically taking 2 years to finish, a number of degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more towards a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional four 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.

Choosing the right credential program will be based on what your long term career goals are, as well as the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One option is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Barbourville KY, subsequently going back to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Online Classes

Barbourville KY student attending HVAC school onlineAttending an HVAC school online is one possibility to obtaining your education and earning a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete practical training. Many also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes can be attended on the web, this option may be a more convenient solution for some Barbourville KY students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are cheaper than other traditional options. Even driving expenses from Barbourville and study supplies can be lessened, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And many 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, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to fit school into your active lifestyle.

What to Ask HVAC Trade Schools

Questions to ask Barbourville KY HVAC training schoolsAs soon as you have chosen the type of degree or certificate that you would like to obtain, either online or on campus, you can start to limit your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many HVAC technical schools in the Barbourville KY area and throughout the Country to pick from. That’s why it is imperative to have a checklist of key qualifications when making school evaluations. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the first two variables you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you need to research before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  A large number of HVAC trade programs in the Barbourville KY 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 relates to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Make certain that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you acquire a quality education, it can help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, a number of states require that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to qualify 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 indicate that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It may also mean that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It’s also imperative 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 affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Barbourville KY HVAC employers to assist graduates secure apprenticeships or employment.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Numerous HVAC training programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC businesses or trade unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with local Barbourville KY HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make sure that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC technician you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Barbourville KY HVAC contracting company if they can give you some pointers. Also bear in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Barbourville KY residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving 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 training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Speak to some of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.

Flexible Scheduling.  Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Barbourville KY, check that the programs you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain 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, sickness or family issues.

Considering an HVAC School near Barbourville KY?

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

Barbourville, Kentucky

Barbourville is a home rule-class city in Knox County, Kentucky, in the United States. The population was 3,165 at the 2010 census,[3] down from 3,589 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Knox County.[4] The city was formally established by the state assembly in 1812.[5] It was incorporated in 1854 and then reïncorporated in 1856.[6]

Barbourville is in the center of Knox County, in the valley of the Cumberland River where it is joined by Richland Creek. U.S. Route 25E passes through the east side of the city, leading northwest 16 miles (26 km) to Corbin and southeast the same distance to Pineville.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.68 square miles (6.95 km2), of which 2.62 square miles (6.79 km2) are land and 0.06 square miles (0.16 km2), or 2.35%, are water.[3]

How to Choose HVAC Training Courses Barbourville KY

Finding the right HVAC school program is a crucial beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating & cooling industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding How to Choose HVAC Training Courses. However, as we have discussed in this article, you should choose an HVAC trade school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC community. Other features to look for are plenty of hands-on training and modern facilities. You need to visit each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to explore the campus and speak 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, ask about scheduling options and if evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial assistance and student loan options as well. If you ask the right questions as we have outlined in our guidelines for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC technician in Barbourville KY.

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