How to Choose HVAC Degree Programs Bardstown KY

How to Pick the Right HVAC Certification Course near Bardstown Kentucky

air conditioner condensers in Bardstown KYOnce you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner professional, the next action is to look for an HVAC trade school near Bardstown KY. But with so many to pick from, how do you choose the right one to obtain the training that you need? Some prospective students will make their selection based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. Although these are relevant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to take into account. A few of the other factors 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 additional benchmarks will be covered in more detail later within this article. But before we tackle how to select an HVAC technical school, let’s look at what a heating and a/c contractor does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Pro

Bardstown 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 professionals specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, although each state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Obtaining professional certification is not mandatory, but an alternative way for Bardstown KY HVAC technicians to demonstrate that they are highly proficient and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are many 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 techs. The certification is earned by passing a proficiency exam and may be acquired in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience in addition to passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience in addition to a passing score on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are offered in multiple specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is required for techs that work with refrigerants. There are three forms of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Because licensing could be required in your location, and you may also intend to obtain certification, it’s important that you select an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the program you pick readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.

HVAC Degree and Certificate Training Programs

radiator heater in Bardstown KY homeThere are several alternatives offered for HVAC training in a technical or vocational school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the lesser period of time, usually accomplished in as little as six months, however some courses 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 training programs may provide a competitive edge in the job market and will furnish more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief summary of each credential offered near Bardstown KY.

  • Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They provide a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more comprehensive understanding of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Usually taking 2 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 require an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional four year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.

Choosing the appropriate credential program will be based on what your future career goals are, as well as the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One possibility is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Bardstown KY, subsequently returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Classes Online

Bardstown KY student attending HVAC school onlineAttending an HVAC school online is one possibility in attaining your education and receiving a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in hands on training. Some also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes can be attended via the internet, this alternative may be a more accessible solution for some Bardstown KY students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are less costly than other traditional alternatives. Even commuting expenses from Bardstown and study materials can be reduced, helping to make schooling more budget-friendly. And a large number of online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family responsibilities have left you with limited time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your hectic schedule.

What to Ask HVAC Schools

Questions to ask Bardstown KY HVAC training schoolsAs soon as you have picked the type of degree or certificate that you would like to acquire, either on campus or online, you can start to limit your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of HVAC technical schools in the Bardstown KY area and throughout the United States to choose from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of important qualifiers when making school comparisons. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the initial two variables you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Numerous HVAC vocational programs in the Bardstown KY area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance HVAC technology. Make certain that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you receive a superior education, it may assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, a number of states mandate 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 considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate could suggest that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It could also indicate that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which can 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 industry, but additionally that it has the network of Bardstown KY HVAC employers to help graduates acquire apprenticeships or employment.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Most HVAC vocational programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling companies or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Bardstown KY HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC technician you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Bardstown KY HVAC company if they can provide some pointers. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Bardstown KY residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s important that you get as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Speak with some of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.

Flexible Scheduling.  Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Bardstown KY, confirm that the programs you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.

Considering an HVAC School near Bardstown KY?

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

Bardstown, Kentucky

Bardstown is a home rule-class city[3] in Nelson County, Kentucky, in the United States. The population was recorded as 11,700 by the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Nelson County.[4] It is named for the pioneering Bard brothers. David Bard obtained a 1,000 acres (400 ha) land grant in 1785 in what was then Jefferson County, Virginia, from Governor Patrick Henry. William Bard surveyed and platted the town.[1] It was originally chartered as Baird's Town in 1788, and has also been known as Beardstown, and Beards Town.[1][5]

First settled by European Americans in 1780, Bardstown is the second oldest city in Kentucky.[6] Named county seat of the newly created Nelson County, Virginia (now Kentucky) in 1784, the town was formally established in 1788.[1] It was incorporated by the state assembly in 1838.[5]

Reflecting the westward migration of Americans over the "Blue Ridge" after the Revolutionary War, Bardstown was also the first center of Roman Catholicism west of the Appalachian Mountains in the original western frontier territories of the United States.[7] The Diocese of Bardstown was established on February 8, 1808, by Pope Pius VII, (1742-1823, reigned 1800-1823), to serve all Catholics between the Appalachians and the Mississippi River. This divided the previous all-encompassing Diocese of Baltimore, established in 1789. This area is now served by 44 dioceses and archdioceses in 10 states, showing the development of communities with Catholics across the nation as immigration brought new populations.

How to Choose HVAC Degree Programs Bardstown KY

Enrolling in the ideal HVAC training course is an important first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating and cooling industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding How to Choose HVAC Degree Programs. However, as we have discussed in this post, you need to choose an HVAC school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC profession. Other features to look 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 tour the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Additionally, inquire about scheduling options and whether or not night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to inquire about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have outlined in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC professional in Bardstown KY.

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