How to Choose HVAC Online Training Schools Barlow KY

How to Enroll In the Right HVAC College near Barlow Kentucky

air conditioner condensers in Barlow KYNow that you have decided on a career as a heating and cooling technician, the next action is to find an HVAC trade school near Barlow KY. But with so many to pick from, how do you pick the right one to get the training that you require? Some future students will make their decision based entirely on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Although these are important considerations, they are not the only ones to take into account. Some of the other things 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 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 air conditioning professional does to become a licensed professional tradesman.

Becoming an HVAC Professional

Barlow KY HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, however every state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Obtaining professional certification is not compulsory, but a voluntary way for Barlow KY HVAC techs to establish that they are exceptionally proficient and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are a number of respected certifications within the field that are available. Below are a few of the important ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is achieved by passing a proficiency exam and can be earned in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience as well as passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience together with a passing score on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are offered in various specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are three forms of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Considering that licensing may be required in your location, and you may also intend to acquire certification, it’s imperative that you enroll in an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be working with refrigerants, make sure that the school you pick preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.

HVAC Degree Training Programs

radiator heater in Barlow KY homeThere are a variety of alternatives offered for HVAC instruction in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the minimum period of time, often accomplished in just 6 months, although some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree training programs may provide a competitive edge in the job market and will deliver more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief summary of each option offered near Barlow 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 industry.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more extensive knowledge of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Normally requiring two years to complete, a number of degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more for a career in management as well as 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 cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.

Picking the right credential program will be dependent on what your future career objectives are, along with the time and money that you have to commit. One option is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Barlow KY, later returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Courses Online

Barlow KY student attending HVAC school onlineEnrolling in an HVAC program online is one option to obtaining your education and earning a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete practical training. Some also sponsor 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 accessible solution for some Barlow KY students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even travelling expenses from Barlow and study supplies may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family obligations have left you with minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your active schedule.

Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Courses

Questions to ask Barlow KY HVAC training schoolsAfter you have chosen the type of degree or certificate that you would like to acquire, either on campus or online, you can begin to decrease your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many HVAC vocational schools in the Barlow KY area and across the United States to choose from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of important qualifications when making school comparisons. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the first two aspects you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you should explore before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  A large number of HVAC vocational programs in the Barlow KY area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Make certain that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you acquire a superior education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, many 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 reviewing 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 might suggest that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It could also mean that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s also important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which may mean more contacts for the school to use 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 Barlow KY HVAC employers to help students secure apprenticeships or employment.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Many HVAC trade programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with local Barlow KY HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local 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 in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC technician you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Barlow KY HVAC contractor if they can provide some suggestions. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Barlow KY home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s important that you receive as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult in larger 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 students and teachers. Talk with a few of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to a few 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 assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Barlow KY, check that the schools 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. Additionally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.

Considering an HVAC School near Barlow KY?

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

Barlow, Kentucky

Barlow is a home rule-class city in Ballard County, Kentucky, in the United States. The city was formally incorporated by the state assembly in 1872 as Barlow City and later reïncorporated in 1903.[2] The population was 675 as of the 2010 census. It is part of the Paducah, KY-IL Micropolitan Statistical Area.

As of the census[6] of 2010, there were 675 people, 309 households, and 182 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,350 per square mile (520/km2). There were 356 housing units at an average density of 712 per square mile (275/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 91.9% White, 4.0% African American, 0.1% Asian, 0.4% of other races, and 3.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.3% of the population.

There were 309 households out of which 26.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.6% were married couples living together, 19.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.1% were non-families. 36.6% of all households were made up of individuals living alone and 17.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.18 and the average family size was 2.82.

How to Choose HVAC Online Training Schools Barlow KY

Picking the right HVAC school course is an important beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating & cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding How to Choose HVAC Online Training Schools. However, as we have discussed in this article, you should select an HVAC vocational school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC community. Other features to search for are sufficient practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should visit each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to explore 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. Also, inquire about scheduling options and if night 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 appropriate questions as we have laid out in our guidelines for assessing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC contractor in Barlow KY.

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