HVAC Certificate Berea KY

How to Choose the Right HVAC Training Class near Berea Kentucky

air conditioner condensers in Berea KYNow that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning specialist, the next step is to look for an HVAC technical school near Berea KY. But with so many to pick from, how do you select the right one to obtain the training that you require? A number of future students will make their decision based solely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Although these are necessary factors to consider, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Just some of the other factors 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 covered in more detail later within this article. But before we explore how to select an HVAC vocational school, let’s take a look at what a heating and air conditioning specialist does to become a licensed professional tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Contractor

Berea KY HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, however each state and local municipality has its own requirements. Attaining professional certification is not required, but an optional way for Berea KY HVAC techs to establish that they are highly skilled and accomplished in their area of specialization. There are many acknowledged certifications within the industry that are offered. Here are some of the significant ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is achieved by passing a proficiency examination and may 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 required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience together with a passing result on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are made available in multiple specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for technicians that work with refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Because licensing could be required in your area, and you may also intend to acquire certification, it’s important that you select an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be handling refrigerants, make certain that the school you choose preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Certificate and Degree Training Programs

radiator heater in Berea KY homeThere are a variety of options available for HVAC instruction in a trade or technical school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the least period of time, usually accomplished in just six months, although some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree training programs might provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will provide more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief description of each credential offered near Berea KY.

  • Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more exhaustive knowledge of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually taking two years to complete, many 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 as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a standard 4 year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.

Choosing the right credential program will be dependent on what your long term career goals are, together with the time and money that you have to commit. One option is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Berea KY, later returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, be sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Training Online

Berea KY student attending HVAC school onlineChoosing an HVAC program online is one approach to obtaining your training and earning a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to complete practical training. Many also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes may be attended via the internet, this approach may be a more accessible solution for some Berea KY students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are more economical than other on campus choices. Even travelling expenses from Berea and study supplies can be reduced, helping to make schooling more budget-friendly. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family obligations have left you with little time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it easier to accommodate school into your active schedule.

What to Ask HVAC Schools

Questions to ask Berea KY HVAC training schoolsOnce you have decided on the type of degree or certificate that you desire to attain, either online or on campus, you can start to decrease your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are a large number of HVAC technical schools in the Berea KY area and all over the Country to choose from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school assessments. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the initial two factors you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you will want to research before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Many HVAC technical schools in the Berea KY area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Make sure that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you acquire a superior education, it may help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, some states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning 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 suggest that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It could also signify that the instructors were not competent 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 directory of alumni, which may mean more contacts for the school to employ 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 Berea KY HVAC employers to assist students acquire apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  A large number of HVAC training programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling companies or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Berea KY HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to establish 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 state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC tech you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Berea KY HVAC contracting company if they can provide some suggestions. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Berea KY home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s important that you receive as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Speak with some of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.

Flexible Scheduling.  Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Berea KY, verify that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.

Considering an HVAC School near Berea KY?

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

Berea, Kentucky

Berea is a home rule-class city[2] in Madison County, Kentucky, in the United States. The town is best known for its art festivals, historic restaurants and buildings, and as the home to Berea College, a private, liberal arts college. The population was 13,561 at the 2010 census. It is one of the fastest-growing towns in Kentucky, having increased by 27.4% since 2000.

In 1850 this area, called the Glade, was a community of scattered farms with a racetrack and citizens sympathetic to emancipation. In 1853, rich and politically ambitious Cassius Marcellus Clay gave Reverend John Gregg Fee a free tract of land in the Glade. With local supporters and other abolitionist missionaries from the American Missionary Association, Fee established two churches (First Christian Church and Union Church), a tiny village, and Berea College. Fee named Berea after a biblical town Berea (today Veria) in Macedonia, northern Greece, where the people "received the Word with all readiness of mind."

Founded in 1855, Berea College was the only interracial and coeducational college in the South for nearly forty years. Its motto is "God has made of one blood all peoples of the Earth,"[4] a paraphrase of Acts 17:26.[5] Reverend Fee modeled it on Oberlin College in Ohio and hoped it would become an academic beacon to Northern students. Pro-slavery supporters expelled Fee and his followers from Berea in 1859, in the aftermath of John Brown's Raid. Fee had delivered an address at the Pilgrim Church in Brooklyn, New York, in the pulpit of Rev. Henry Ward Beecher. Fee's remarks were reported in the New York Times, but were misrepresented in the Louisville Courier. Subsequently, everyone at the college was given ten days to leave the state. Most lived in Cincinnati or nearby northern towns for several years, returning for good after the war.

HVAC Certificate Berea KY

Choosing the ideal HVAC school program is a critical first step toward a gratifying career in the heating and cooling trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Certificate. However, as we have covered in this post, you should select an Heating and Cooling technical school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC field. Other things to search for are plenty of practical 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 explore the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. In addition, inquire about scheduling choices and if night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the proper questions as we have detailed in our checklist for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC specialist in Berea KY.

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