HVAC Schools Near Me Bowling Green KY

How to Pick the Right HVAC School near Bowling Green Kentucky

air conditioner condensers in Bowling Green KYNow that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next action is to locate an HVAC vocational school near Bowling Green KY. But with so many to select from, how do you pick the right one to obtain the training that you require? Many potential 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 concerns, they are not the only ones to take into account. Just some of the other things that you need to investigate are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and additional benchmarks will be addressed in more detail later in this article. But before we examine how to choose an HVAC vocational school, let’s look at what a heating and a/c technician does to become a licensed professional tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Technician

Bowling Green KY HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, however each state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Obtaining professional certification is not compulsory, but an optional way for Bowling Green KY HVAC techs to prove that they are highly skilled and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are several acknowledged certifications within the field that are available. Below are some of the important ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is attained by passing a proficiency examination and can be received in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience together with passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience in addition to a passing score on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are provided in several specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are three forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Because licensing may be required in your location, and you may also wish to acquire certification, it’s essential that you choose an HVAC vocational school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be handling refrigerants, make sure that the school you select prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.

HVAC Degree and Certificate Classes

radiator heater in Bowling Green KY homeThere are a number of alternatives offered 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 lesser period of time, typically achieved in just 6 months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will deliver more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a short explanation of each credential offered near Bowling Green KY.

  • Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more detailed knowledge of heating and 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 suited more towards a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a standard four year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.

Picking the ideal credential program will be based on what your future career aspirations are, as well as the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One possibility is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Bowling Green KY, later returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, be sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Online Courses

Bowling Green KY student attending HVAC school onlineAttending an HVAC school online is one alternative in obtaining your training and receiving a certificate or degree. Most schools will require 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 remainder of the classes can be participated in via the internet, this option may be a more convenient solution for many Bowling Green KY students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are cheaper than other traditional alternatives. Even travelling expenses from Bowling Green and study materials can be minimized, helping to make schooling more affordable. And numerous online programs 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 fit school into your busy schedule.

Questions For HVAC Training Programs

Questions to ask Bowling Green KY HVAC training schoolsAs soon as you have selected the type of degree or certificate that you want to acquire, either online or on campus, you can start to decrease your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are numerous HVAC technical schools in the Bowling Green KY area and all over the USA to pick from. That’s why it is essential to have a checklist of important qualifications when making school comparisons. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the initial two factors you will take into consideration. Following are some additional ones that you will want to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  A large number of HVAC trade programs in the Bowling Green KY area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Make sure that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Also, a number of states require that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the HVAC schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate may suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It could also mean that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of graduates, which may mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Bowling Green KY HVAC employers to help students acquire apprenticeships or employment.

Apprenticeship Programs.  A large number of HVAC vocational programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling contractors or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with local Bowling Green KY HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make certain that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC technician you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Bowling Green KY HVAC contracting company if they can provide some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Bowling Green KY residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s important that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Talk with a few of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with a few of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.

Flexible Scheduling.  Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Bowling Green KY, verify that the programs you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Considering an HVAC School near Bowling Green KY?

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

Bowling Green, Kentucky

Bowling Green is a home rule-class city and the county seat of Warren County, Kentucky, United States.[2] As of 2017, its population of 67,067 made it the third most-populous city in the state after Louisville and Lexington; its metropolitan area had an estimated population of 165,732; and the combined statistical area it shares with Glasgow has an estimated population of 218,870.[3][4][5]

Founded by pioneers in 1798, Bowling Green was the provisional capital of Confederate Kentucky during the American Civil War. The city was the subject of the 1967 Everly Brothers song "Bowling Green".

In the 21st century, it is the location of numerous manufacturers, including General Motors and Fruit of the Loom. The Bowling Green Assembly Plant has been the source of all Chevrolet Corvettes built since 1981. Bowling Green is also home to the state's second-largest public university, Western Kentucky University. In 2014, Forbes magazine listed Bowling Green as one of the Top 25 Best Places to Retire in the United States.[6]

HVAC Schools Near Me Bowling Green KY

Picking the ideal HVAC training program is an important first step toward a gratifying career in the heating and cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Schools Near Me. However, as we have covered in this post, you should select an HVAC vocational school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC field. Other things to search for are sufficient hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to visit each of the schools personally 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, ask about scheduling choices and if evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to ask about financial aid and student loan options also. If you ask the right questions as we have laid out in our guidelines for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter 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 Bowling Green KY.

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