Heating and Cooling Schools Elizabethtown KY

How to Choose the Right HVAC Training Class near Elizabethtown Kentucky

air conditioner condensers in Elizabethtown KYNow that you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next step is to choose an HVAC trade school near Elizabethtown KY. But with so many to select from, how do you pick the right one to receive the training that you need? Some future students will make their choice based solely on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their home. While these are important considerations, they are not the only ones to investigate. 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 criteria will be covered in more detail later within this article. But before we explore how to choose an HVAC training program, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling contractor does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Technician

Elizabethtown 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 provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, though each state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Obtaining professional certification is not required, but a voluntary way for Elizabethtown KY HVAC technicians to establish that they are exceptionally proficient and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are multiple recognized certifications within the field that are offered. Below are some of the important ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is achieved by passing a proficiency examination and can be acquired 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 3 years of experience together with a passing score on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are made available in various specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is required for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are three types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Since licensing may be required in your area, and you may also intend to obtain certification, it’s imperative that you enroll in an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be handling refrigerants, make certain that the school you decide on prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.

HVAC Degree and Certificate Classes

radiator heater in Elizabethtown KY homeThere are a variety of options offered for HVAC training in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the least period of time, usually achieved in just 6 months, however some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree training programs might provide a competitive edge in the job market and will furnish more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a short summary of each option offered near Elizabethtown KY.

  • Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more exhaustive understanding of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Generally requiring 2 years to complete, many degrees include 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 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, together with the time and money that you have to commit. One option is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Elizabethtown KY, subsequently going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Schools Online

Elizabethtown KY student attending HVAC school onlineEnrolling in an HVAC school online is one alternative in obtaining your education and receiving a certificate or degree. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. Many also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes may be attended on the web, this option may be a more practical solution for many Elizabethtown KY students that are pressed for time. And some online degree programs are more economical than other traditional choices. Even driving expenses from Elizabethtown and study materials may 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 responsibilities have left you with minimal time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it less complicated to fit school into your active schedule.

Questions For HVAC Schools

Questions to ask Elizabethtown KY HVAC training schoolsOnce you have selected the type of degree or certificate that you wish to attain, either online or on campus, you can begin to narrow down your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of HVAC trade schools in the Elizabethtown KY area and throughout the USA to select from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a checklist of important qualifiers when making school assessments. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the initial 2 factors you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you will want to research before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Numerous HVAC vocational programs in the Elizabethtown KY area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Make certain that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you acquire a superior education, it can assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited programs. Additionally, some states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to qualify 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 of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate may signify that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It may also suggest that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, 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 a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Elizabethtown KY HVAC employers to help grads secure apprenticeships or employment.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Most HVAC vocational programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling businesses or trade unions. Check if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with local Elizabethtown KY HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make certain that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC technician you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Elizabethtown KY HVAC company if they can give you some tips. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Elizabethtown KY residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s desirable that you receive as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be challenging 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. Speak to a few of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with a few of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.

Flexible Scheduling.  Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Elizabethtown KY, check that the programs you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, check 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 Elizabethtown KY?

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

Elizabethtown, Kentucky

Elizabethtown is a home rule-class city[2] and the county seat of Hardin County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 28,531 at the 2010 census,[3] and was estimated at 29,906 by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2016, making it the 11th-largest city in the state.[4] It is included in (and the principal city of) the Elizabethtown–Fort Knox, Kentucky Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Louisville/Jefferson County–Elizabethtown–Madison, Kentucky-Indiana Combined Statistical Area.

Elizabethtown is in east-central Hardin County, about 15 miles (24 km) south of Fort Knox. Interstate 65 passes through the southeast side of the city, leading north-northeast 45 miles (72 km) to Louisville and southwest 71 miles (114 km) to Bowling Green. The Western Kentucky Parkway starts at I-65 in Elizabethtown and leads west 138 miles (222 km) to Eddyville. To the east, the Bluegrass Parkway leads 105 miles (169 km) to Lexington.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Elizabethtown has a total area of 25.8 square miles (67 km2), of which 25.4 square miles (66 km2) is land and 0.5 square miles (1 km2) (1.77%) is water.[3]

Heating and Cooling Schools Elizabethtown KY

Selecting the right HVAC school program is an important beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating & cooling industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Heating and Cooling Schools. However, as we have covered in this article, you need to pick an HVAC technical school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC field. Other factors to look for are ample practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should go to each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to tour the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling options and whether 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 right questions as we have laid out in our guidelines for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC specialist in Elizabethtown KY.

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