How To Become an HVAC Technician Erlanger KY

How to Find the Right HVAC Degree Program near Erlanger Kentucky

air conditioner condensers in Erlanger KYNow that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning specialist, the next step is to look for an HVAC vocational school near Erlanger KY. But with so many to pick from, how do you select the best one to get the training that you require? Some future students will make their selection based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their home. While these are important considerations, they are not the only ones to investigate. Just some of the other factors that you need to research are the graduation 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 discuss how to pick an HVAC vocational school, let’s look at what a heating and cooling professional does to become a licensed professional tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Pro

Erlanger 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 techs provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, though every state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Acquiring professional certification is not compulsory, but a voluntary way for Erlanger KY HVAC specialists to prove that they are highly proficient and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are a number of acknowledged certifications within the field that are available. Following are some of the important ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is attained by passing a competency examination 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 professional experience in addition to 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 result on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are made available in multiple specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for techs that handle refrigerants. There are three forms of certification offered, 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 wish to earn certification, it’s imperative that you enroll in an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be handling refrigerants, make sure that the school you decide on preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.

HVAC Certificate and Degree Training Programs

radiator heater in Erlanger KY homeThere are several alternatives available for HVAC training in a technical or trade school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the minimum amount of time, often completed in just 6 months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will deliver more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short explanation of each option offered near Erlanger KY.

  • Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more extensive understanding of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Typically taking 2 years to finish, many degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more towards a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs call for 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 study how to design them.

Picking the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your long term career aspirations are, along with the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One option is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Erlanger KY, eventually going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Online Schools

Erlanger KY student attending HVAC school onlineEnrolling in an HVAC program online is one approach to obtaining your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. Many also offer 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 convenient solution for some Erlanger KY students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even driving expenses from Erlanger and study supplies may be lessened, helping to make schooling more economical. And numerous online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family responsibilities have left you with little time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your busy schedule.

Questions to Ask HVAC Training Classes

Questions to ask Erlanger KY HVAC training schoolsOnce you have chosen the type of degree or certificate that you desire to acquire, either on campus or online, you can begin to decrease your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of HVAC technical schools in the Erlanger KY area and across the USA to choose from. That’s why it is very important to have a checklist of relevant qualifications when making school assessments. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the first two variables you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you should explore before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Numerous HVAC trade schools in the Erlanger KY area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Make certain that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you get a quality education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of states require that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate might signify that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It could also signify that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, 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 field, but additionally that it has the network of Erlanger KY HVAC employers to help grads obtain apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Many HVAC training programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC contractors or trade unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with local Erlanger KY HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC tech you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Erlanger KY HVAC contracting company if they can provide some pointers. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Erlanger KY residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s important that you receive as much personalized 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 see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Speak with some of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.

Flexible Scheduling.  Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Erlanger KY, verify that the schools you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family issues.

Considering an HVAC School near Erlanger KY?

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

Erlanger, Kentucky

Erlanger is a home rule-class city in Kenton County, Kentucky, United States. It had a 2010 census population of 18,368. Erlanger is part of the Cincinnati-Middletown, OH-KY-IN Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Erlanger was founded in the 1880s.[2] The city was named after the Parisian family bank of Emile d'Erlanger,[3] which helped finance the town's early development. In current usage, the name is pronounced in an anglicized way, with neither a French nor German accent. Nearby Elsmere was originally known as "South Erlanger".

As of the 2000 census,[5] there were 16,676 people, 6,597 households, and 4,406 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,002.4 people per square mile (772.9/km²). There were 6,865 housing units at an average density of 824.3 per square mile (318.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 60% White, 27% African American, 0.02% Native American, 0.04% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.42% from other races, and 1.87% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10% of the population.

How To Become an HVAC Technician Erlanger KY

Finding the ideal HVAC school program is a crucial 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 Become an HVAC Technician. However, as we have addressed in this post, you should choose an HVAC vocational school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC community. Other things to look for are plenty of hands-on training and modern 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 faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Additionally, ask about scheduling choices and if night or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to ask about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have laid out in our guidelines for comparing schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC technician in Erlanger KY.

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