Heating and Air Conditioning Training Georgetown KY

How to Choose the Right Heating and Cooling School near Georgetown Kentucky

air conditioner condensers in Georgetown KYNow that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning professional, the next action is to locate an HVAC vocational school near Georgetown KY. But with so many to select from, how do you select the best one to receive the training that you need? Many future students will make their choice based entirely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Even though these are relevant concerns, they are not the only ones to evaluate. A few of the other details 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. These and additional benchmarks will be discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we examine how to pick an HVAC technical school, let’s look at what a heating and a/c professional does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.

Becoming an HVAC Technician

Georgetown 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 professionals specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are generally mandated to be licensed, however every state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Obtaining professional certification is not compulsory, but an optional means for Georgetown KY HVAC technicians to demonstrate that they are highly skilled and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are a number of respected certifications within the trade that are available. Here are a few of the important ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. 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. 2 years of field experience as well as passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience as well as a passing score on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are made available in multiple specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are three types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Because licensing could be mandated in your location, and you may also wish to acquire certification, it’s imperative that you choose an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be handling refrigerants, make certain that the school you pick prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.

HVAC Degree Courses

radiator heater in Georgetown KY homeThere are several choices offered for HVAC training in a technical or vocational school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, typically achieved in as little as six months, although some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, particularly 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 deliver more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short summary of each credential offered near Georgetown KY.

  • Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They provide a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more comprehensive background of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Normally taking 2 years to finish, many degrees include 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 traditional 4 year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.

Selecting the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your future career objectives are, as well as the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One option is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the trade in Georgetown KY, later going back to obtain 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

Georgetown KY student attending HVAC school onlineEnrolling in an HVAC program online is one possibility in getting your education and earning a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. Many also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes may be attended online, this alternative may be a more accessible solution for many Georgetown KY students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even commuting expenses from Georgetown and study materials can be reduced, helping to make schooling more affordable. And many online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family commitments have left you with limited time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to fit school into your hectic lifestyle.

Questions to Ask HVAC Trade Schools

Questions to ask Georgetown KY HVAC training schoolsOnce you have chosen the type of degree or certificate that you would like to obtain, either online or on campus, you can start to decrease your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are a large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Georgetown KY area and all over the Country to select from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school comparisons. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the first 2 variables you will take into consideration. Following are some additional ones that you will want to research before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  A large number of HVAC vocational programs in the Georgetown KY area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, such as HVAC technology. Verify that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you acquire a quality education, it can help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate may indicate that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It might also suggest that the teachers were not competent 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 broader list of graduates, which can mean more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Georgetown KY HVAC employers to help graduates obtain apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Most HVAC technical programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs 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 working partnerships with local Georgetown KY HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make certain that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC technician you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Georgetown KY HVAC contracting company if they can provide some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Georgetown KY residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there might be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s desirable that you get as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Talk to several of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to a few 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 evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Georgetown 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 offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.

Considering an HVAC School near Georgetown KY?

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

Georgetown College

Georgetown College is a small, private, Christian liberal arts college in Georgetown, Kentucky. Chartered in 1829, Georgetown was the first Baptist college west of the Allegheny Mountains.[2][3] With a student-to-faculty ratio of 13 to 1, the college offers undergraduate degrees and a Master of Arts in education.

Georgetown College traces its roots to Royal Springs Academy, a classical school founded by Baptist minister Elijah Craig in Georgetown in 1787. The institution was renamed Rittenhouse Academy in 1798 as part of a land grant agreement. It was led by Barton Stone, a co-founder of the Stone Campbell Movement, from 1816 to 1819. The academy declined and closed by 1829.

In 1829, the Kentucky General Assembly chartered the Kentucky Baptist Education Society with the purpose of establishing a Baptist college in the state. 24 trustees under the leadership of Silas Noel selected the town of Georgetown as the site for the new school. Georgetown was selected because the community agreed to raise $20,000 and to donate the assets of the recently closed Rittenhouse Academy.[2]

Heating and Air Conditioning Training Georgetown KY

Finding the right HVAC school course is a critical first step toward a rewarding career in the heating & cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Heating and Air Conditioning Training. However, as we have discussed in this post, you should choose an Heating and Cooling school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC trade. Other features to look 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 tour the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Additionally, inquire about scheduling choices and whether night or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial aid and student loan options too. If you ask the appropriate 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 ultimately become a licensed HVAC specialist in Georgetown KY.

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