Degree Air Conditioning Lancaster KY

How to Select the Right HVAC Certificate Program near Lancaster Kentucky

air conditioner condensers in Lancaster KYNow that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning specialist, the next step is to find an HVAC trade school near Lancaster KY. But with so many to select from, how do you choose the best one to get the training that you require? A number of prospective students will make their selection based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Even though these are significant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to investigate. Some of the other things that you need to research 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 discussed in more detail later within this article. But before we discuss how to pick an HVAC technical school, let’s take a look at what a heating and air conditioning contractor does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Tech

Lancaster KY HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, though every state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Earning professional certification is not mandatory, but an optional means for Lancaster KY HVAC specialists to prove that they are highly skilled and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are a number of acknowledged certifications within the trade that are offered. Following are a few 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 exam and can be received in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience together with passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience together with 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 techs that handle refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Because licensing could be required in your area, and you may also intend to earn certification, it’s essential that you pick an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the school you choose preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.

HVAC Degree and Certificate Classes

radiator heater in Lancaster KY homeThere are a number of options offered for HVAC training in a vocational or trade school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the least amount of time, typically achieved in as little as 6 months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree programs may provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will deliver more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief description of each credential offered near Lancaster KY.

  • Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They provide a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more detailed background of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Normally taking 2 years to complete, many 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 require an Associate Degree, while others are a standard 4 year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.

Picking the appropriate credential program will be based on what your future career objectives 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 field in Lancaster KY, later returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Online Courses

Lancaster KY student attending HVAC school onlineEnrolling in an HVAC school online is one option in obtaining your education and earning a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. A number also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes can be participated in online, this alternative may be a more accessible solution for some Lancaster KY students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are less costly than other traditional options. Even commuting expenses from Lancaster and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And many online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family responsibilities have left you with limited time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it easier to fit school into your hectic lifestyle.

Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Courses

Questions to ask Lancaster KY HVAC training schoolsOnce you have decided on the type of degree or certificate that you desire to earn, either online or on campus, you can begin to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are many HVAC technical schools in the Lancaster KY area and throughout the Country to pick from. That’s why it is essential to have a checklist of key qualifiers when making school assessments. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the first 2 aspects you will take into consideration. Following are some additional ones that you should explore before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Numerous HVAC technical schools in the Lancaster KY area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Make sure that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you receive an excellent education, it can help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, 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 percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate could suggest that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It might also suggest that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s also essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which can mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Lancaster KY HVAC employers to help graduates 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 labor unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with local Lancaster KY HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also provides job 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 trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC tech you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Lancaster KY HVAC company if they can give you some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Lancaster KY residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added 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 sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Talk to a few of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with a few of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.

Flexible Scheduling.  Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Lancaster KY, verify that the schools you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.

Considering an HVAC School near Lancaster KY?

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

Lancaster, Kentucky

Lancaster locally /ˈlæŋkəstər/[2] is a home rule-class city[3] in Garrard County, Kentucky, in the United States. It is the seat of its county.[4] As of the year 2010 U.S. census, the city population was 3,442.[5]

Located south of Lexington, Lancaster is the site of the Kennedy House, sometimes said to have been the setting for Uncle Tom's Cabin.[6] The Civil War training base Camp Dick Robinson was located nearby. The Garrard County High School in town is the home of the "Golden Lions".

Lancaster is located west of the center of Garrard County at 37°37′7″N 84°34′46″W / 37.61861°N 84.57944°W / 37.61861; -84.57944 (37.618625, -84.579433).[7]U.S. Route 27 passes through the city, leading north 35 miles (56 km) to Lexington and south 39 miles (63 km) to Somerset. Kentucky Route 52 crosses US 27 in the center of Lancaster, leading east and northeast 23 miles (37 km) to Richmond, and west 11 miles (18 km) to Danville. Lancaster is 3 miles (5 km) east of the Dix River, a north-flowing tributary of the Kentucky River.

Degree Air Conditioning Lancaster KY

Picking the ideal HVAC training program is a crucial first step toward a gratifying career in the heating and cooling industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Degree Air Conditioning. However, as we have addressed in this post, you need to choose an Heating and Cooling training program and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC community. Other features to search for are sufficient practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should check out each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Also, inquire about scheduling choices and whether evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial assistance and student loan options as well. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have laid out in our checklist for comparing schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC professional in Lancaster KY.

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