Air Conditioning Trade Schools Leitchfield KY

How to Choose the Right HVAC Certification Class near Leitchfield Kentucky

air conditioner condensers in Leitchfield KYNow that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and cooling professional, the next step is to choose an HVAC technical school near Leitchfield KY. But with so many to choose from, how do you decide on the ideal one to get the training that you need? A number of future students will make their choice based exclusively on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Even though these are important concerns, they are not the only ones to take into account. Just some of the other details that you need to investigate 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 explore how to select an HVAC trade school, let’s take a look at what a heating and air conditioning contractor does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.

Becoming an HVAC Technician

Leitchfield 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 contractors specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, however each state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Attaining professional certification is not compulsory, but an optional means for Leitchfield KY HVAC technicians to establish that they are highly proficient and experienced in their area of expertise. There are a number of acknowledged certifications within the trade that are offered. Below are a few of the important ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is achieved by passing a proficiency examination and may be earned 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 examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience in addition to a passing result on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are made available in various specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is required for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are 3 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 desire to obtain certification, it’s essential that you enroll in an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the school you choose readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Degree and Certificate Training Programs

radiator heater in Leitchfield KY homeThere are a variety of alternatives offered for HVAC instruction in a vocational or trade school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the minimum amount of time, often completed in just 6 months, although some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree training programs might provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will deliver more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a short explanation of each option offered near Leitchfield KY.

  • Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level commercial or residential HVAC professionals. 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 knowledge of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally requiring 2 years to complete, some degrees feature 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 call for an Associate Degree, while others are a standard four year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.

Picking the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your long term career goals are, together with the time and money that you have to commit. One option is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Leitchfield KY, subsequently returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, be sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Courses Online

Leitchfield KY student attending HVAC school onlineChoosing an HVAC school online is one alternative in getting your education and receiving a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in hands on training. Many also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes may be participated in via the internet, this alternative may be a more practical solution for some Leitchfield KY students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other traditional choices. Even travelling expenses from Leitchfield and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And numerous online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family responsibilities have left you with limited time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your active lifestyle.

What to Ask HVAC Certification Classes

Questions to ask Leitchfield KY HVAC training schoolsWhen you have selected the type of certificate or degree that you would like to earn, either on campus or online, you can start to limit your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are many HVAC technical schools in the Leitchfield KY area and across the USA to pick from. That’s why it is very important to have a checklist of important qualifiers when making school comparisons. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the initial 2 variables you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you should explore before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Many HVAC trade programs in the Leitchfield KY area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Verify 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 make certain that you get a superior education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to be approved 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 complete the course. A low completion rate may suggest that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It might also mean that the teachers were not qualified to instruct 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 alumni, which can mean more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Leitchfield KY HVAC employers to assist students obtain apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Numerous HVAC trade 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 Heating and Cooling companies or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with local Leitchfield KY HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make certain that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained 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, talk to the HVAC tech you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Leitchfield KY HVAC contracting company if they can give you some suggestions. Additionally keep in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Leitchfield KY home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s important that you receive as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Speak with some of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the teachers and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.

Flexible Scheduling.  Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Leitchfield KY, check that the schools you are comparing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.

Considering an HVAC School near Leitchfield KY?

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

Leitchfield, Kentucky

The town was named for Major David Leitch, an aide to Gen. George Washington and the original owner of much land in the county, including the town site.[5] The city was formally incorporated by the state assembly in 1866.[6]

Leitchfield lies in the Clifty Area, the sandstone-dominated belt that separates the West Kentucky Coal Field from the limestone-rich Pennyroyal Plateau. A fault running through the area puts limestone at or near the surface, and there are quarries west of town. The city is located along the Western Kentucky Parkway at the junction of Kentucky Route 259. U.S. Route 62 intersects 259 near the middle of town. Leitchfield is situated between Rough River Lake to the north and Nolin River Lake to the south.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.9 square miles (28.2 km2), of which 10.8 square miles (28.1 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km2), or 0.38%, is water.[4]

Air Conditioning Trade Schools Leitchfield KY

Picking the right HVAC training program is an important first step toward a rewarding career in the heating & cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Air Conditioning Trade Schools. However, as we have covered in this article, you should choose an HVAC training program and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC trade. Other features to look for are ample hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should go to each of the schools in person 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 instruction and the interaction between them. In addition, inquire about scheduling choices and if evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the proper questions as we have laid out in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC professional in Leitchfield KY.

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