Air Conditioning Degree Madisonville KY

How to Select the Right Heating and Cooling Certificate Program near Madisonville Kentucky

air conditioner condensers in Madisonville KYNow that you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next step is to locate an HVAC trade school near Madisonville KY. But with so many to select from, how do you select the ideal one to get the training that you need? A number of prospective students will make their choice based solely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Even though these are significant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to take into account. A few of the other factors 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 criteria will be addressed in more detail later within this article. But before we examine how to choose an HVAC technical school, let’s look at what a heating and a/c professional does to become a licensed professional tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Specialist

Madisonville KY HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians 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 each state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Earning professional certification is not mandatory, but an alternative way for Madisonville KY HVAC techs to prove that they are highly proficient and experienced in their area of expertise. There are multiple respected certifications within the field that are offered. Following are some of the significant ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is achieved by passing a competency exam and can be received in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of professional experience as well as passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience as well as a passing score on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are offered in multiple specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is required for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are three forms of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Because licensing may be required in your location, and you may also desire to acquire certification, it’s important that you choose an HVAC vocational school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be handling refrigerants, make certain that the school you pick preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Degree and Certificate Schools

radiator heater in Madisonville KY homeThere are several alternatives available for HVAC instruction in a technical or vocational school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the minimum period of time, usually achieved in as little as six months, however some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree training programs may provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will provide more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief explanation of each credential offered near Madisonville KY.

  • Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more exhaustive understanding of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually requiring 2 years to complete, a number of degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more for a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a standard 4 year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.

Choosing the right credential program will be dependent on what your long term career goals are, as well as the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One possibility is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Madisonville KY, eventually returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Online Courses

Madisonville KY student attending HVAC school onlineAttending an HVAC school online is one option in getting your education and earning a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. Some 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 attended online, this approach may be a more convenient solution for some Madisonville KY students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even driving expenses from Madisonville and study materials may be reduced, helping to make schooling more affordable. And many online programs 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 HVAC online training program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your hectic lifestyle.

What to Ask HVAC Certification Classes

Questions to ask Madisonville 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 no doubt aware, there are many HVAC trade schools in the Madisonville KY area and throughout the USA to select from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of key qualifiers when making school evaluations. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the first 2 variables you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you will want to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Many HVAC technical schools in the Madisonville KY area have earned 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. Confirm that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it can assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of states require that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the HVAC schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate could signify that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It might also signify that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which may mean more contacts for the school to employ 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 industry, but additionally that it has the network of Madisonville KY HVAC employers to assist graduates secure apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Numerous HVAC technical 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. Ask if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with local Madisonville KY HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make certain that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC specialist you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Madisonville KY HVAC contracting company if they can provide some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you can move, the school must be within driving distance of your Madisonville KY home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be increased tuition fees 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 some of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Talk with some of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.

Flexible Scheduling.  Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Madisonville KY, verify that the programs you are comparing provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.

Considering an HVAC School near Madisonville KY?

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

Madisonville, Kentucky

Madisonville is a home rule-class city[5] in and the county seat of Hopkins County, Kentucky, United States,[6] located along Interstate 69 in the state's Western Coal Fields region. The population was 19,591 at the 2010 census.[7] Madisonville is a commercial center of the region and is home to Madisonville Community College.

Hopkins County and Madisonville were divided by the Civil War. Union supporters joined a regiment recruited locally by James Shackleford; Al Fowler recruited Confederate troops. The courthouse in Madisonville was burned by Confederates led by Gen. Hylan B. Lyon on December 17, 1864, as they passed through western Kentucky. While Kentucky remained a Union state, the policies imposed by Union armies in the area caused resentment and sparked sympathy for the Confederate cause.

Farming was the major occupation in Hopkins County for most of the 1800s, with tobacco the leading crop. Around 1837 an outcropping of coal was discovered, and the first coal mine in the county opened in 1869. Mining did not become a major industry until the Louisville & Nashville Railroad pushed its line southward from Henderson through Madisonville and toward Nashville in 1870. By the early 1900s, Madisonville was a rail hub, coal mining center, and had a large tobacco market. This continued until the 1960s when manufacturing and service industries came to the area.

Air Conditioning Degree Madisonville KY

Enrolling in the right HVAC school program is a critical beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating & cooling trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Air Conditioning Degree. However, as we have covered in this post, you should select an HVAC vocational school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC trade. Other things to search for are lots of hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should visit 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. Try to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Additionally, ask about scheduling options and whether night or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options as well. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have outlined in our guidelines for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC professional in Madisonville KY.

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