HVAC Technician Program Oak Grove KY

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

air conditioner condensers in Oak Grove KYNow that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and cooling professional, the next action is to find an HVAC technical school near Oak Grove KY. But with so many to select from, how do you pick the right one to receive the training that you require? Some future students will make their choice based entirely on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. Although these are significant considerations, they are not the only ones to take into account. A few of the other things that you need to research are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and other criteria will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we examine how to select an HVAC trade school, let’s look at what a heating and cooling professional does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Contractor

Oak Grove 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, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, although every state and local municipality has its own criteria. Attaining professional certification is not required, but a voluntary means for Oak Grove KY HVAC techs to demonstrate that they are exceptionally proficient and experienced in their area of specialization. There are a number of recognized certifications within the field that are offered. Below are a few of the significant ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is achieved by passing a competency examination and can be acquired in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience in addition to passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience together with a passing result on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are made available in several specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for techs that work with refrigerants. There are three types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Since licensing may be mandated in your area, and you may also wish to obtain certification, it’s imperative that you enroll in an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be handling refrigerants, make certain that the school you choose preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.

HVAC Degree and Certificate Classes

radiator heater in Oak Grove KY homeThere are a variety of alternatives available for HVAC instruction in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the least period of time, typically completed in as little as six months, although some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will furnish more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a short explanation of each credential offered near Oak Grove KY.

  • Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level residential or commercial HVAC specialists. They provide a solid foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more extensive background of heating and 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 suited more for a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional four year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.

Choosing the appropriate credential program will be based on what your future career goals are, together with the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One possibility is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Oak Grove KY, later going back to earn 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

Oak Grove KY student attending HVAC school onlineChoosing an HVAC program online is one option in obtaining your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete practical training. A number also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes may be participated in on the web, this approach may be a more convenient solution for some Oak Grove KY students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are more economical than other traditional choices. Even travelling expenses from Oak Grove and study supplies can be lessened, helping to make schooling more affordable. And many online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family obligations have left you with minimal time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to fit school into your hectic lifestyle.

Questions to Ask HVAC Schools

Questions to ask Oak Grove KY HVAC training schoolsOnce you have chosen the type of degree or certificate that you wish to obtain, either on campus or online, you can start to limit your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are many HVAC vocational schools in the Oak Grove KY area and all over the United States to choose from. That’s why it is essential to have a checklist of important qualifications when making school evaluations. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the first two factors you will take into consideration. Following are some additional ones that you will want to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Many HVAC technical programs in the Oak Grove KY area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Confirm that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you get a quality education, it can help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, some states mandate that the HVAC training course 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 low completion rate could signify that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It may also mean that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which can result in 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 industry, but also that it has the network of Oak Grove KY HVAC employers to assist graduates acquire apprenticeships or employment.

Apprenticeship Programs.  A large number of HVAC training programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC contractors or labor unions. Check if the schools you are considering have working relationships with local Oak Grove KY HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make certain that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC tech you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Oak Grove KY HVAC company if they can give you some pointers. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Oak Grove KY home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s desirable that you get as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Speak with several of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.

Flexible Scheduling.  Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Oak Grove KY, check that the schools you are reviewing 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 protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.

Considering an HVAC School near Oak Grove KY?

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

Oak Grove, Kentucky

Oak Grove is a home rule-class city[3] adjacent to the Fort Campbell army base in Christian County, Kentucky, in the United States. The population was 7,489 as of the 2010 U.S. Census.[4] It is part of the Clarksville, Tennessee metropolitan area.

The first post office in Oak Grove was established in 1828.[5] The community was named for oak trees near the original town site.[6] The Clarksville Railroad was extended to Oak Grove in the 19th century.[7]

Oak Grove is located in southeastern Christian County at 36°39′30″N 87°25′10″W / 36.65833°N 87.41944°W / 36.65833; -87.41944 (36.658374, -87.419565).[8] Its southern border is the Tennessee state line, and it is bordered to the west by Fort Campbell. Hopkinsville, the Christian County seat, touches the northwest corner of Oak Grove along Fort Campbell Boulevard (U.S. Route 41 Alternate). Interstate 24 forms the northeast boundary of Oak Grove, with access from exit 86 (US 41 Alt.) and exit 89 (Kentucky Route 115). The city of Clarksville, Tennessee, is along the southern boundary of Oak Grove.

HVAC Technician Program Oak Grove KY

Enrolling in the ideal HVAC training program is a crucial beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating & cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Technician Program. However, as we have discussed in this post, you should pick an HVAC trade school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC community. Other factors to search for are ample practical training and modern facilities. You need to visit each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to explore the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling options and if night or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the right questions as we have detailed in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC contractor in Oak Grove KY.

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