Air Condition Classes Raccoon KY

How to Pick the Right HVAC Training Program near Raccoon Kentucky

air conditioner condensers in Raccoon 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 trade school near Raccoon KY. But with so many to select from, how do you choose the right one to obtain the training that you require? Many future students will make their decision based exclusively on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Although these are necessary concerns, they are not the only ones to investigate. Just some of the other things that you need to investigate are the graduation completion 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 tackle how to pick an HVAC vocational school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling technician does to become a licensed professional tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Specialist

Raccoon KY HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, though every state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Acquiring professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary way for Raccoon KY HVAC specialists to establish that they are highly qualified and experienced in their area of expertise. There are several recognized certifications within the trade that are available. Following are some of the significant ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is achieved by passing a competency exam and may be earned in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of professional experience together with passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience in addition to a passing score on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in various specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is required for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification offered, 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 desire to obtain certification, it’s imperative that you enroll in an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be handling refrigerants, make sure that the school you select preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.

HVAC Certificate and Degree Training Programs

radiator heater in Raccoon KY homeThere are a number of alternatives offered for HVAC training in a vocational or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the least amount of time, usually completed in just 6 months, although some courses are longer. A certificate will train 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 edge for securing employment and will deliver more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short summary of each option offered near Raccoon KY.

  • Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They provide a strong foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more detailed knowledge of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically taking 2 years to finish, a number of degrees feature 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 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.

Choosing 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 invest. One possibility is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Raccoon KY, subsequently going back to earn 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

Raccoon KY student attending HVAC school onlineEnrolling in an HVAC program online is one alternative in getting your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete practical training. Some also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes may be attended online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution for some Raccoon KY students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are more economical than other traditional choices. Even driving expenses from Raccoon 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 obligations have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to accommodate school into your active lifestyle.

Questions to Ask HVAC Schools

Questions to ask Raccoon KY HVAC training schoolsWhen you have chosen the type of certificate or degree that you would like to attain, either on campus or online, you can begin to decrease your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are many HVAC vocational schools in the Raccoon KY area and across the Country to choose from. That’s why it is essential to have a checklist of relevant qualifiers when making school comparisons. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the first two variables you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you should explore before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Raccoon KY area have received 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 pertains to an individual program, such as HVAC technology. Make sure that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you get an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, a number of states require that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to be approved 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 percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate could indicate that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It may also mean that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which may produce more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Raccoon KY HVAC employers to help grads secure apprenticeships or employment.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Many HVAC trade programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC contractors or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with local Raccoon KY HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make certain that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC tech you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Raccoon KY HVAC contracting company if they can provide some pointers. Additionally keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Raccoon KY residence. Remember 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 desirable that you get as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Speak to several of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience 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 handle your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Raccoon KY, verify that the schools you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.

Considering an HVAC School near Raccoon KY?

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

Raccoon, Kentucky

The climate in this area is characterized by relatively high temperatures and evenly distributed precipitation throughout the year. The Köppen Climate System describes the weather as humid subtropical, and uses the abbreviation Cfa.[3]

Air Condition Classes Raccoon KY

Finding the right HVAC training course is a critical beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating & cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Air Condition Classes. However, as we have addressed in this post, you need to select an Heating and Cooling school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC community. Other things to search for are sufficient practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should go to each of the schools personally 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 options and whether night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have detailed 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 proper training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC contractor in Raccoon KY.

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