Air Conditioner and Refrigeration Courses Sturgis KY

How to Pick the Right Heating and Cooling School near Sturgis Kentucky

air conditioner condensers in Sturgis KYOnce you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next step is to choose an HVAC technical school near Sturgis KY. But with so many to select from, how do you pick the ideal one to receive the training that you need? Many prospective students will make their selection based exclusively on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Even though these are significant concerns, they are not the only ones to take into account. Some of the other things that you need to look into are the graduation completion 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 discuss how to choose an HVAC technical school, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning technician does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Tech

Sturgis 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 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 commonly mandated to be licensed, however each state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Acquiring professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary means for Sturgis KY HVAC technicians to establish that they are highly proficient and experienced in their area of expertise. There are multiple recognized 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 achieved by passing a proficiency examination and can be acquired in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience as well as passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience together with a passing result on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are made available in several specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are three types of certification offered, 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 wish to obtain certification, it’s important that you enroll in an HVAC vocational school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be working with refrigerants, make sure that the school you choose prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Certificate and Degree Classes

radiator heater in Sturgis KY homeThere are several options offered for HVAC training in a trade or technical school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the lesser period of time, usually completed in as little as six months, although some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive edge in the job market and will provide more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short description of each option offered near Sturgis KY.

  • Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They provide a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more comprehensive background of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually requiring two years to finish, many degrees incorporate 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 require an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional 4 year program. In addition to being taught 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 goals are, in addition to the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One approach is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Sturgis KY, subsequently returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make certain to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Online Schools

Sturgis KY student attending HVAC school onlineChoosing an HVAC school online is one possibility in getting your education and earning a degree or certificate. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. Some also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes can be attended via the internet, this alternative may be a more practical solution for many Sturgis KY students that are pressed for time. And some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even commuting expenses from Sturgis and study supplies can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family commitments have left you with limited time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your hectic lifestyle.

Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Courses

Questions to ask Sturgis KY HVAC training schoolsWhen you have decided on the type of degree or certificate that you want to acquire, either online or on campus, you can begin to limit your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Sturgis KY area and throughout the USA to choose from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a list of important qualifications when making school assessments. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the initial two variables you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you should explore before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Numerous HVAC technical schools in the Sturgis KY area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Confirm that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you obtain a superior education, it can help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, some states require that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the HVAC schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate might suggest that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It could also mean that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which may produce more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Sturgis KY HVAC employers to assist students acquire apprenticeships or employment.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Many HVAC vocational 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 inside their network of Heating and Cooling businesses or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with local Sturgis KY HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Confirm 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 in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC tech you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Sturgis KY HVAC contracting company if they can give you some tips. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Sturgis KY home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s important that you get as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Speak with several of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to some of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.

Flexible Scheduling.  Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Sturgis KY, confirm that the schools you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.

Considering an HVAC School near Sturgis KY?

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

Sturgis, Kentucky

Sturgis is a home rule-class city in Union County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 2,030 at the 2000 census. Located in northwest Kentucky, the city was founded in 1886 and named for Samuel Sturgis, who owned the land now occupied by the city.[2]

The area surrounding what would become Sturgis was first settled by American Revolutionary War officers, mostly from Virginia, who had received bounty land for their service. The History of Union County, published in 1886 by The Courier Co., says, "The county had its aristocrats but the [Civil] War had a decidedly leveling tendency yet, there is a tolerably well defined line still marking the society of the county into different sets."

Sturgis was founded the same year as a company town by the Cumberland Land and Iron Company within its coal-mining development. The name derives from either Samuel P. Sturgis, who originally owned the townsite, or for Alida Livingston Sturgis (Samuel's sister), who was married to the president and general manager of the Ohio Valley Railroad Company.[3] The community incorporated as a town on May 3, 1890, with population of 327.[4] The town was reclassified as a city in the 1920s.

Air Conditioner and Refrigeration Courses Sturgis KY

Finding the right HVAC school program is a critical first step toward a gratifying career in the heating and cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Air Conditioner and Refrigeration Courses. However, as we have addressed in this post, you need to pick an HVAC trade school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC community. Other features to look for are plenty of practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to check out each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to tour the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Additionally, ask about scheduling choices and if 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 proper questions as we have outlined in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC technician in Sturgis KY.

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