Air Conditioning Online Courses Winchester KY

How to Pick the Right HVAC Certification Training near Winchester Kentucky

air conditioner condensers in Winchester KYOnce you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioner specialist, the next action is to locate an HVAC technical school near Winchester KY. But with so many to select from, how do you choose the best one to get the training that you require? Many future students will make their decision based entirely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Although these are important considerations, they are not the only ones to evaluate. 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. Those and other criteria will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we discuss how to choose an HVAC vocational school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling professional does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Pro

Winchester 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 provide services for 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, however each state and local municipality has its own requirements. Attaining professional certification is not compulsory, but a voluntary means for Winchester KY HVAC techs to establish that they are exceptionally qualified and experienced in their area of specialization. There are many respected certifications within the field that are available. Here are a few of the important ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is earned 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. Two years of professional experience together with passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience along with a passing score on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in various specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is required for technicians that work with refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Considering that licensing could be mandated in your area, and you may also desire 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 handling refrigerants, make sure that the program you decide on preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Degree Courses

radiator heater in Winchester KY homeThere are a variety of choices offered for HVAC instruction in a vocational or trade school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the lesser period of time, usually achieved in as little as 6 months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree training programs might provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will provide more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief explanation of each credential offered near Winchester KY.

  • Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more comprehensive background of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically requiring 2 years to finish, many degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more towards a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional four year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.

Selecting the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your future career objectives are, along with the time and money that you have to commit. One approach is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the trade in Winchester KY, eventually going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Online Schools

Winchester KY student attending HVAC school onlineChoosing an HVAC school online is one approach in obtaining your education and receiving a certificate or degree. Most schools will require 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 can be attended online, this approach may be a more practical solution for some Winchester KY students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even commuting expenses from Winchester and study supplies may be minimized, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family obligations have left you with little time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to accommodate school into your busy schedule.

What to Ask HVAC Certification Classes

Questions to ask Winchester KY HVAC training schoolsAfter you have selected the type of degree or certificate that you would like to acquire, either on campus or online, you can begin to limit your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Winchester KY area and throughout the Country to choose from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a list of key qualifications when making school evaluations. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the initial two variables you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you will want to research before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  A large number of HVAC trade programs in the Winchester KY area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Make certain that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you receive an excellent education, it can help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, some states require that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate might signify that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It might also suggest that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which may result in more contacts for the school to utilize 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 Winchester KY HVAC employers to help grads obtain apprenticeships or employment.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Most HVAC trade programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC businesses or trade unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with local Winchester KY HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make sure that the school 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 presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC specialist you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Winchester KY HVAC company if they can provide some tips. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Winchester KY home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there might be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s desirable that you receive as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Talk with a few of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to some of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.

Flexible Scheduling.  Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Winchester KY, check that the programs you are considering offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.

Considering an HVAC School near Winchester KY?

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

Winchester, Kentucky

Winchester is a home rule-class city in and the county seat of Clark County, Kentucky, United States.[2] The population was 18,368 at the 2010 census.[3] It is part of the Lexington-Fayette, KY Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Winchester is located northwest of the center of Clark County, 18 miles (29 km) east of Lexington and 15 miles (24 km) west of Mt. Sterling. Kentucky Route 1958 (Bypass Road) is an outer loop around the town. Kentucky Route 627 (Boonesborough Road) leads towards Richmond, 21 miles (34 km) to the south and Paris to the north. U.S. Route 60 (Winchester-Lexington Road/Lexington Avenue) runs through downtown Winchester. Interstate 64 passes through the northern part of the city, with access from exits 94 and 96. The Mountain Parkway turns off I-64 just northeast of Winchester and leads 75 miles (121 km) east to Salyersville.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Winchester has a total area of 7.9 square miles (20.4 km2), of which 7.8 square miles (20.3 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km2), or 0.67%, is water.[3]

Air Conditioning Online Courses Winchester KY

Choosing the ideal HVAC school program is a critical beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating and cooling industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Air Conditioning Online Courses. However, as we have discussed in this article, you should pick an Heating and Cooling technical school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC community. Other factors to search for are sufficient hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should visit each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to explore the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. In addition, ask about scheduling options and whether night or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to ask about financial assistance and student loan options as well. If you ask the right 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 informed decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC technician in Winchester KY.

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