How to Choose the Right Heating and Cooling School near Wallingford Connecticut
Now that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and cooling professional, the next action is to choose an HVAC vocational school near Wallingford CT. But with so many to pick from, how do you decide on the best one to get the training that you require? Many potential students will make their selection based solely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Although these are relevant concerns, they are not the only ones to take into account. A few 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 other criteria will be covered in more detail later within this article. But before we tackle how to choose an HVAC training program, let’s look at what a heating and cooling professional does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Tech
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, though each state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Earning professional certification is not compulsory, but a voluntary way for Wallingford CT HVAC techs to establish that they are highly qualified and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are multiple recognized certifications within the trade that are offered. Here are some of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is earned by passing a competency exam and can be received in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience in addition to passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience along with a passing result on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are three types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing might be mandated in your location, and you may also desire to acquire certification, it’s essential that you enroll in an HVAC vocational school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the school you decide on preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Classes
There are several choices available for HVAC instruction in a technical or vocational school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the least period of time, often completed in just six months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will deliver more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short description of each option offered near Wallingford CT.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities 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. Usually requiring two years to finish, a number of degrees include 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 conventional 4 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 right credential program will be based on what your future career goals are, along 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 gaining some experience in the field in Wallingford CT, eventually returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Courses
Enrolling in an HVAC program online is one approach in attaining your education and receiving a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete hands on training. Some also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes may be participated in on the web, this approach may be a more practical solution for many Wallingford CT students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are cheaper than other traditional options. Even driving expenses from Wallingford and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family commitments have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your hectic lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Certification Courses
Once you have selected the type of certificate or degree that you want to obtain, either online or on campus, you can begin to decrease your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of HVAC technical schools in the Wallingford CT area and all over the Country to choose from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of key qualifiers when making school comparisons. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the initial 2 factors you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you need to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC technical schools in the Wallingford CT area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Make sure 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 guarantee that you obtain a quality education, it can help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, many states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate might suggest that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It might also mean that the instructors were not qualified 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 directory of alumni, which can produce more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Wallingford CT HVAC employers to assist grads secure apprenticeships or employment.
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 inside their network of Heating and Cooling businesses or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local Wallingford CT HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC tech you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Wallingford CT HVAC contractor if they can give you some suggestions. Also bear in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Wallingford CT residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can 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 challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Speak to some of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Wallingford CT, confirm that the programs you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.
Considering an HVAC School near Wallingford CT?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Wallingford Connecticut area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Wallingford is a town in New Haven County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 45,135 at the 2010 census. The urban center of the town is the Wallingford Center census-designated place, with a population of 18,209 at the 2010 census. The community was named after Wallingford, in England.
The Connecticut General Assembly created the town on October 10, 1667. This original plot of land near the Quinnipiac River is now considered Main Street. Starting on May 12, 1670 there were 126 people who lived in temporary housing, and five years later in 1675 there were 40 permanent homes.
Wallingford has diversified its commercial and industrial base over the past decade attracting high-technology industries as compared to traditional heavy manufacturing. It is the home of a large variety of industries and major corporations spanning the spectrum of the medical, health care, service, high-tech specialty metal manufacturing and research development. The development of the Barnes Industrial Park, Casimir Pulaski Industrial Park, Wharton Brook Industrial Park, and the South Turnpike Road area have greatly contributed to this transition. The Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, the town's largest taxpayer, has established a research and development facility in Wallingford's MedWay Industrial Park. An Interchange Zone which permits very restrictive commercial development of office parks, research and development centers and hotels has been created at the intersection of Interstate 91 and Route 68.
Air Conditioning Programs Wallingford CT
Finding the ideal HVAC training course is a crucial beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating & cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Air Conditioning Programs. However, as we have addressed in this article, you need to choose an Heating and Cooling school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC community. Other things to look for are lots of hands-on training and modern 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. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling choices and whether evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to ask about financial assistance and student loan options as well. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have outlined in our guidelines for assessing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC specialist in Wallingford CT.
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