How to Find the Right Heating and Cooling Certification Course near Whitefield Maine
Now that you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next step is to look for an HVAC vocational school near Whitefield ME. But with so many to pick from, how do you select the right one to obtain the training that you require? A number of future students will make their choice based solely on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their home. While these are significant concerns, they are not the only ones to investigate. A few of the other details that you need to look into are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and additional benchmarks will be addressed in more detail later in this article. But before we explore how to pick an HVAC vocational school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling specialist does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Professional
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are generally mandated to be licensed, although every state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Acquiring professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary means for Whitefield ME HVAC specialists to prove that they are exceptionally proficient and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are several acknowledged certifications within the field that are available. Here are some of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is achieved by passing a proficiency exam and may be received in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 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 score on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are made available in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for technicians that handle 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 required 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 most likely be handling refrigerants, make sure that the program you pick readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree Training Programs
There are a number of choices offered for HVAC training in a vocational or trade 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 achieved in just six months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will furnish more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief explanation of each credential offered near Whitefield ME.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They provide a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more extensive knowledge of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Generally requiring two years to finish, some degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more towards a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a standard 4 year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Choosing the right credential program will be dependent on what your long term career aspirations are, as well as the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One approach is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Whitefield ME, later returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Courses Online
Attending an HVAC school online is one alternative to attaining your training and earning a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. Some also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes can be participated in via the internet, this approach may be a more convenient solution for some Whitefield ME students that are pressed for time. And some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even travelling expenses from Whitefield and study supplies may be reduced, helping to make schooling more economical. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family responsibilities have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to fit school into your active lifestyle.
Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Classes
When you have selected the type of certificate or degree that you wish to obtain, either on campus or online, you can start to decrease your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Whitefield ME area and throughout the United States to select from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of key qualifications when making school assessments. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the first two variables you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you will want to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC technical programs in the Whitefield ME area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Confirm that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you get an excellent education, it can assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, some states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited in order 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 percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate might signify that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It may also signify that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which can mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Whitefield ME HVAC employers to help students acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC training 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 considering have referring relationships with local Whitefield ME HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school 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 currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC tech you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Whitefield ME HVAC company if they can give you some suggestions. Additionally keep in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Whitefield ME residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may be increased tuition charges 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 some of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Talk with some of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the instructors and learn 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 evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Whitefield ME, 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 allows part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family issues.
Considering an HVAC School near Whitefield ME?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Whitefield Maine area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Whitefield is a town in Lincoln County, Maine, United States. The population was 2,300 at the 2010 census. Whitefield is named for the celebrated British evangelist George Whitefield, who inspired the colonists before the town was settled in 1770, mainly by Irish Catholics. They remembered him when incorporation came in 1809. Whitefield is included in the Augusta, Maine micropolitan New England City and Town Area.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 47.51 square miles (123.05 km2), of which, 46.82 square miles (121.26 km2) of it is land and 0.69 square miles (1.79 km2) is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 2,300 people, 917 households, and 643 families residing in the town. The population density was 49.1 inhabitants per square mile (19.0/km2). There were 1,055 housing units at an average density of 22.5 per square mile (8.7/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 97.8% White, 0.3% African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.3% Asian, and 1.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.1% of the population.
Online HVAC Training Courses Whitefield ME
Finding the right HVAC training program is a crucial beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating and air conditioning industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Online HVAC Training Courses. However, as we have addressed in this post, you need to pick an Heating and Cooling trade school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC trade. Other features to look for are sufficient hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to visit each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Also, inquire about scheduling options and if night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have laid out in our guidelines for assessing 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 professional in Whitefield ME.
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