Category Archives: Massachusetts

Air Conditioning Courses West Barnstable MA

How to Find the Right HVAC Training Program near West Barnstable Massachusetts

air conditioner condensers in West Barnstable MAOnce you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next step is to choose an HVAC technical school near West Barnstable MA. But with so many to pick from, how do you pick the ideal one to receive the training that you require? A number of future students will make their selection based entirely on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Although these are necessary factors to consider, they are not the only ones to take into account. Some of the other factors that you need to investigate are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and additional benchmarks will be addressed in more detail later within this article. But before we explore how to select an HVAC trade school, let’s look at what a heating and cooling professional does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.

Becoming an HVAC Professional

West Barnstable MA HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, however each state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Attaining professional certification is not required, but an alternative means for West Barnstable MA HVAC techs to establish that they are exceptionally skilled and experienced in their area of expertise. There are many recognized certifications within the trade that are offered. Following are some of the important ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is attained 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. 2 years of field experience as well as passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience in addition to a passing score on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered 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.

Since licensing could be mandated in your area, and you may also desire to obtain certification, it’s imperative that you select an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be working with refrigerants, make certain that the program you choose readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.

HVAC Degree and Certificate Classes

radiator heater in West Barnstable MA homeThere are a number of alternatives offered for HVAC training in a technical or trade school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the least period of time, usually accomplished in just 6 months, however some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree training 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 West Barnstable MA.

  • Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They provide a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more extensive understanding of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically requiring two years to finish, some 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 call for an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional 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 future career aspirations are, together with the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One possibility is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in West Barnstable MA, eventually returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make certain to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Training Online

West Barnstable MA student attending HVAC school onlineAttending an HVAC program online is one possibility to getting your training and earning a degree or certificate. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete practical training. A number also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes can be participated in via the internet, this alternative may be a more practical solution for many West Barnstable MA students that are pressed for time. And some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even driving expenses from West Barnstable and study materials can be minimized, helping to make schooling more affordable. And many online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family responsibilities have left you with limited time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your busy schedule.

Questions to Ask HVAC Training Classes

Questions to ask West Barnstable MA HVAC training schoolsAfter you have selected the type of certificate or degree that you desire to earn, either online or on campus, you can start to decrease your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are many HVAC technical schools in the West Barnstable MA area and across the Country to pick from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of important qualifiers when making school evaluations. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the initial 2 variables you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you need to research before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Many HVAC technical programs in the West Barnstable MA area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Make certain that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you get a quality education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, some states require that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to qualify 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 of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate might suggest that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It could also mean that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, 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 trade, but also that it has the network of West Barnstable MA HVAC employers to assist students acquire apprenticeships or employment.

Apprenticeship Programs.  A large number of HVAC technical programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC contractors or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local West Barnstable MA HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC technician you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local West Barnstable MA HVAC contracting company if they can provide some tips. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the school must be within commuting distance of your West Barnstable MA residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s desirable that you receive as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Speak to several of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with a few of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.

Flexible Scheduling.  Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near West Barnstable MA, verify that the schools you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.

Considering an HVAC School near West Barnstable MA?

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

West Barnstable, Massachusetts

These include six-mile long Sandy Neck Barrier Beach which protects the extensive Great Marshes, the latter a source of salt hay that attracted the first English settlers to the area in the mid-17th century.

Remarkably, in the 18th century, the village produced four nationally prominent leaders at a time when there were no more than 500 inhabitants. James Otis[1] the Patriot was the original intellectual leader of the revolutionary movement in Boston in the years leading up to the War of Independence.

His sister, Mercy Otis Warren,[2] also born next to the Great Marshes, became a political activist, one of the first women writers in the country, and a historian of note. She is a member of the Women's Hall of Fame.

Air Conditioning Courses West Barnstable MA

Enrolling in the right HVAC training program is a crucial beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating and cooling trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Air Conditioning Courses. However, as we have discussed in this post, you should choose an HVAC vocational school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC field. Other factors to look for are sufficient hands-on 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 current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. In addition, ask about scheduling options and if night or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial aid and student loan options too. If you ask the right questions as we have detailed 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 commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC technician in West Barnstable MA.

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