How to Pick the Right Heating and Cooling Degree Program near Woodbury New Jersey
Once you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning specialist, the next step is to find an HVAC technical school near Woodbury NJ. But with so many to pick from, how do you pick the best one to get the training that you need? Many prospective students will make their choice based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Even though these are necessary concerns, they are not the only ones to take into account. Some of the other details 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 benchmarks will be discussed in more detail later within this article. But before we examine how to choose an HVAC trade school, let’s look at what a heating and cooling professional does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Contractor
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, although every state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Acquiring professional certification is not mandatory, but an optional way for Woodbury NJ HVAC technicians to establish that they are exceptionally qualified and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are multiple acknowledged certifications within the industry that are offered. Here are a few of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is attained by passing a competency exam and may be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience in addition to passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience in addition to a passing score on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are provided in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for technicians that work with refrigerants. There are three forms of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing might be mandated in your location, and you may also intend to obtain certification, it’s imperative that you choose an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the school you decide on preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are a variety of alternatives available for HVAC instruction in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the minimum amount of time, typically accomplished in as little as 6 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 relevant to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will deliver more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief summary of each credential offered near Woodbury NJ.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They provide a strong foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more extensive understanding of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Typically taking 2 years to complete, a number of degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more for a career in management as well as 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 cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Picking the appropriate credential program will be based on what your long term career goals are, as well as the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One approach is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the trade in Woodbury NJ, subsequently going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make certain to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Schools Online
Attending an HVAC program online is one alternative to attaining your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. Many also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes can be participated in via the internet, this approach may be a more accessible solution for many Woodbury NJ students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are more economical than other traditional options. Even travelling expenses from Woodbury and study materials may be minimized, helping to make schooling more economical. And a large number of online programs 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 online HVAC degree program will make it easier to fit school into your active schedule.
What to Ask HVAC Training Programs
Once you have decided on 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 no doubt aware, there are many HVAC vocational schools in the Woodbury NJ area and across the USA to choose from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a list of relevant qualifiers when making school comparisons. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the first 2 factors you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you will want to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC trade programs in the Woodbury NJ area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance HVAC technology. Make certain that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you get an excellent education, it can help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to be approved 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 could indicate that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It may also mean that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly important 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 affirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Woodbury NJ HVAC employers to help students acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC training programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling businesses or trade unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with local Woodbury NJ HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area 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 on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC tech you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Woodbury NJ HVAC contracting company if they can provide some suggestions. Additionally keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Woodbury NJ residence. Take note that if you decide to attend 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 desirable that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak with some of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to some of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Woodbury NJ, check that the schools you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family issues.
Considering an HVAC School near Woodbury NJ?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Woodbury New Jersey area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Woodbury, New Jersey
Woodbury is a city in Gloucester County, New Jersey, in the United States. As of the 2010 United States Census the city's population was 10,174, reflecting a decline of 133 (-1.3%) from the 10,307 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn declined by 597 (-5.5%) from the 10,904 counted in the 1990 Census. Woodbury is the county seat of Gloucester County.
Woodbury was originally formed as a borough on March 27, 1854, within Deptford Township, based on the results of a referendum held on March 22, 1854. On January 2, 1871, Woodbury was reincorporated as a city, based on the results of a referendum held that day.
The Inspira Health Network is based in Woodbury. The now-defunct Woodbury Country Club operated in Woodbury from 1897 to 2010, closing due to declining membership and mounting debt that led to a bankruptcy filing by the club.
HVAC Trade Schools Near Me Woodbury NJ
Choosing the ideal HVAC training course is a critical first step toward a gratifying career in the heating and air conditioning industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Trade Schools Near Me. However, as we have covered in this post, you need to pick an HVAC trade school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC trade. Other features to search for are lots of hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to visit each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Additionally, inquire about scheduling choices and whether night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to inquire about financial aid and student loan options also. If you ask the proper questions as we have detailed 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 commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC technician in Woodbury NJ.
More Hot and Cool Locations in New Jersey
Business Results 1 - 10 of 836