How to Enroll In the Right Heating and Cooling Training Program near Woodstown New Jersey
Once you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning professional, the next step is to look for an HVAC trade school near Woodstown NJ. But with so many to pick from, how do you choose the best one to get the training that you require? Many future students will make their choice based solely on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Even though these are necessary factors to consider, they are not the only ones to take into account. Some of the other things that you need to research are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and other benchmarks will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we discuss how to pick an HVAC vocational school, let’s take a look at what a heating and air conditioning technician does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Professional
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs 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 local municipality has its own criteria. Obtaining professional certification is not required, but an optional way for Woodstown NJ HVAC techs to establish that they are highly qualified and accomplished in their area of specialization. There are many recognized certifications within the trade that are offered. Following are some of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is attained by passing a proficiency 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 together with passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience together with a passing result on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are provided in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are three forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing could be mandated in your location, and you may also wish to obtain certification, it’s imperative that you choose an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be working with refrigerants, make sure that the school you choose prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree Courses
There are a variety of alternatives offered for HVAC instruction in a vocational or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the lesser period of time, typically completed in just six months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will provide more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a short description of each credential offered near Woodstown NJ.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They provide a strong foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more comprehensive understanding of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally taking 2 years to complete, many 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 or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a standard 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.
Choosing the ideal credential program will be dependent on what your long term career goals are, together with the time and money that you have to commit. One possibility is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Woodstown NJ, subsequently returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Training
Choosing an HVAC program online is one alternative to attaining your training and earning a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete practical training. A number also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes can be attended online, this alternative may be a more accessible solution for many Woodstown NJ students that are pressed for time. And some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even travelling expenses from Woodstown and study supplies can be lessened, helping to make schooling 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 minimal time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to fit school into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask HVAC Training Programs
As soon as you have chosen the type of certificate or degree that you wish to acquire, either online or on campus, you can start to limit your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Woodstown NJ area and throughout the Country to select from. That’s why it is very important to have a checklist of key qualifiers when making school assessments. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the initial two aspects you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you need to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC technical programs in the Woodstown NJ area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Make certain that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you receive a quality education, it can help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, some states require that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate could indicate that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It could also mean that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which can mean 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 an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Woodstown NJ HVAC employers to help students secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC trade programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with local Woodstown NJ HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC tech you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Woodstown NJ HVAC contracting company if they can provide some pointers. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Woodstown NJ home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Talk to a few of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to some of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Woodstown NJ, verify that the schools you are looking at provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering an HVAC School near Woodstown NJ?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Woodstown New Jersey area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Woodstown, New Jersey
Woodstown is a borough in Salem County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 3,505, reflecting an increase of 369 (+11.8%) from the 3,136 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn declined by 18 (−0.6%) from the 3,154 counted in the 1990 Census.
Woodstown was established on July 26, 1882, from portions of Pilesgrove Township based on the results of a referendum held that same day. The borough's incorporation was confirmed on March 3, 1925. The borough was named for early settler Jackanias (or Jaconias) Wood.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 1.625 square miles (4.209 km2), including 1.585 square miles (4.104 km2) of land and 0.040 square miles (0.105 km2) of water (2.49%).
Top HVAC Training Courses Woodstown NJ
Finding the right HVAC training program is a critical beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating and air conditioning trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Top HVAC Training Courses. However, as we have discussed in this post, you need to select an HVAC school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC profession. Other features to search for are plenty of practical training and modern facilities. You need to go to each of the schools in person 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 training and the interaction between them. In addition, inquire about scheduling choices and whether or not night or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the right questions as we have detailed in our guidelines for comparing schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC professional in Woodstown NJ.
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