How to Enroll In the Right Heating and Cooling Program near Lovington New Mexico
Now that you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next action is to find an HVAC technical school near Lovington NM. But with so many to select from, how do you pick the best one to obtain the training that you require? A number of future students will make their decision based exclusively on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Even though these are necessary concerns, they are not the only ones to investigate. Some of the other details that you need to research are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and additional criteria will be discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we tackle how to choose an HVAC training program, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling professional does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Contractor
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are generally required to be licensed, however every state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Obtaining professional certification is not required, but an optional means for Lovington NM HVAC technicians to demonstrate that they are exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are many recognized certifications within the trade that are offered. Below are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is achieved by passing a competency examination 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 field experience together with passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience together with a passing score on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are three types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other 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 important that you pick an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be handling refrigerants, make certain that the school you select preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Schools
There are a number of choices offered for HVAC training 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 least period of time, typically completed in just six months, however some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs may provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will furnish more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief summary of each credential offered near Lovington NM.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They provide a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more comprehensive understanding of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually requiring 2 years to complete, some 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 as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional 4 year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.
Selecting the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your long term career objectives are, together with the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One option is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Lovington NM, later going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Training
Enrolling in an HVAC school online is one possibility to getting your education and earning a certificate or degree. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete practical training. Many also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes may be participated in via the internet, this alternative may be a more practical solution for some Lovington NM students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are less costly than other traditional options. Even travelling expenses from Lovington and study supplies can be reduced, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family obligations have left you with minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to fit school into your busy lifestyle.
Questions to Ask HVAC Training Programs
When you have decided on the type of certificate or degree that you wish to obtain, either on campus or online, you can begin to limit your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are many HVAC vocational schools in the Lovington NM area and throughout the United States to pick from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of important qualifiers when making school evaluations. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the initial 2 variables you will take into consideration. Following are some additional ones that you should research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC trade schools in the Lovington NM area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Confirm that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you get a superior education, it may assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Also, some states require that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate may suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It might also suggest that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory 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 can not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Lovington NM HVAC employers to help students obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC trade programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with local Lovington NM HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are presently 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 Lovington NM HVAC contractor if they can provide some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Lovington NM home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important 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 some of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Speak to several of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with a few 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 assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Lovington NM, confirm that the programs you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Considering an HVAC School near Lovington NM?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Lovington New Mexico area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Lovington, New Mexico
Lovington is located at 32°56′47″N 103°21′13″W / 32.94639°N 103.35361°W / 32.94639; -103.35361 (32.946459, -103.353618). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.8 square miles (12 km2), of which 4.8 square miles (12 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) (0.42%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 9,471 people, 3,297 households, and 2,459 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,983.6 people per square mile (766.6/km²). There were 3,823 housing units at an average density of 800.7 per square mile (309.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 59.85% White, 3.03% African American, 0.78% Native American, 0.48% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 32.74% from other races, and 3.06% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 52.12% of the population.
There were 3,297 households out of which 41.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.0% were married couples living together, 13.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.4% were non-families. 22.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.80 and the average family size was 3.29.
Learning HVAC Lovington NM
Enrolling in the ideal HVAC school course is a critical first step toward a rewarding career in the heating and cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Learning HVAC. However, as we have addressed in this post, you need to choose an HVAC trade school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC community. Other features to look for are sufficient hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to go to 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. Try to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling choices and if night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the appropriate 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 educated decision. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC professional in Lovington NM.
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