How to Enroll In the Right Heating and Cooling Program near Warminster Pennsylvania
Once you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next step is to look for an HVAC trade school near Warminster PA. But with so many to choose from, how do you pick the ideal one to get the training that you need? Some future students will make their decision based exclusively on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Although these are important factors to consider, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Some of the other details 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 criteria will be addressed in more detail later within this article. But before we explore how to pick an HVAC training program, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c contractor does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Specialist
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, though each state and local municipality has its own requirements. Attaining professional certification is not mandatory, but an alternative means for Warminster PA HVAC specialists to establish that they are exceptionally qualified and experienced in their area of specialization. There are multiple recognized certifications within the industry that are offered. Here are some of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is attained by passing a proficiency exam and can be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience together with passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience as well as a passing score on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are provided in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for technicians that work with refrigerants. There are three types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing could be mandated in your area, and you may also desire to obtain certification, it’s imperative that you choose an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be working with refrigerants, make sure that the program you select prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Classes
There are several options available for HVAC instruction in a technical or trade school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, usually accomplished in just 6 months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will deliver more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a short description of each credential offered near Warminster PA.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They provide a strong foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more comprehensive understanding of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Usually requiring two years to complete, many degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more towards a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional 4 year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Selecting the ideal credential program will be dependent on what your future career goals are, in addition to the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One possibility is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Warminster PA, later going back to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Classes Online
Attending an HVAC program online is one approach in getting your education and earning a certificate or degree. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to complete practical training. Some also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes may be participated in via the internet, this approach may be a more practical solution for some Warminster PA students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are less expensive than other traditional options. Even travelling expenses from Warminster and study supplies can be reduced, helping to make schooling more budget-friendly. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family responsibilities have left you with minimal time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to fit school into your busy lifestyle.
Questions For HVAC Trade Schools
When you have picked the type of degree or certificate that you desire to earn, either online or on campus, you can begin to limit your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are many HVAC technical schools in the Warminster PA area and across the Country to pick from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school evaluations. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the first two aspects you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you will want to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Warminster PA 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 an individual program, such as HVAC technology. Make certain that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you receive a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited in order 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 percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate might signify that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It might also signify 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 more extensive directory 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 can not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Warminster PA HVAC employers to help students acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC technical programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling businesses or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with local Warminster PA HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC specialist you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Warminster PA HVAC company if they can provide some suggestions. Additionally keep in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Warminster PA residence. Remember 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 get as much personalized 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 instructors and students. Talk with several of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Warminster PA, verify that the programs you are comparing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, check 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 Warminster PA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Warminster Pennsylvania area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Warminster Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania
Warminster Township (also referred to as Warminster) is located in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, United States and was formally established in 1711. It is 13.7 miles north of Philadelphia and had a population of 32,682 according to the 2010 U.S. census.
The town was called Warminster Township as early as 1685, before its borders were formally established in 1711. It was originally part of Southampton Township, which was founded in 1682 by William Penn.Warminster was named after a small town in the county of Wiltshire, at the western extremity of Salisbury Plain, England. Warminster, Pennsylvania was mostly settled by English and Scotch-Irish after William Penn received a grant of land in the area from King Charles, II.
Warminster began as a small farming community and remained that way throughout most of its history. As recently as 1955, the township had no residential subdivisions and only one housing complex, Lacey Park on Street Road, the site where the Battle of Crooked Billet occurred during the Revolutionary War that resulted in a resounding defeat for George Washington's troops. Warminster's Craven Hall is included in the National Register of Historic Places listings in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Warminster's most significant historical figure was William Tennent, an outspoken religious leader and educator.
HVAC Course Cost Warminster PA
Picking the right HVAC school program is a crucial first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating and air conditioning trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Course Cost. However, as we have covered in this post, you should select an Heating and Cooling school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC trade. Other things to look for are ample hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should check out each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to tour 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. Additionally, inquire about scheduling choices and whether or not 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 outlined in our guidelines for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down 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 contractor in Warminster PA.
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