How to Select the Right Heating and Cooling Certification Course near Shelbyville Tennessee
Once you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioning professional, the next step is to choose an HVAC technical school near Shelbyville TN. But with so many to choose from, how do you select the ideal one to get the training that you need? Some prospective students will make their selection based entirely on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Although these are relevant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Some of the other things 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. These and other criteria will be discussed in more detail later within this article. But before we examine how to pick an HVAC technical school, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning contractor does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Technician
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, though each state and local municipality has its own requirements. Earning professional certification is not compulsory, but an alternative way for Shelbyville TN HVAC techs to demonstrate that they are exceptionally proficient and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are multiple respected certifications within the trade that are offered. Following are a few of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is attained by passing a proficiency exam and may be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience as well as passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience together with a passing result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are three types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing may be mandated in your location, and you may also wish to earn certification, it’s imperative that you enroll in an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the school you select preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Classes
There are several options offered for HVAC training in a vocational or trade school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the least period of time, often achieved in as little as 6 months, however some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree training programs may provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will deliver more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a short summary of each option offered near Shelbyville TN.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level residential or commercial HVAC specialists. They provide a solid foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more detailed understanding of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Normally taking two years to finish, many 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 as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a standard 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 right credential program will be based on what your future career objectives are, as well as the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One approach is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Shelbyville TN, later returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, be sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Courses
Enrolling in an HVAC program online is one alternative to getting your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. Some also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be attended on the web, this option may be a more convenient solution for many Shelbyville TN students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are more economical than other on campus choices. Even travelling expenses from Shelbyville and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And numerous online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family responsibilities have left you with little time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your hectic lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Certification Courses
When you have selected the type of degree or certificate that you desire to obtain, either on campus or online, you can begin to decrease your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are many HVAC technical schools in the Shelbyville TN area and across the USA to pick from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of important qualifiers when making school comparisons. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the first two factors you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you need to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC vocational programs in the Shelbyville TN area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Make sure that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you get a superior education, it can assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Also, a number of states require that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to be approved 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 complete the course. A low completion rate might suggest that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It may also mean that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which may produce more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Shelbyville TN HVAC employers to assist grads acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC technical programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC companies or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with local Shelbyville TN HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school 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 already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC tech you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Shelbyville TN HVAC contracting company if they can provide some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Shelbyville TN residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much personalized training 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 observe how large they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Speak to several of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with some of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Shelbyville TN, check that the schools you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering an HVAC School near Shelbyville TN?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Shelbyville Tennessee area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Shelbyville is a city in Bedford County, Tennessee, United States. It had a population of 20,335 residents at the 2010 census. Shelbyville, the county seat of Bedford County, was laid out in 1810 and incorporated in 1819. The town is a hub of the Tennessee Walking Horse industry and has been nicknamed "The Walking Horse Capital of the World".
As of the census of 2000, there were 16,105 people, 6,066 households, and 4,155 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,041.3 people per square mile (402.0/km²). There were 6,550 housing units at an average density of 423.5 per square mile (163.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 77.14% White, 14.98% African American, 0.70% Asian, 0.35% Native American, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 5.02% from other races, and 1.78% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race made up 14.55% of the population.
Of the 6,066 households, 31.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.0% were married couples living together, 16.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.5% were non-families. A total of 26.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.59 and the average family size was 3.05.
Air Conditioner and Heating School Shelbyville TN
Finding the ideal HVAC training program is a critical first step toward a gratifying career in the heating and air conditioning trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Air Conditioner and Heating School. However, as we have addressed in this post, you should select an Heating and Cooling technical school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC community. Other things to look for are sufficient practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should go to each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to explore the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling choices and whether evening 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 appropriate questions as we have laid out 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 ultimately become a licensed HVAC contractor in Shelbyville TN.
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