How to Choose the Right HVAC Certification Training near Upperville Virginia
Now that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner specialist, the next action is to find an HVAC trade school near Upperville VA. But with so many to pick from, how do you decide on the right one to receive the training that you require? A number of potential students will make their decision based exclusively on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. While these are necessary concerns, they are not the only ones to take into account. Just 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. These and additional benchmarks will be covered 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 a/c professional does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Tech
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, however every state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Obtaining professional certification is not compulsory, but a voluntary way for Upperville VA HVAC technicians to establish that they are exceptionally skilled and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are multiple respected certifications within the industry that are offered. Below are some of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is earned by passing a competency examination 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 field experience in addition to passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience in addition to a passing result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing could be mandated in your area, and you may also desire to earn certification, it’s important that you enroll in an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be handling refrigerants, make sure that the program you decide on preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are a variety of options offered for HVAC training in a technical or vocational school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the least amount of time, often achieved in as little as six months, however some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive edge in the job market and will furnish more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short description of each option offered near Upperville VA.
- Certificate. Generally 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 job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more comprehensive understanding of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Typically requiring 2 years to finish, some 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 as well as business ownership. Some programs call for 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 learn how to design them.
Picking the ideal credential program will be dependent on what your future career goals are, along 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 Upperville VA, subsequently going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Training
Choosing an HVAC program online is one approach in obtaining your training and earning a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. Some also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be attended via the internet, this alternative may be a more accessible solution for many Upperville VA students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are more economical than other on campus choices. Even travelling expenses from Upperville and study supplies can be minimized, helping to make schooling more affordable. And many 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, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it easier to fit school into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask HVAC Trade Schools
After you have decided on the type of degree or certificate that you desire to acquire, either on campus or online, you can begin to decrease your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are numerous HVAC trade schools in the Upperville VA area and across the USA to choose from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of important qualifiers when making school assessments. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the first two factors you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you will want to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC trade schools in the Upperville VA area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, such as HVAC technology. Verify that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you acquire an excellent education, it may help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, 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 Air Conditioning schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate may indicate that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It could also indicate that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which can result in more contacts for the school to use 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 Upperville VA HVAC employers to help graduates secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC technical programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC businesses or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with local Upperville VA HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are currently 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 Upperville VA HVAC contractor if they can provide some pointers. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Upperville VA home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much individualized training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some 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 comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak 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 reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Upperville VA, confirm that the programs you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, find 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 Upperville VA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Upperville Virginia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Upperville is a small unincorporated town in Fauquier County, Virginia, United States, along U.S. Route 50 fifty miles from downtown Washington, D.C.. Founded in the 1790s along Pantherskin Creek, it was originally named Carrstown by first settler Josephus Carr. Through an 1819 Act passed by the Virginia General Assembly, the name was changed to Upperville.
Upperville has been designated as the Upperville Historic District and is a Virginia Historic Landmark that is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Also listed are Blue Ridge Farm, Oakley, and Rose Hill Farm.
Situated eight miles to the west of Middleburg, the Upperville/Middleburg area is home to a number of prominent Thoroughbred horse breeding farms and country estates. Part of Virginia's famous Piedmont horse country, the Upperville Colt & Horse Show was conceived by Colonel Richard Henry Dulany and first held in 1853. It remains the oldest such event in America. A Dulany family member owned Oakley Farm. It was the site of two battles during the American Civil War. Near Upperville, Californian Henry T. Oxnard built a horse breeding operation in 1903 that he named Blue Ridge Farm. Purchased by Rear Admiral Cary Travers Grayson in 1928, members of the Grayson family still own the property which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
HVAC Night Classes Upperville VA
Finding the right HVAC school program is a crucial first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating & cooling industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Night Classes. However, as we have addressed in this article, you should select an Heating and Cooling vocational school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC field. Other features to search for are lots of hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should visit each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. In addition, ask about scheduling choices and if night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have outlined in our guidelines for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC specialist in Upperville VA.
More Hot and Cool Locations in Virginia
Business Results 1 - 10 of 382