How to Choose the Right HVAC College near Laramie Wyoming
Once you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next action is to find an HVAC technical school near Laramie WY. But with so many to select from, how do you choose the right one to receive 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. Although these are necessary factors to consider, they are not the only ones to investigate. Some of the other factors 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 additional criteria will be addressed in more detail later in this article. But before we explore how to choose an HVAC training program, let’s look at what a heating and a/c contractor does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Professional
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, though every state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Attaining professional certification is not required, but an alternative means for Laramie WY HVAC technicians to prove that they are highly proficient and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are many recognized certifications within the field that are available. Below are some of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is earned by passing a proficiency exam and can be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience in addition to passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience as well as a passing score on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are offered in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are three forms of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing may be mandated in your area, and you may also wish to acquire certification, it’s imperative that you enroll in an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be handling refrigerants, make sure that the program you decide on preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Schools
There are a variety of alternatives 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 least amount of time, typically accomplished in just 6 months, although some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree programs might provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will furnish more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short explanation of each credential offered near Laramie WY.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more extensive background of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally requiring two years to complete, some degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more towards a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional four year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Picking the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your future career objectives are, as well as the time and money that you have to commit. One possibility is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Laramie WY, eventually going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Courses
Enrolling in an HVAC program online is one option to obtaining your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. A number also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes may be participated in online, this option may be a more convenient solution for some Laramie WY students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are more economical than other on campus choices. Even travelling expenses from Laramie and study supplies can be lessened, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family obligations have left you with limited time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to fit school into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask HVAC Training Programs
After you have picked the type of certificate or degree that you want to attain, either on campus or online, you can begin to limit your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of HVAC trade schools in the Laramie WY area and across the Country to pick from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a list of important qualifiers when making school evaluations. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the first two factors you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC trade programs in the Laramie WY area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Confirm that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you receive an excellent education, it can help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Also, a number of states mandate 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 finish the course. A low completion rate might signify that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It may also suggest that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list 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 confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Laramie WY HVAC employers to help grads secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC technical programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling companies or trade unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with local Laramie WY HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC tech you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Laramie WY HVAC company if they can give you some suggestions. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Laramie WY home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Speak with some of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the teachers and find out 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 evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Laramie WY, verify that the schools you are reviewing 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 policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Considering an HVAC School near Laramie WY?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Laramie Wyoming area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Laramie /ˈlærəmi/ is a city in and the county seat of Albany County, Wyoming, United States. The population was 30,816 at the 2010 census. Located on the Laramie River in southeastern Wyoming, the city is west of Cheyenne, at the junction of Interstate 80 and U.S. Route 287.
Laramie was settled in the mid-19th century along the Union Pacific Railroad line, which crosses the Laramie River at Laramie. It is home to the University of Wyoming, Wyoming Technical Institute, and a branch of Laramie County Community College. Laramie Regional Airport serves Laramie. The ruins of Fort Sanders, an army fort predating Laramie, lie just south of the city along Route 287. Located in the Laramie Valley between the Snowy Range and the Laramie Range, the city draws outdoor enthusiasts with its abundance of outdoor activities.
Laramie was named for Jacques LaRamie, a French or French-Canadian trapper who disappeared in the Laramie Mountains in the late 1810s and was never heard from again. He was one of the first Europeans to visit the area. European-American settlers named a river, mountain range, peak, US Army fort, county, and city for him. More Wyoming landmarks are named for him than for any other trapper but Jim Bridger. Because the name was used so frequently, the town was called Laramie City for decades to distinguish it from other uses.
Air Conditioning Trade School Laramie WY
Selecting the ideal HVAC school program is a crucial beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating & cooling industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Air Conditioning Trade School. However, as we have discussed in this article, you should pick an Heating and Cooling vocational school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC profession. Other features to look for are sufficient hands-on training and modern facilities. You need to go to each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to explore the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Additionally, inquire about scheduling choices and whether or not night or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to ask about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the proper questions as we have detailed in our guidelines 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 dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC contractor in Laramie WY.
More Hot and Cool Locations in Wyoming
Business Results 1 - 10 of 7