How to Choose the Right Heating and Cooling Training Class near Jenison Michigan
Once you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioner professional, the next action is to choose an HVAC trade school near Jenison MI. But with so many to choose from, how do you choose the right one to receive the training that you need? Many future students will make their decision based entirely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their home. While these are necessary considerations, they are not the only ones to investigate. A few 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. Those and other benchmarks will be discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we discuss how to choose an HVAC trade school, let’s look at what a heating and a/c professional does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Technician
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are generally mandated to be licensed, though each state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Acquiring professional certification is not compulsory, but an optional way for Jenison MI HVAC technicians to demonstrate that they are exceptionally proficient and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are multiple respected certifications within the industry that are available. Here are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is earned by passing a competency 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 field experience together with passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience along with a passing score on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are provided in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing could be required in your area, and you may also desire to obtain certification, it’s essential that you choose an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the school you decide on readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Schools
There are a variety of options offered for HVAC training in a trade or technical school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining 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 the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will furnish more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short description of each option offered near Jenison MI.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more comprehensive knowledge of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically taking two years to finish, a number of 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 require an Associate Degree, while others are a standard four year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.
Choosing the ideal credential program will be dependent on what your long term career aspirations are, in addition to the time and money that you have to commit. One approach is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the trade in Jenison MI, subsequently returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, 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 school online is one approach in obtaining your training and receiving a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. Many also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes may be attended via the internet, this approach may be a more convenient solution for many Jenison MI students that are pressed for time. And some online degree programs are cheaper than other traditional choices. Even travelling expenses from Jenison and study materials may 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 job or family commitments have left you with little time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your active lifestyle.
Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Classes
As soon as you have picked the type of degree or certificate that you would like to obtain, either on campus or online, you can start to narrow down your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many HVAC technical schools in the Jenison MI area and across the Country to select from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of important qualifications when making school comparisons. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the initial 2 variables you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you should explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC technical programs in the Jenison MI area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Make certain that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you acquire a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, some states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited in order 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 portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate might suggest that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It might also signify that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which may produce more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Jenison MI HVAC employers to assist graduates secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC trade programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC contractors or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with local Jenison MI HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC specialist you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Jenison MI HVAC contracting company if they can provide some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you can move, the school must be within driving distance of your Jenison MI residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be higher 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 monitor a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Speak to several of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Jenison MI, confirm that the programs you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, 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 Jenison MI?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Jenison Michigan area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Jenison is an unincorporated community in Ottawa County in the U.S. state of Michigan. It is a census-designated place (CDP) for statistical purposes, but has no legal status as an incorporated municipality. The community is governed by Georgetown Charter Township. The population of the CDP was 17,211 as of the 2000 census. The current estimated population for the entire Jenison ZIP code, 49428, is 25,770. The geographical boundaries of the ZIP code are larger than that of the CDP.
The area that Jenison occupies was first settled by pioneers in 1836 as a lumber site along the Grand River. Jenison gained its name from the Jenison family's sawmill, which opened in 1864. A post office called Jenisonville was established in 1872, and the name was changed to Jenison in 1887.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the community has a total area of 5.9 square miles (15 km2), of which 5.8 square miles (15 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (0.85%) is water.
What Is HVAC Training Jenison MI
Finding the right HVAC training program is an important beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating & cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding What Is HVAC Training. However, as we have discussed in this article, you should choose an HVAC training program and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC trade. Other factors to look for are lots of hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should visit each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to tour the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. In addition, inquire about scheduling choices and if evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to ask about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have detailed in our guidelines for evaluating 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 technician in Jenison MI.
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