Heating and Air Training Lake Odessa MI

How to Find the Right HVAC Degree Program near Lake Odessa Michigan

air conditioner condensers in Lake Odessa MINow that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning professional, the next step is to find an HVAC trade school near Lake Odessa MI. But with so many to choose from, how do you choose the right one to get the training that you need? Some 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 significant considerations, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Some of the other details that you need to look into are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and other benchmarks will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we tackle how to choose an HVAC vocational school, let’s take a look at what a heating and air conditioning contractor does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Specialist

Lake Odessa MI HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of 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 criteria. Acquiring professional certification is not required, but a voluntary means for Lake Odessa MI HVAC techs to prove that they are exceptionally qualified and experienced in their area of expertise. There are a number of recognized certifications within the industry that are offered. Here are a few 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 competency 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 professional experience together with passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience along with a passing score on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are provided in several specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for techs that work with refrigerants. There are three 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 location, and you may also desire to obtain certification, it’s important that you select an HVAC trade 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 readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Degree Classes

radiator heater in Lake Odessa MI homeThere are a number of choices offered for HVAC training in a technical or trade school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the least period of time, usually completed in just six 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 applicable to the position. The degree programs may provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will deliver more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short explanation of each option offered near Lake Odessa MI.

  • Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more extensive understanding of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Generally taking 2 years to complete, 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 call for an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional 4 year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.

Choosing the right credential program will be based on what your future career objectives are, in addition to the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One possibility is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Lake Odessa MI, eventually returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Courses Online

Lake Odessa MI student attending HVAC school onlineEnrolling in an HVAC program online is one possibility to attaining your education and receiving a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete hands on training. Many also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes can be attended via the internet, this alternative may be a more convenient solution for some Lake Odessa MI students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are more economical than other traditional options. Even driving expenses from Lake Odessa and study supplies can be minimized, helping to make schooling more budget-friendly. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family commitments have left you with minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your busy lifestyle.

Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Classes

Questions to ask Lake Odessa MI HVAC training schoolsAs soon as you have picked the type of certificate or degree that you would like to earn, either online or on campus, you can start to narrow down your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of HVAC trade schools in the Lake Odessa MI area and all over the USA to pick from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a checklist of key qualifiers when making school comparisons. 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.  A large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Lake Odessa MI area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive 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. Verify that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you obtain a superior education, it can help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, many states require 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 percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate might indicate that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It may also indicate that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which can mean more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Lake Odessa MI HVAC employers to help students obtain apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Numerous HVAC vocational programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC businesses or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with local Lake Odessa MI HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC technician you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Lake Odessa MI HVAC company if they can provide some pointers. Additionally keep in mind that unless you can move, the school must be within driving distance of your Lake Odessa MI home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s desirable that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Talk with a few of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.

Flexible Scheduling.  Make sure 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 at night or on weekends near Lake Odessa MI, confirm that the programs you are considering offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.

Considering an HVAC School near Lake Odessa MI?

Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Lake Odessa Michigan area.  If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.

Lake Odessa, Michigan

Lake Odessa is a village in Ionia County of the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 2,018 at the 2010 census. It is located in the southern portion of the county in Odessa Township on the northeast shore of Jordan Lake, which is the boundary with Barry County.

Several brothers in the Russell family began settling here around 1839 and it became known as the "Russell Settlement". It later became known as "Bonanza" and a Post Office with that name was established in 1880. When the Detroit, Lansing and Northern Railroad (later the Pere Marquette Railroad) was built through the area in the 1880s, the village was moved about a mile southwest. At that time the name was changed to "Lake Odessa", derived from the nearby Jordan Lake and the name of Odessa Township, which had been established in 1846. The township had been named for the city of Odessa in Ukraine,[6][7] reflecting an interest of one of the founders in Ukraine as well as a desire for a distinctive name. Investor Humphrey Wager purchased 80 acres (320,000 m2) of farmland on Jordan Lake and platted the village in 1887. With the advantage of a station on the new railroad, the new village quickly eclipsed the former settlement at Bonanza. The village incorporated in 1889. John R. Waite, a local man with an interest in history, has been credited with significant historical research for the village of Lake Odessa. John is also recognized as the President of the Lake Odessa Area Historical Society and is involved with the Train Depot Museum.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 0.89 square miles (2.31 km2), all land.[8] Lake Odessa, along with neighboring Woodland, Sunfield and Clarksville, make up the Lakewood Public School district.

Heating and Air Training Lake Odessa MI

Picking the right HVAC training program is a crucial first step toward a rewarding career in the heating & cooling industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Heating and Air Training. However, as we have addressed in this post, you should pick an HVAC technical school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC field. Other factors to search for are ample hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to check out each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to tour the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Additionally, inquire about scheduling choices and whether or not evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to ask about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the right questions as we have detailed in our checklist for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC contractor in Lake Odessa MI.

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