Air Conditioning Classes Online Alexandria MN

How to Select the Right HVAC Program near Alexandria Minnesota

air conditioner condensers in Alexandria MNOnce you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and cooling specialist, the next action is to choose an HVAC technical school near Alexandria MN. But with so many to pick from, how do you select the ideal one to receive the training that you require? Some potential students will make their selection based entirely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their home. While these are relevant concerns, they are not the only ones to evaluate. A few of the other things 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. Those and other criteria will be discussed in more detail later within this article. But before we tackle how to pick an HVAC technical school, let’s take a look at what a heating and air conditioning specialist does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.

Becoming an HVAC Specialist

Alexandria MN HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are generally mandated to be licensed, although every state and local municipality has its own requirements. Acquiring professional certification is not required, but a voluntary means for Alexandria MN HVAC specialists to prove that they are exceptionally proficient and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are multiple acknowledged certifications within the field that are offered. Below are a few of the significant ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is achieved by passing a competency examination and can be received in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience together with passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience as well as a passing result on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are made available in multiple specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are three types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Because licensing could be required in your location, and you may also intend to acquire certification, it’s essential that you pick an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the school you decide on preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.

HVAC Degree and Certificate Classes

radiator heater in Alexandria MN homeThere are a number of options offered for HVAC training in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the least period of time, typically completed in just six months, however some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree training programs might provide a competitive edge in the job market and will furnish more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a short summary of each option offered near Alexandria MN.

  • Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning residential or commercial HVAC specialists. They provide a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more exhaustive background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Typically taking two years to complete, some degrees feature 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 call for an Associate Degree, while others are a standard four year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.

Picking the appropriate credential program will be based on what your future career aspirations are, together with the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One possibility is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Alexandria MN, subsequently going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Online Classes

Alexandria MN student attending HVAC school onlineEnrolling in an HVAC school online is one option in obtaining your education and earning a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will call for 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 remainder of the classes may be attended on the web, this option may be a more convenient solution for many Alexandria MN students that are pressed for time. And some online degree programs are less expensive than other traditional alternatives. Even travelling expenses from Alexandria and study supplies can be reduced, helping to make schooling more affordable. And numerous 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, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your active lifestyle.

What to Ask HVAC Training Programs

Questions to ask Alexandria MN HVAC training schoolsOnce you have picked the type of certificate or degree that you wish to obtain, either on campus or online, you can start to decrease your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of HVAC trade schools in the Alexandria MN area and all over the Country to select 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 undoubtedly be the initial two variables you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you will want to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  A large number of HVAC technical schools in the Alexandria MN area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Make certain that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you receive an excellent education, it can help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable 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 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It could also suggest that the instructors were not competent to instruct 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 result in 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 a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Alexandria MN HVAC employers to assist grads secure apprenticeships or employment.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Many HVAC technical programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling companies or labor unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with local Alexandria MN HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make certain that the campus facilities and the equipment 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 with concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Alexandria MN HVAC contractor if they can give you some tips. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Alexandria MN home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s important 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 large they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Talk to a few of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with a few of the teachers and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.

Flexible Scheduling.  Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Alexandria MN, check that the schools you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.

Considering an HVAC School near Alexandria MN?

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

Alexandria, Minnesota

Alexandria is a city in and the county seat of Douglas County, Minnesota.[5] First settled in 1858, it was named after brothers Alexander and William Kinkead from Maryland. The form of the name alludes to Alexandria, Egypt, a center of learning and civilization.[6]

The village of Alexandria was incorporated February 20, 1877. Its city charter was adopted in 1908, and it was incorporated as a city in 1909. W. E. Hicks was pivotal to the town's early development. He purchased the townsite in 1868 and established a mill, hotel, newspaper, and store. He donated property for a courthouse, jail, and two churches: Methodist and Congregational.

The population was 11,070 as of the 2010 census.[7] Alexandria is near Interstate 94, along Minnesota State Highways 27 and 29. It is ten miles south of Lake Carlos State Park. In 2013, Alexandria was named a "Top 10 Best Small Town" by the Livability website.[8] The city is often abbreviated as "Alex" (pronounced "Alek").[9]

Air Conditioning Classes Online Alexandria MN

Finding the ideal HVAC training course is an important beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating and air conditioning trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Air Conditioning Classes Online. However, as we have covered in this post, you should select an Heating and Cooling school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC field. Other factors to look for are sufficient practical training and modern facilities. You should go to each of the schools personally 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 teaching and the interaction between them. Also, inquire about scheduling choices and whether evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial aid and student loan options too. If you ask the right questions as we have outlined in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC specialist in Alexandria MN.

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    Business Results 1 - 10 of 8

    Thompson Heating & Air Conditioning
    1 Reviews
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