HVAC Schooling Granite Falls MN

How to Find the Right HVAC Certification Course near Granite Falls Minnesota

air conditioner condensers in Granite Falls MNOnce you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioning specialist, the next step is to choose an HVAC technical school near Granite Falls MN. But with so many to select from, how do you select the right one to obtain the training that you require? Many potential students will make their choice based solely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Although these are important factors to consider, they are not the only ones to evaluate. 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. Those and other benchmarks will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we discuss how to choose an HVAC training program, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c technician does to become a licensed professional tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Tech

Granite Falls MN HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, though each state and local municipality has its own criteria. Obtaining professional certification is not mandatory, but an optional means for Granite Falls MN HVAC technicians to demonstrate that they are highly proficient and experienced in their area of specialization. There are several recognized certifications within the trade that are offered. Here are some of the significant ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is attained by passing a competency examination and may be earned 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 must have 3 years of experience as well as a passing result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in multiple specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are three forms of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Since licensing could be required in your location, and you may also wish to earn certification, it’s imperative that you pick an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be working with refrigerants, make sure that the program you select readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.

HVAC Degree Classes

radiator heater in Granite Falls MN homeThere are a variety of choices available for HVAC instruction in a technical or vocational school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the minimum period of time, usually completed in just six months, however some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will provide more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short summary of each option offered near Granite Falls MN.

  • Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more comprehensive understanding of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually requiring 2 years to finish, some degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more towards a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a standard 4 year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.

Selecting the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your future career aspirations are, together with the time and money that you have to commit. One option is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Granite Falls MN, eventually going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Classes Online

Granite Falls MN student attending HVAC school onlineChoosing an HVAC school online is one alternative in attaining your education and receiving a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. A number also sponsor 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 on the web, this approach may be a more practical solution for some Granite Falls MN students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even commuting expenses from Granite Falls and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family obligations have left you with minimal time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your busy schedule.

Questions For HVAC Schools

Questions to ask Granite Falls MN HVAC training schoolsAs soon as you have decided on the type of certificate or degree that you would like to earn, either on campus or online, you can start to narrow down your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous HVAC technical schools in the Granite Falls MN area and throughout the Country to pick from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a checklist of important qualifications when making school assessments. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the first 2 factors you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you will want to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  A large number of HVAC trade schools in the Granite Falls MN area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Confirm that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you obtain an excellent education, it can assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, some states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate could suggest that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It may also suggest that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of graduates, which can mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Granite Falls MN HVAC employers to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Numerous HVAC trade programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling businesses or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with local Granite Falls MN HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC specialist you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Granite Falls MN HVAC contracting company if they can give you some pointers. Additionally keep in mind that unless you can move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Granite Falls MN residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s desirable that you get as much individualized 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 witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak to a few of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with a few of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.

Flexible Scheduling.  Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Granite Falls MN, verify that the programs you are considering offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.

Considering an HVAC School near Granite Falls MN?

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

Granite Falls, Minnesota

Granite Falls is a city in Chippewa, Renville and Yellow Medicine counties in the State of Minnesota. The population was 2,897 at the 2010 census.[6] It is the county seat of Yellow Medicine County.[7] The Andrew John Volstead House, a National Historic Landmark, is located in Granite Falls.

Granite Falls was platted in 1872.[8] The city was named for deposits of granite rock in the area.[9] A post office has been in operation at Granite Falls since 1870.[10] Granite Falls was incorporated as a city in 1889.[8]

On July 25, 2000, the city of Granite Falls and Yellow Medicine County were hit by a powerful tornado. The tornado first touched down in rural parts of the county west-northwest of Granite Falls, hitting the city at 6:10 pm. After tearing through the residential sections of town, the tornado lifted at approximately 6:25PM after being on the ground for over nine miles. One person was killed, more than a dozen were injured, and the town and surrounding area suffered millions of dollars in property damage.[citation needed]

HVAC Schooling Granite Falls MN

Choosing the right HVAC training course is a critical first step toward a gratifying career in the heating and cooling trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Schooling. However, as we have covered in this post, you need to select an HVAC training program and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC field. Other things to look for are sufficient practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to go to 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 options and whether or not evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to inquire about financial aid and student loan options also. If you ask the proper questions as we have detailed in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC professional in Granite Falls MN.

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