School for HVAC Inver Grove Heights MN

How to Pick the Right HVAC Certificate Program near Inver Grove Heights Minnesota

air conditioner condensers in Inver Grove Heights MNOnce you have made a decision on a career as a heating and cooling technician, the next step is to look for an HVAC technical school near Inver Grove Heights MN. But with so many to choose from, how do you choose the ideal one to receive the training that you need? Some future students will make their selection based entirely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. While these are important factors to consider, they are not the only ones to investigate. A few of the other details that you need to research 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 addressed in more detail later in this article. But before we discuss how to pick an HVAC vocational school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling professional does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.

Becoming an HVAC Tech

Inver Grove Heights MN HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are generally mandated to be licensed, though every state and local municipality has its own criteria. Obtaining professional certification is not compulsory, but a voluntary means for Inver Grove Heights MN HVAC techs to demonstrate that they are exceptionally skilled and accomplished in their area of specialization. There are multiple acknowledged certifications within the trade that are offered. Following are a few of the significant ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is attained by passing a proficiency exam and may be earned in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience in addition to 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 exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are made available in several specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is required for technicians 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.

Because licensing may be required in your location, and you may also intend to earn certification, it’s important that you choose an HVAC vocational school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be handling refrigerants, make sure that the school you decide on preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Degree and Certificate Schools

radiator heater in Inver Grove Heights MN homeThere are a variety of options offered for HVAC instruction in a vocational or trade school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the least amount of time, often completed in as little as 6 months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will provide more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short summary of each credential offered near Inver Grove Heights MN.

  • Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They provide a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more comprehensive knowledge of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually taking two years to finish, many degrees include an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more for a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a standard four year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.

Picking the right credential program will be based on what your long term career objectives are, as well as the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One option is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Inver Grove Heights MN, eventually going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Classes Online

Inver Grove Heights MN student attending HVAC school onlineAttending an HVAC program online is one alternative in attaining your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to take part 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 rest of the classes may be attended on the web, this approach may be a more accessible solution for many Inver Grove Heights MN students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even travelling expenses from Inver Grove Heights and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family responsibilities 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 schedule.

Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Courses

Questions to ask Inver Grove Heights MN HVAC training schoolsWhen you have chosen the type of degree or certificate that you would like to obtain, either on campus or online, you can begin to limit your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of HVAC trade schools in the Inver Grove Heights MN area and throughout the USA to pick from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of key qualifiers when making school assessments. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the initial two aspects 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 technical schools in the Inver Grove Heights MN area have acquired 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 a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Make certain that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you receive a superior education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, some states require that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the HVAC 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 program. A low completion rate might suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It might also signify that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which can produce more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Inver Grove Heights MN HVAC employers to help grads obtain apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Numerous 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 Heating and Cooling contractors or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Inver Grove Heights MN HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make sure that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained 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 with concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Inver Grove Heights MN HVAC contracting company if they can provide some tips. Also keep in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Inver Grove Heights MN home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in 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 important that you receive as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Talk with some of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with some of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.

Flexible Scheduling.  Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Inver Grove Heights MN, confirm that the schools you are comparing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.

Considering an HVAC School near Inver Grove Heights MN?

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

Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota

Inver Grove Heights is 9 miles (14 km) southeast of Saint Paul; nearby communities are South St. Paul, West St. Paul, Sunfish Lake, Eagan, Newport, and Saint Paul Park (the last two across the Mississippi River).

After the signing of the Treaty of Traverse des Sioux in 1851, settlers from Ireland and Germany quickly staked claims in the rolling countryside west of the Mississippi River. Those of Irish descent farmed the eastern part of the community, while Germans cleared the wooded land to the west for their farms. French and English settlers built their homes along the river. The township of Inver Grove Heights was named after the Irish fishing village of Inver and the German town of Grove.[7] Records show that 240 farms, four churches, and four school districts were founded by 1880.[8]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 30.12 square miles (78.01 km2), of which 27.76 square miles (71.90 km2) is land and 2.36 square miles (6.11 km2) is water.[9]

School for HVAC Inver Grove Heights MN

Choosing the ideal HVAC school program is an important first step toward a gratifying career in the heating and air conditioning industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding School for HVAC. However, as we have discussed in this article, you need to select an Heating and Cooling vocational school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC trade. Other features to search for are sufficient practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should check out each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to tour the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Also, inquire about scheduling options and if evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to ask about financial assistance and student loan options as well. If you ask the proper questions as we have detailed in our guidelines for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC specialist in Inver Grove Heights MN.

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