Advanced HVAC Training Pequot Lakes MN

How to Choose the Right Heating and Cooling Certificate Program near Pequot Lakes Minnesota

air conditioner condensers in Pequot Lakes MNOnce you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next action is to locate an HVAC trade school near Pequot Lakes MN. But with so many to select from, how do you decide on the right one to obtain the training that you require? Some prospective students will make their choice based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. While these are necessary considerations, they are not the only ones to take into account. Some of the other factors that you need to investigate are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and additional benchmarks will be discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we discuss how to choose an HVAC trade school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling contractor does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Technician

Pequot Lakes MN HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, though each state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Acquiring professional certification is not required, but an optional means for Pequot Lakes MN HVAC specialists to prove that they are highly proficient and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are many respected certifications within the trade that are offered. Following are a few of the important ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is earned by passing a competency examination and can be received in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience in addition to passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience along with a passing result on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are offered in multiple specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is required for techs that work with refrigerants. There are three types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Because licensing might be mandated in your location, and you may also desire to earn certification, it’s essential that you pick an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the school you decide on readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Degree and Certificate Classes

radiator heater in Pequot Lakes MN homeThere are a variety of options offered for HVAC instruction in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the minimum amount of time, typically achieved in as little as 6 months, although some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will provide more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a short explanation of each credential offered near Pequot Lakes MN.

  • Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They furnish a solid 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. Normally requiring 2 years to complete, a number of degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more towards 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 mastering how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.

Picking the appropriate credential program will be based on what your future career goals are, along with the time and money that you have to invest. One approach is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Pequot Lakes MN, subsequently returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Classes Online

Pequot Lakes MN student attending HVAC school onlineChoosing an HVAC program online is one approach in attaining your training and earning a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in hands on training. Some also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes may be attended online, this option may be a more accessible solution for many Pequot Lakes MN students that are pressed for time. And some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even travelling expenses from Pequot Lakes and study materials can be reduced, helping to make schooling more affordable. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family obligations have left you with limited time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your busy lifestyle.

What to Ask HVAC Training Programs

Questions to ask Pequot Lakes MN HVAC training schoolsAfter you have selected the type of degree or certificate that you would like to earn, either online or on campus, you can start to decrease your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous HVAC trade schools in the Pequot Lakes MN area and across the Country to pick from. That’s why it is imperative to have a checklist of important qualifiers when making school comparisons. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the first two variables you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you should research before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Many HVAC trade programs in the Pequot Lakes MN area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Make certain that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you acquire an excellent education, it can assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Additionally, many 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 percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate may suggest that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It might also suggest that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly essential 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 utilize 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 additionally that it has the network of Pequot Lakes MN HVAC employers to help graduates obtain apprenticeships or employment.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Many HVAC vocational programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling contractors or trade unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with local Pequot Lakes MN HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local 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 currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC specialist you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Pequot Lakes MN HVAC contracting company if they can provide some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Pequot Lakes MN residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s desirable that you get as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Talk with some of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with a few of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.

Flexible Scheduling.  Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Pequot Lakes MN, verify that the schools you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.

Considering an HVAC School near Pequot Lakes MN?

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

Pequot Lakes, Minnesota

Pequot Lakes (/ˈpiːkwɑːt ˈleɪks/ PEE-kwaht LAYKS) is a city in Crow Wing County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 2,162 at the 2010 census.[5] It is part of the Brainerd Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Pequot Lakes was platted in March 1900. It was named by a postal official for the first Indian-sounding name he thought of, which is the name of a former tribe of Algonquian Indians in eastern Connecticut. A post office was established at Pequot Lakes in 1896.[6]

According to the Pequot Lakes Heritage Preservation Commission, the city once called Sibley and Frogtown was renamed as Pequot. In 1900, Walter and Flora Brown filed their plat for the E 1/2 of the SW 1/4 section 10 in T136N-R29W under the title Pequot. The Pequot Indians are a tribe that used to dominate southeastern New England before the English colonists arrived. While no Pequot tribe members lived in Minnesota, they spoke an Algonquian language related to that of the local Chippewa (Ojibwe) tribes. Author Herman Melville named his lead ship in his novel Moby-Dick as the Pequod.

Advanced HVAC Training Pequot Lakes MN

Enrolling in the ideal HVAC training program is a crucial beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating and cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Advanced HVAC Training. However, as we have discussed in this post, you should select an HVAC technical school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC trade. Other things to look for are ample practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should go to each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to explore 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 don’t forget to inquire about financial aid and student loan options too. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have laid out in our checklist for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC professional in Pequot Lakes MN.

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