How to Find the Right HVAC Certification Course near Glenwood Alabama
Now that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and cooling specialist, the next action is to find an HVAC trade school near Glenwood AL. But with so many to pick from, how do you select the best one to receive the training that you need? Many potential students will make their decision based solely on the cost of tuition or how close the heating and cooling school is to their residence. Even though these are necessary concerns, they are not the only ones to investigate. Some of the other things 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 criteria will be addressed in more detail later within this article. But before we explore how to pick an HVAC training program, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling technician does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, however every state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Acquiring professional certification is not required, but an alternative means for Glenwood AL HVAC technicians to demonstrate that they are exceptionally skilled and experienced in their area of specialization. There are several recognized certifications within the industry that are available. Following are a few of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is achieved by passing a proficiency exam and can be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience in addition to passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience along with a passing result on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are offered in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for techs that work with refrigerants. There are three forms of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing might be required in your area, and you may also wish to earn certification, it’s essential that you enroll in an HVAC vocational school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be handling refrigerants, make certain that the Glenwood AL area school you decide on preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Courses
There are several choices offered in Glenwood AL for HVAC training in a technical or trade school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the least amount of time, often accomplished in as little as six months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive edge in the job market and will furnish more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a short explanation of each option.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among Glenwood AL entry level commercial or residential 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 exhaustive background of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually requiring two years to finish, many degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more for a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional four year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Choosing the right credential program will be dependent on what your long term career aspirations are, along with the time and money that you have to commit. One approach is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field later returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make certain to ask the Glenwood AL HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online School Options
Choosing an HVAC program online is one approach to attaining your education and earning a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete hands on training. A number also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes can be attended online, this approach may be a more convenient solution for many Glenwood AL students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are more economical than other on campus options. Even travelling expenses from Glenwood and study materials can be reduced, helping to make schooling more affordable. And numerous online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family commitments 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 hectic lifestyle.
Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Courses
As soon as you have decided on the type of degree or certificate that you would like to attain, either online or on campus, you can start to limit your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of HVAC trade schools near Glenwood AL and all over the USA to select from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of important qualifications when making school comparisons. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the first 2 variables you will take into consideration. 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 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, for instance HVAC technology. Make certain that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you acquire a superior education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools near Glenwood AL. Furthermore, some states require that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning 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 low completion rate might indicate that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It might also mean that the teachers were not competent 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 alumni, which may produce more contacts for the school to utilize for their Glenwood AL 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 contacts to help graduates secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC technical programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Glenwood AL Heating and Cooling businesses or labor unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with local HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC tech you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local HVAC contracting company if they can give you some tips. Additionally keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Glenwood AL residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there might be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Speak to a few of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is in Alabama and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Glenwood AL, 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 allows part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Heating and Air Conditioning Tech?When getting ready to interview for a Heating and Cooling job, it's helpful to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the things that interviewers often ask HVAC prospects is "What compelled you to decide on Heating and Air Conditioning as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming a Heating and Cooling Contractor, but also what characteristics and talents you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to Heating and Air Conditioning, along with a certain number of typical interview questions, so you need to ready several approaches about how you would like to address them. Given that there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the strengths you have that make you an exceptional HVAC Contractor and the ideal choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down a few concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can help you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
Select the Right HVAC Tech College in Glenwood Alabama
Enrolling in the ideal HVAC training program is a crucial first step toward a gratifying career in the heating and air conditioning field. As we have discussed in this post, you should select a vocational school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC trade. Other features to search for are lots of practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to visit each of the schools personally 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 instruction and the interaction between them. In addition, inquire about scheduling choices and whether night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the right questions as we have laid out in our guidelines for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC specialist in Glenwood AL.
Some Infomation on Glenwood Alabama
Glenwood is a town in Crenshaw County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 187. Glenwood was incorporated in 1907.
Glenwood is located in eastern Crenshaw County at 31°40′4″N 86°10′30″W / 31.66778°N 86.17500°W / 31.66778; -86.17500 (31.667771, −86.174962).
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 0.73 square miles (1.9 km2), of which 0.004 square miles (0.01 km2), or 0.01%, is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 191 people, 92 households, and 58 families residing in the town. The population density was 262.8 people per square mile (101.0/km²). There were 118 housing units at an average density of 162.3 per square mile (62.4/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 69.11% White, 29.84% Black or African American, and 1.05% from two or more races. 0.52% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
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