How to Select an HVAC Certification Training near Kenai Alaska
Now that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next step is to find an HVAC trade school near Kenai AK. But with so many to select from, how do you choose the right one to obtain the training that you require? A number of potential students will make their choice based solely on the cost of tuition or how near the heating and cooling school is to their home. Although these are important concerns, they are not the only ones to take into account. Just some of the other factors 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 discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we explore how to pick an HVAC trade school, let’s look at what a heating and cooling specialist does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Specialist
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, though every state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Attaining professional certification is not required, but a voluntary means for Kenai AK HVAC technicians to establish that they are highly qualified and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are multiple recognized certifications within the industry that are available. Here are a few of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is earned by passing a proficiency examination and can 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 as well as passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience together with a passing result on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are provided in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for technicians that work with refrigerants. There are three types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing could be mandated in your area, and you may also intend to obtain certification, it’s imperative that you enroll in an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be handling refrigerants, make sure that the Kenai AK area program you decide on readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Classes
There are a number of alternatives available in Kenai AK for HVAC instruction in a trade or technical school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the least amount of time, typically completed in as little as 6 months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree programs may provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will furnish more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short description of each credential.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among Kenai AK entry level commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more detailed background of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally taking 2 years to complete, some 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 4 year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Selecting the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your future career goals are, in addition to the time and money that you have to commit. One possibility is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field later returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make sure to ask the Kenai AK HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Courses Online
Choosing an HVAC program online is one approach to obtaining your education and earning a degree or certificate. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. Many also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes can be participated in via the internet, this option may be a more practical solution for some Kenai AK students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are more economical than other on campus choices. Even driving expenses from Kenai and study materials may be minimized, helping to make schooling more affordable. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family responsibilities have left you with minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your hectic lifestyle.
Questions For HVAC Colleges
As soon as you have chosen the type of degree or certificate that you wish to obtain, either on campus or online, you can start to narrow down your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many HVAC technical schools near Kenai AK and all over the United States to select from. That’s why it is essential to have a checklist of key qualifications when making school assessments. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the initial two factors you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC vocational schools have received 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 pertains to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Verify that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it can assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools near Kenai AK. Also, a number of 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 considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate could indicate that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It might also indicate that the teachers were not competent to train 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 list of alumni, which may mean more contacts for the school to utilize for their Kenai AK apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of contacts to help graduates obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC trade programs are taught together 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 Kenai AK HVAC companies or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with regional HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC technician you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local HVAC contractor if they can give you some pointers. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Kenai AK home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Talk with several of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with a few of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is in Alaska and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Kenai AK, check that the schools you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Want to Be a Heating and Air Conditioning Specialist?When getting ready to interview for a Heating and Cooling job, it's helpful to consider questions you could be asked. Among the questions that interviewers frequently ask Heating and Cooling candidates is "What made you choose Heating and Air Conditioning as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not only the private reasons you might have for becoming an HVAC Tech, but also what attributes and skills you have that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating exclusively to Heating and Air Conditioning, as well as a significant number of routine interview questions, so you need to organize several ideas about how you want to respond to them. Given that there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the abilities you have that make you an outstanding HVAC Contractor and the best candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down several concepts and talking points that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
Pick the Right HVAC Trade Program in Kenai Alaska
Finding the right HVAC training course is a crucial first step toward a rewarding career in the heating and air conditioning trade. As we have addressed in this article, you need to choose a vocational school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC profession. Other factors to look for are sufficient hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to visit each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Additionally, inquire about scheduling choices and whether or not night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to inquire about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the proper questions as we have detailed in our guidelines for comparing 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 contractor in Kenai AK.
Some Infomation on Kenai Alaska
Kenai (/ˈkiːnaɪ/, KEY-nigh) (Dena'ina: Shk'ituk't) is a city in the Kenai Peninsula Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. The population was 7,100 as of the 2010 census, up from 6,942 in 2000.
The city of Kenai is named after the local Dena'ina (Tanaina) word 'ken' or 'kena', which means 'flat, meadow, open area with few trees; base, low ridge', according to the Dena'ina Topical Dictionary by James Kari, Ph.D., published in 2007. This describes the area along the mouth and portion of the Kenai River near the City of Kenai. Archaeological evidence suggests that the area was first occupied by the Kachemak people from 1000 B.C., until they were displaced by the Dena'ina Athabaskan people around 1000 A.D. Before the arrival of the Russians, Kenai was a Dena'ina village called Shk'ituk't, meaning "where we slide down." When Russian fur traders first arrived in 1741, about 1,000 Dena'ina lived in the village. The traders called the people "Kenaitze", which is a Russian term for "people of the flats", or "Kenai people". This name was later adopted when they were incorporated as the Kenaitze Indian Tribe in the early 1970s.
In 1786 Pytor Zaikov built Fort Nikolaevskaia for the Lebedev-Lastochkin Company on the site of modern Kenai, being the first European settlement on the Alaskan mainland. Hostilities surfaced between the natives and settlers in 1797, culminating in an incident in which the Dena'ina attacked Fort St. Nicholas, later dubbed the battle of Kenai. Over one hundred deaths occurred from all involved parties. Later, in 1838, the introduction of smallpox killed one half of the Dena'ina population.
In 1869, after the Alaska Purchase, the United States Army established a post called Fort Kenay. It was soon abandoned.
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