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What to Ask Heating and Cooling Certification Classes
Once you have selected the type of certificate or degree that you would like to attain, either online or on campus, you can start to decrease your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Atmore AL area and across the Country to select from. That's why it is extremely important to have a checklist of key qualifiers when making school evaluations. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the first two variables you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Atmore AL area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, such as HVAC technology. Make certain that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you acquire an excellent education, it can assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many states require that the HVAC training course 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 or portion of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate may signify that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It could also suggest that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It's similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of graduates, which can result in more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Atmore AL HVAC employers to help students acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC training programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC businesses or labor unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with local Atmore AL HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC technician you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Atmore AL HVAC contractor if they can provide some tips. Also bear in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Atmore AL 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 desirable that you receive as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Talk with some of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with a few of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Atmore AL, confirm that the schools you are considering offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.