Tips for Choosing the Right HVAC Program and Trade School
You have to make a few considerations when choosing a particular HVAC training program and trade school. After all, each one is unique, and they can’t all work right for you, depending on the goals you’ve set for yourself.
Before you proceed, first decide which credential you’re aiming for – a diploma course, an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, or an apprenticeship. The shortest route is none other than a diploma. Trade schools can let you earn this one after just six months to two years. However, make sure you pick the right program and school as employers will only recognize your education if your program is accredited by industry bodies like the National Center for Construction Education and Research and HVAC Excellence. As well, you need to acquire work experience equivalent to six months to two years before you can be considered HVAC-proficient.
If you’re aiming for higher HVAC education, you can shoot for an associate’s (good for two years) or bachelor’s degree (good for four years) for HVAC workers. Obviously, the longer it takes to finish the program, the more you will learn in school. For instance, besides construction and mechanical drawing, you will also learn about math and science, humanities, and other fields that can give you better rounded education.
Of course, because you will be earning more comprehensive education, your costs will also increase. But remember that when employers decide on promotions, they usually consider higher education, which means you will be able to recoup your costs eventually.
Your third option when checking out HVAC programs and schools is apprenticeship. This one is essentially a combination of classroom instruction and paid on-the-job training. You will be paid about half of what a fully qualified worker receives, but at this point, it is not the pay that should count the most but the experience instead. Furthermore, as soon as you finish your apprenticeship, you won’t have to get any more experience before you are deemed proficient.
To gain apprenticeship, however, you need to be sponsored by such organizations as the Air-Conditioning Contractors of America, the Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association, and more.
Clearly, there are a few considerations that must be made before you decide on an HVAC program and trade school for you. In general, you’d like to figure out for yourself how much education and experience you would like to gain, as well as how much time and money you can spend for the pursuit. The idea is to take your time, study your options and compare them before making your final choice.
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