There are plenty of issues to look into when picking an HVAC program and trade school for you. 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 anything, decide whether you’re interested in a diploma, a bachelor’s/associate’s degree, or an apprenticeship. A diploma is the quickest route that you can follow. With most trade schools, you can earn this in a matter of 6 to 24 months. However, not all programs and schools are the same, and your education will only matter to employers if it is accredited by industry bodies such as HVAC Excellence and the Partnership for Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration. In addition, you have to gain work experience spanning six month to two years before you will be deemed proficient in HVAC services.
If you want to go for higher education, you can aim for a bachelor’s (takes four years) or associate’s (takes two years) degree for HVAC. Obviously, the longer it takes to finish the program, the more you will learn in school. For instance, not only will you learn about such things as equipment design or construction drawings, but also other areas of study, like physics, literature and other areas that can help hone you as a well-rounded HVAC professional.
Because you will be learning more, your costs will increase too. But remember that when employers decide on promotions, they usually consider higher education, which means you will be able to recoup your costs eventually.
Yet another option you can take when planning to enrol in an HVAC training program and school is apprenticeship. This is practically a integration of classroom instruction and practical job experience that actually pays you in cash. 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. Generally, you need to decide the nature and extent of education that you’re interested in, apart from the amount of cash and time that you are happy to devote for this purpose. The secret to a rewarding HVAC career is to plan it well, compare your options, give yourself time to make comparisons instead of making decisions in a rush.