If you’ve determined that a career as an HVAC technician is something you want to pursue, choosing the right HVAC School is one of the most important decisions you’ll have to consider. There are a number of things you’ll need to factor in, from whether you want to study in a classroom setting or take classes online to budget considerations and how long you want to take to complete you studies. We’ll take a look at these issues and a few others in our HVAC Schools Review below.
Do You Really Need to go to HVAC School to become an HVAC Technician?
It is true that some HVAC professionals have acquired their skill sets in settings other than a classroom. Perhaps they are self-taught from fixing things around their own homes, or perhaps they had a parent that was handy around the house and they learned by watching and helping while they were growing up.
Others perhaps grew up in a family business and knew everything about hot water heaters and air conditioning units before they were old enough to drive. Even if one of these scenarios describes you perfectly, there are still distinct advantages to pursuing an HVAC training or HVAC certification program.
First of all, HVAC installation and repair is a competitive field. The amount of education and certifications a technician or business can claim and place in advertising, will only enhance the reputation of that business.
One must also consider the state or area of expertise they want to do business in. Most states and municipalities will require some sort of licensing or certification before someone engages in business pertaining to HVAC installation and repair. Also certain areas of HVAC require specific licensing and certifications. For example, those wanting to practice in the area of refrigeration repair are required to have a specialization certification issued by the Environmental Protection Agency. Many trade and HVAC schools have programs specifically designed to prepare for this EPA certification.
HVAC Schools – Online vs. Classroom
HVAC training is typically offered in trade and vocational schools and community college environments. The question you’ll need to ask yourself is what works better for you: a traditional classroom setting or taking classes online?
There’s no doubt that some people typically perform better in traditional classroom settings. For some it’s the structure one gets from a traditional setting while others simply enjoy the camaraderie of other students and the face to face interaction with instructors. But as fulfilling as a traditional setting can be, sometimes it simply doesn’t fit the needs of the student that is attempting to balance life, work and family.
For students that require more flexibility, many of today’s HVAC schools offer the convenience of online, or as it’s commonly referred to, distance learning. Distance learning affords student to attend classes in a virtual online environment from anywhere they can get an internet connection. Much of the classwork in online situations can be performed at the student’s convenience, meaning that they are free from the rigors of a traditional school schedule.
Whether you decide upon a traditional or online HVAC school, you can find plenty of each option by using the search feature at the top of this page.
HVAC Careers – More Than Just Heating and AC
HVAC technicians represent a wide range of repair and installation professionals. Apart from the traditional roles and specializations, here are some you might want to consider as you’re choosing your HVAC School:
Boilermakers assemble, repair and install large vats that contain gases and hot liquids. This is a job that is typically performed in high stress and somewhat dangerous environments. As a result, boilermakers are a well-compensated profession, with The U.S. Department of Labor Statistics estimating their 2010 median wage at $54,640.
Most Electricians obtain their position through an apprenticeship program, but formal training through a trade or vocational school is always a good start. Electricians are responsible for the maintenance of electrical system in homes and businesses and had a median 2010 salary of $48,250.
Plumbers, Pipefitters and Steamfitters
These professionals work to maintain the pipes and plumbing systems that carry water and gasses through the many homes and business throughout the country. Most of these positions are acquired through an apprenticeship and on the job training, but starting at a trade or vocational school can give those seeking these roles a big advantage over the competition. The median 2010 salary for plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters was $46,660.
Making HVAC School Affordable
The position of HVAC technician can be a lucrative one. According to the United States Department of Labor Statistics, the median wage for HVAC techs was $42,530 in 2010. Attending a quality HVAC school can only enhance your opportunities and earning potential.
So what do you do when you don’t have the necessary funds to get started? The good news is that there are number of financial aid options available to students of trade and vocational schools.
One thing that’s easy to do is check out the Free Application for Student Aid or FAFSA. You can also contact the financial aid office of the vocational or HVAC School where you plan to enroll. They may already have a lot of financial aid programs in place that could help you finance your education.
Getting started is Easy
So if you’ve read this far and have decided that HVAC classes are just what you need to get an edge on the competition, why not get started today? To find more information on HVAC Schools near you, you can use the search feature at the top of this page.