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What to Ask HVAC Trade Schools

Fairhope Alabama Heating and Cooling technician installing water heater

Once you have chosen the type of degree or certificate that you want to obtain, either on campus or online, you can start to narrow down your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are many HVAC vocational schools in the Fairhope AL area and all over the Country to choose from. That's why it is imperative to have a list of key qualifications when making school evaluations. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the first 2 aspects you will take into consideration. Following are some additional ones that you should explore before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  A large number of HVAC technical programs in the Fairhope AL area 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, such as HVAC technology. Confirm that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you receive a superior education, it may help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of states mandate 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 finish the course. A low completion rate could signify that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It might also mean that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It's similarly important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of graduates, which can mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Fairhope AL HVAC employers to help graduates acquire apprenticeships or employment.

Apprenticeship Programs.  A large number of HVAC trade programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have working relationships with local Fairhope AL HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC technician you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Fairhope AL HVAC company if they can provide some tips. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Fairhope AL home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It's desirable that you get as much individualized training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Talk with some of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with a few of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.

Flexible Scheduling.  Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Fairhope AL, verify that the schools you are looking at provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.

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