You need to consider several issues when selecting an 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 anything, decide whether you’re interested in a diploma, a bachelor’s/associate’s degree, or an apprenticeship. If you want to take the shortest route, you can aim for 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. Also, after getting your HVAC diploma from a trade school, you have to gain six months to two years of experience before you can be considered proficient in HVAC.
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. Of course, the more time you spend in HVAC school, the more you’ll learn. 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.
Naturally, because you learn more, you pay more as well. But take note that promotions are often based on higher education, so you can consider this route as a career investment.
Yet another option you can take when planning to enrol in an HVAC training program and school is apprenticeship. This is practically a mix of classroom instruction and on-the-job training that actually pays. The rate is usually half of what a fully qualified worker would make on the job, but consider that after your apprenticeship, you will have gained so much experience as a professional. Furthermore, as soon as you finish your apprenticeship, you won’t have to get any more experience before you are deemed proficient.
A requirement for getting an apprenticeship is sponsorship by certain organizations like Air-Conditioning Contractors of America, and the United Association of Journeymen and the Associated Builders and Contractors, among many others.
As you can see, there are a few things that you should take into account when looking for the right HVAC program and trade school. 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 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.