How to Enroll In the Right HVAC Certification Class Near Camp Verde Arizona
Once you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next step is to locate an HVAC trade school near Camp Verde AZ. But with so many to select from, how do you pick the ideal one to obtain the training that you need? A number of potential students will make their selection based solely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Although these are significant considerations, they are not the only ones to investigate. Some of the other details that you need to research are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and other benchmarks will be discussed in more detail later within this article. But before we tackle how to select an HVAC vocational school, let's look at what a heating and a/c technician does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Classes
There are a variety of alternatives available for HVAC training in a technical or vocational school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor's Degree. Earning a certificate will take the minimum period of time, often achieved in just six months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree training programs may provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will provide more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief summary of each option offered near Camp Verde Az.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They provide a strong foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more comprehensive knowledge of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually requiring 2 years to finish, some degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor's Degree in HVAC is tailored more towards a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional 4 year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Choosing the ideal credential program will be dependent on what your future career aspirations are, together with the time and money that you have to invest. One approach is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the trade in Camp Verde AZ, subsequently going back to acquire a Bachelor's Degree. If this is your tactic, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Training
Choosing an HVAC school online is one possibility to attaining your education and receiving a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. Some also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes can be attended via the internet, this option may be a more accessible solution for some Camp Verde AZ students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even travelling expenses from Camp Verde and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family obligations have left you with little time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to fit school into your hectic schedule.
HVAC Licensing and Certification
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the business that stands for "Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning". HVAC techs provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, however each state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Attaining professional certification is not compulsory, but an optional means for Camp Verde AZ HVAC technicians to demonstrate that they are highly qualified and accomplished in their area of specialization. There are a number of recognized certifications within the industry that are available. Below are a few of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is earned by passing a competency exam and can be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience in addition to passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience as well as a passing score on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are made available in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for techs that work with refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing might be mandated in your location, and you may also desire to earn certification, it's essential that you choose an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be handling refrigerants, make sure that the school you choose preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
Questions to Ask Heating and Cooling Training Classes
As soon as you have selected the type of certificate or degree that you want to earn, either online or on campus, you can begin to limit your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous HVAC trade schools in the Camp Verde AZ area and throughout the USA to choose from. That's why it is extremely important to have a checklist of relevant qualifiers when making school evaluations. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the initial two aspects you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you will want to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Camp Verde AZ area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Make sure that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it can help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate may suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It could also mean that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It's also imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which may mean more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Camp Verde AZ HVAC employers to assist grads acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC technical programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling businesses or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Camp Verde AZ HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC specialist you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Camp Verde AZ HVAC contractor if they can provide some tips. Also keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Camp Verde AZ home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It's desirable that you get as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Speak to a few of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with a few of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
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 Camp Verde AZ, check that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.
Earn Your Heating and Cooling Degree or Certificate
Choosing the ideal HVAC school course is an important first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating and cooling field. As we have discussed in this article, you need to choose an HVAC technical school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC trade. Other factors to search for are plenty of hands-on training and modern facilities. You should check out each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. In addition, inquire about scheduling choices and if night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don't forget to ask about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the right questions as we have laid out in our checklist for evaluating schools, you'll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC contractor in Camp Verde AZ.