How to Enroll In the Best Heating and Cooling Training Program Near Camp Verde Arizona
Once you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner professional, the next step is to find an HVAC vocational school near Camp Verde AZ. But with so many to choose from, how do you choose the ideal one to obtain the training that you need? Some prospective students will make their decision based entirely on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. Although these are relevant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to evaluate. A few of the other things that you need to research are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and additional benchmarks will be addressed in more detail later within this article. But before we discuss how to choose an HVAC technical school, let's look at what a heating and cooling technician does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Schools
There are a variety of choices offered for HVAC training in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor's Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the minimum period of time, typically accomplished in just six months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for most 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 in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief explanation of each option offered near Camp Verde Az.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more exhaustive knowledge of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually taking 2 years to complete, many degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor's Degree in HVAC is geared more for a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a standard four year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.
Picking the ideal credential program will be based on what your future career aspirations are, in addition to the time and money that you have to invest. One option is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Camp Verde AZ, later returning to obtain a Bachelor's Degree. If this is your tactic, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Courses Online
Attending an HVAC program online is one approach in obtaining your training and receiving a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in hands on training. Some also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be participated in via the internet, this alternative may be a more accessible solution for many Camp Verde AZ students that are pressed for time. And some online degree programs are more economical than other traditional options. Even commuting expenses from Camp Verde and study supplies may be lessened, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And numerous online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family commitments have left you with little time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it less complicated to fit school into your hectic schedule.
Heating and Cooling Licensing and Certification
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the trade that stands for "Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning". HVAC professionals specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, although every state and local municipality has its own requirements. Attaining professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary way for Camp Verde AZ HVAC techs to establish that they are exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are a number of acknowledged certifications within the industry that are offered. Below are a few of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is earned by passing a competency exam and may be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience together with passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience along with a passing score on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are provided in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing could be required in your area, and you may also intend to acquire certification, it's essential that you choose an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the program you pick readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
What to Ask HVAC Certification Classes
After you have decided on the type of degree or certificate that you desire to acquire, either on campus or online, you can begin to limit your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Camp Verde AZ area and across the USA to choose from. That's why it is imperative to have a list of important qualifications when making school evaluations. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the first 2 variables you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you need to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC trade schools in the Camp Verde AZ area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Confirm that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you get a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of states require that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate may signify that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It may also indicate that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which can produce more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Camp Verde AZ HVAC employers to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC vocational programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling contractors or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with local Camp Verde AZ HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC specialist you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Camp Verde AZ HVAC company if they can provide some suggestions. Also bear in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Camp Verde AZ home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It's desirable that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Talk with some of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Camp Verde AZ, verify that the programs you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Get Your HVAC Degree or Certificate
Selecting the ideal HVAC school program is a crucial beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating and air conditioning trade. As we have addressed in this post, you should choose an Heating and Cooling school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC trade. Other things to look for are lots of hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should go to each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Additionally, ask about scheduling options and if night or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to ask about financial aid and student loan options too. If you ask the right questions as we have detailed in our guidelines for comparing schools, you'll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC contractor in Camp Verde AZ.