How to Choose the Right HVAC Program Near Globe Arizona
Once you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next action is to find an HVAC vocational school near Globe AZ. But with so many to select from, how do you decide on the ideal one to receive the training that you need? Many prospective students will make their choice based exclusively on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Although these are necessary concerns, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Some 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. These and additional criteria will be covered in more detail later within this article. But before we tackle how to pick an HVAC vocational school, let's look at what a heating and a/c contractor does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Schools
There are a number of choices available for HVAC training in a vocational or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor's Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the least amount of time, usually achieved in just 6 months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree training programs might provide a competitive edge in the job market and will furnish more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a short explanation of each credential offered near Globe Az.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They provide a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more exhaustive knowledge of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Usually taking two years to complete, a number of degrees feature 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 call for an Associate Degree, while others are a standard four year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Picking the ideal credential program will be dependent on what your future career goals are, in addition to the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One option is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Globe AZ, subsequently going back to obtain a Bachelor's Degree. If this is your strategy, make certain to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Courses Online
Enrolling in an HVAC school online is one option to attaining your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to complete hands on training. A number also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be attended via the internet, this approach may be a more convenient solution for some Globe AZ students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are cheaper than other traditional choices. Even commuting expenses from Globe and study materials can be minimized, helping to make schooling more economical. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family responsibilities have left you with minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your active lifestyle.
HVAC Licensing and Certification
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the business that stands for "Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning". HVAC techs specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, although every state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Acquiring professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary means for Globe AZ HVAC specialists to demonstrate that they are exceptionally qualified and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are many recognized certifications within the trade that are offered. Below are some of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is achieved by passing a proficiency examination and may be received in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of professional experience together with passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience together with a passing score on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are three forms of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing may be mandated in your location, and you may also desire to acquire certification, it's important that you pick an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the school you decide on prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
Questions to Ask HVAC Training Classes
As soon as you have chosen the type of degree or certificate that you desire to obtain, either on campus or online, you can begin to decrease your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many HVAC trade schools in the Globe AZ area and throughout the USA to select from. That's why it is very important to have a checklist of key qualifications when making school evaluations. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the first two aspects you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC vocational programs in the Globe AZ area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Confirm that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, it can help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Also, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate may suggest that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It may also suggest that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which can result in more contacts for the school to utilize 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 field, but also that it has the network of Globe AZ HVAC employers to assist students acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC training programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling contractors or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with local Globe AZ HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC tech you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Globe AZ HVAC contractor if they can provide some suggestions. Additionally keep in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Globe AZ residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It's desirable that you get as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Talk with a few of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Globe AZ, confirm that the schools you are considering offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select allows 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.
Earn Your HVAC Degree or Certificate
Choosing the ideal HVAC training course is a crucial first step toward a gratifying career in the heating & cooling industry. As we have addressed in this article, you need to pick an Heating and Cooling trade school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC profession. Other factors to look for are plenty 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. Try to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Additionally, inquire about scheduling choices and whether or not evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to ask about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the proper questions as we have outlined in our guidelines for evaluating schools, you'll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC professional in Globe AZ.