How to Find the Right Heating and Cooling Certification Class Near New Kingman Butler Arizona
Now that you have decided on a career as a heating and cooling technician, the next action is to locate an HVAC technical school near New Kingman Butler AZ. But with so many to choose from, how do you choose the ideal one to get the training that you require? Some prospective students will make their decision based entirely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their home. While these are relevant considerations, they are not the only ones to investigate. A few of the other factors 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 other benchmarks will be addressed in more detail later in this article. But before we examine how to choose an HVAC trade school, let's take a look at what a heating and air conditioning technician does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are a number of alternatives available for HVAC instruction in a trade or technical school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor's Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the minimum period of time, often completed in as little as six months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree training programs might provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will furnish more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short summary of each option offered near New Kingman Butler Az.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more detailed background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Generally taking 2 years to finish, a number of degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor's Degree in HVAC is suited more towards 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 cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Picking the right credential program will be dependent on what your long term career aspirations are, together with the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One approach is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in New Kingman Butler AZ, subsequently going back to earn a Bachelor's Degree. If this is your strategy, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Training
Choosing an HVAC program online is one option in obtaining your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. A number also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes may be participated in on the web, this alternative may be a more practical solution for many New Kingman Butler AZ students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even commuting expenses from New Kingman Butler and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family obligations have left you with limited time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to fit school into your busy lifestyle.
Heating and Cooling Licensing and Certification
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the business that stands for "Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning". HVAC professionals provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are generally mandated to be licensed, although each state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Obtaining professional certification is not mandatory, but an optional means for New Kingman Butler AZ HVAC specialists to demonstrate that they are highly proficient and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are multiple acknowledged certifications within the trade that are available. Below are some of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is earned by passing a proficiency exam and may be received in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience as well as passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience as well as a passing score on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are offered in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are three types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing may be required in your location, and you may also desire to obtain certification, it's imperative that you enroll in an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be working with refrigerants, make certain that the school you choose preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Classes
As soon as you have decided on the type of degree or certificate 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 a large number of HVAC technical schools in the New Kingman Butler AZ area and all over the United States to select from. That's why it is very important to have a checklist of important qualifiers when making school assessments. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the initial two aspects you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you need to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC vocational schools in the New Kingman Butler 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 pertains to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Make sure that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you obtain a superior education, it can help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate might suggest that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It may also signify that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It's also essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which can produce more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of New Kingman Butler AZ HVAC employers to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC technical programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC contractors or trade unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with local New Kingman Butler AZ HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC specialist you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local New Kingman Butler AZ HVAC company if they can give you some suggestions. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your New Kingman Butler AZ home. Take note that if you decide to attend 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 one-on-one instruction 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 teachers and students. Talk with a few of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near New Kingman Butler AZ, confirm that the programs you are comparing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earn Your Heating and Cooling Certificate or Degree
Selecting the ideal HVAC training course is a crucial beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating & cooling field. As we have discussed in this article, you should choose an Heating and Cooling trade school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC profession. Other factors to search for are lots of practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should go to each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to tour the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling options and if evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And don't forget to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the proper questions as we have detailed in our checklist for evaluating schools, you'll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC specialist in New Kingman Butler AZ.