How to Choose the Right Heating and Cooling College near Kingman Arizona
Once you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next action is to locate an HVAC trade school near Kingman 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 selection based solely on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Although these are important considerations, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Just some of the other things that you need to investigate are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and other criteria will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we tackle how to choose an HVAC trade school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling technician does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Professional
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, though each state and local municipality has its own criteria. Obtaining professional certification is not required, but an alternative way for Kingman AZ HVAC specialists to prove that they are highly proficient and accomplished in their area of specialization. There are several recognized certifications within the field that are offered. Following are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is earned 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 as well as passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience together with a passing result on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are made available in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for techs 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 might be mandated in your area, and you may also intend to obtain certification, it’s imperative that you select an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the school you decide on prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Schools
There are a variety of alternatives offered for HVAC training in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, typically achieved in as little as six months, although some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree training programs may provide a competitive edge in the job market and will provide more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief explanation of each credential offered near Kingman AZ.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level residential or commercial HVAC specialists. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more extensive understanding of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Generally taking two years to complete, some degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more for a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional 4 year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Picking the right credential program will be dependent on what your long term career aspirations are, as well as 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 getting some experience in the field in Kingman AZ, subsequently returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Courses
Enrolling in an HVAC program online is one option in getting your education and receiving a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in hands on training. Some also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes may be attended on the web, this approach may be a more accessible solution for some Kingman AZ students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are less expensive than other traditional alternatives. Even driving expenses from Kingman and study supplies can be minimized, helping to make schooling more affordable. And a large number of online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family commitments have left you with minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to fit school into your busy schedule.
What to Ask HVAC Certification Courses
When you have chosen the type of degree or certificate that you would like to attain, either on campus or online, you can start to decrease your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are a large number of HVAC technical schools in the Kingman AZ area and all over the USA to choose from. That’s why it is imperative to have a checklist of important qualifications when making school evaluations. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the first two factors you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you should explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC technical schools in the Kingman AZ area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, such as HVAC technology. Verify that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you acquire a quality education, it can help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, some 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 considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate may suggest that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It may also indicate that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which may result in more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Kingman AZ HVAC employers to help students obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC technical programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC businesses or trade unions. Check if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with local Kingman AZ HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are currently 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 Kingman AZ HVAC contracting company if they can provide some suggestions. Also bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Kingman 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 fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Talk with some of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with a few of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Kingman AZ, verify that the programs you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family issues.
Considering an HVAC School near Kingman AZ?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Kingman Arizona area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Kingman (Huwaalyapay Nyava in the Mojave language) is a city in and the county seat of Mohave County, Arizona, United States. According to the 2010 census, the population of the city is 28,068. The nearby communities of Butler, and Golden Valley bring the Kingman area total population to over 45,000. Kingman is located about 105 miles (169 km) southeast of Las Vegas, Nevada and about 165 miles (266 km) northwest of the state capital, Phoenix.
Lt. Edward Fitzgerald Beale, a U.S. Navy officer in the service of the U.S. Army Corps of Topographical Engineers, was ordered by the U.S. War Department to build a federal wagon road across the 35th Parallel. His secondary orders were to test the feasibility of the use of camels as pack animals in the southwestern desert. Beale traveled through the present day Kingman in 1857 surveying the road and in 1859 to build the road. Beale's Wagon Road became part of Highway 66 and Interstate Highway 40. Remnants of the wagon road can still be seen in White Cliffs Canyon in Kingman.
Kingman, Arizona, was founded in 1882, when Arizona was still Arizona Territory. Situated in the Hualapai Valley between the Cerbat and Hualapai mountain ranges, Kingman is known for its very modest beginnings as a simple railroad siding near Beale’s Springs in the Middleton Section along the newly constructed route of the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad. The city of Kingman was named for Lewis Kingman, who surveyed along the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad's right-of-way between Needles, Calif., and Albuquerque, N.M. Lewis Kingman supervised the building of the railroad from Winslow, Ariz. to Beale's Springs, which is near the present location of the town of Kingman.
HVAC Degree Online Kingman AZ
Selecting the right HVAC school course is a crucial beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating and cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Degree Online. However, as we have covered in this article, you need to pick an Heating and Cooling vocational school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC field. Other features to look for are plenty of practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to check out each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Also, inquire about scheduling options and if night 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 right 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 appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC professional in Kingman AZ.
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HVAC Technician Training Courses & Online Classes
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