How to Select the Right Heating and Cooling Certification Class near Tempe Arizona
Now that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next action is to choose an HVAC trade school near Tempe AZ. But with so many to select from, how do you choose the best one to obtain the training that you need? Many prospective students will make their decision based exclusively on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Even though these are relevant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to take into account. A few of the other details that you need to look into are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and additional benchmarks will be discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we examine how to pick an HVAC training program, let’s take a look at what a heating and air conditioning technician does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Contractor
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are generally required to be licensed, though each state and local municipality has its own requirements. Attaining professional certification is not required, but an alternative means for Tempe AZ HVAC technicians to establish that they are highly skilled and experienced in their area of expertise. There are several acknowledged certifications within the field that are offered. Following are a few of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is achieved by passing a proficiency examination and can be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers 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 3 years of experience in addition to a passing score on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for techs that handle refrigerants. There are three forms of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing might be required in your area, and you may also desire to earn certification, it’s essential that you choose an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the program you pick preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Training Programs
There are a variety of options available for HVAC instruction in a technical or vocational school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, usually achieved in just six months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive edge in the job market and will deliver more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief summary of each option offered near Tempe AZ.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more detailed understanding of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically requiring 2 years to finish, some degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more towards a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional 4 year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Picking the ideal credential program will be dependent on what your future career aspirations are, in addition to the time and money that you have to invest. One possibility is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Tempe AZ, eventually returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Classes
Choosing an HVAC program online is one possibility to attaining your education and earning a certificate or degree. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. Some also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes can be participated in via the internet, this option may be a more accessible solution for some Tempe AZ students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are more economical than other on campus options. Even travelling expenses from Tempe and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family responsibilities have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to fit school into your busy schedule.
Questions For HVAC Trade Schools
After you have decided on the type of degree or certificate that you would like to obtain, either online or on campus, you can begin to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Tempe AZ area and across the United States to select from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a checklist of relevant qualifications when making school comparisons. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the initial two factors you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you will want to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Tempe AZ area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Make sure that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you acquire a superior education, it can help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, some states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate may indicate that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It might also suggest that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of graduates, which may result in more contacts for the school to use 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 field, but additionally that it has the network of Tempe AZ HVAC employers to assist graduates obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC training programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC contractors or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local Tempe AZ HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC tech you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Tempe AZ HVAC contractor if they can give you some suggestions. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Tempe AZ home. Take note that if you decide to attend 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 one-on-one instruction 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 large they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Talk with a few of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with some of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Tempe AZ, check that the programs you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering an HVAC School near Tempe AZ?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Tempe Arizona area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Tempe (/tɛmˈpiː/ tem-PEE';Oidbaḍ in O'odham), also known as Hayden's Ferry during the territorial times of Arizona, is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, with the Census Bureau reporting a 2017 population of 185,038. The city is named after the Vale of Tempe in Greece. Tempe is located in the East Valley section of metropolitan Phoenix; it is bordered by Phoenix and Guadalupe on the west, Scottsdale on the north, Chandler on the south, and Mesa on the east. Tempe is also the location of the main campus of Arizona State University.
Fort McDowell was established approximately 25 mi (40 km) northeast of present downtown Tempe on the upper Salt River in 1865 allowing for new towns to be built farther down the Salt River. US military service members and Hispanic workers were hired to grow food and animal feed to supply the fort, and less than a year later, had set up small camps near the river that were the first permanent communities in the Valley after the fall of the Hohokam. (Phoenix was settled shortly afterward, by 1867–68.) The two settlements were 'Hayden's Ferry', named after a ferry service operated by Charles T. Hayden, and 'San Pablo', and were located west and east of Hayden Butte respectively. The ferry became the key river crossing in the area. The Tempe Irrigating Canal Company was soon established by William Kirkland and James McKinney to provide water for alfalfa, wheat, barley, oats, and cotton.
Pioneer Darrell Duppa is credited with suggesting Tempe's name, adopted in 1879, after comparing the Salt River valley near a 300-foot (91 m)-tall butte, to the Vale of Tempe near Mount Olympus in Greece.
HVAC Technician Training Online Tempe AZ
Finding the right HVAC training course is a critical beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating and cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Technician Training Online. However, as we have addressed in this post, you should pick an Heating and Cooling trade school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC field. Other factors to search for are sufficient practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to visit each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to tour the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling options and if night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to inquire about financial aid and student loan options too. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have outlined in our checklist for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC professional in Tempe AZ.
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