How to Select the Right HVAC Degree Program near Goodyear Arizona
Once you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner professional, the next action is to look for an HVAC technical school near Goodyear AZ. But with so many to pick from, how do you decide on the best one to get the training that you require? Many prospective students will make their decision based entirely on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their home. While these are relevant considerations, they are not the only ones to investigate. 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. These and additional criteria will be discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we tackle how to pick an HVAC training program, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning contractor does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Professional
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, though every state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Attaining professional certification is not compulsory, but an optional means for Goodyear AZ HVAC technicians to demonstrate that they are exceptionally qualified and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are several respected certifications within the field that are offered. Following are a few of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is attained by passing a competency examination 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 in addition to passing a comprehensive exam are needed 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 made available in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for techs that handle refrigerants. There are three types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing might be required in your location, and you may also desire to earn certification, it’s imperative that you choose an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be handling refrigerants, make certain that the program you pick prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Courses
There are a variety of choices available for HVAC instruction in a technical or vocational school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the lesser period of time, often achieved in as little as six 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 relevant to the position. The degree training programs might provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will provide more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief description of each credential offered near Goodyear AZ.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more extensive knowledge of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically taking two years to finish, a number of 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 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 learn how to design them.
Choosing the ideal credential program will be dependent on what your long term career objectives are, as well as 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 getting some experience in the field in Goodyear AZ, subsequently going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, be sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Schools
Choosing an HVAC program online is one possibility to obtaining your education and receiving a certificate or degree. Nearly 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 instead of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes may be attended on the web, this option may be a more convenient solution for some Goodyear AZ students that are pressed for time. And some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even commuting expenses from Goodyear and study materials may be lessened, helping to make schooling more affordable. And numerous online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family commitments have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it less complicated to fit school into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask HVAC Training Programs
When you have selected the type of degree or certificate that you would like to attain, either on campus or online, you can start to limit your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are numerous HVAC trade schools in the Goodyear AZ area and throughout the United States to select from. That’s why it is essential to have a list of important qualifications when making school evaluations. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the initial two aspects you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you should research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC vocational programs in the Goodyear AZ area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Make sure that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you acquire an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, some states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate could suggest that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It might also signify that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which can mean more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Goodyear AZ HVAC employers to assist grads secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC training programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling businesses or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with local Goodyear AZ HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC tech you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Goodyear AZ HVAC contractor if they can provide some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Goodyear AZ home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may 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 larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Speak to several of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to some of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Goodyear AZ, confirm that the programs you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.
Considering an HVAC School near Goodyear AZ?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Goodyear Arizona area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Goodyear (O'odham: Valin Thak) is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States. It is a suburb of Phoenix and at the 2010 census had a population of 65,275, the third fastest-growing city in Arizona between 1990 and 2000. The 2017 population estimate was 79,858.
In 2008, Goodyear won the All-America City Award, sponsored by the National Civic League. The city is named after the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. The company cultivated extensive farmland here to grow cotton for use in their tires.
Goodyear was established in 1917 with the purchase of 16,000 acres (65 km2) of land by the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company to cultivate cotton for vehicle tire cords. World War II was important to Goodyear in the 1940s as the current Phoenix Goodyear Airport was built, but after the war, the economy suffered. Goodyear became a town on November 19, 1946. At the time, it had 151 homes and 250 apartments, a grocery store, a barber shop, beauty shop and a gas station.
How To Become an HVAC Technician Goodyear AZ
Choosing the ideal HVAC training program is a crucial first step toward a rewarding career in the heating and air conditioning field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding How To Become an HVAC Technician. However, as we have addressed in this article, you need to pick an Heating and Cooling school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC profession. Other things to search for are lots of practical training and modern facilities. You need to go to each of the schools in person 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 teaching and the interaction between them. Also, inquire about scheduling choices and whether or not evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial aid and student loan options also. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have laid out in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC specialist in Goodyear AZ.
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