How to Pick the Right Heating and Cooling School near Grand Canyon Arizona
Now that you have decided on a career as a heating and cooling professional, the next step is to locate an HVAC trade school near Grand Canyon AZ. But with so many to select from, how do you pick the best one to obtain the training that you need? A number of future students will make their choice based entirely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Although these are relevant concerns, they are not the only ones to evaluate. 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 addressed in more detail later within this article. But before we explore how to pick an HVAC technical school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling contractor does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Pro
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, though each state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Attaining professional certification is not mandatory, but an alternative way for Grand Canyon AZ HVAC specialists to prove that they are exceptionally qualified and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are many recognized certifications within the industry that are available. Following are a few of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is earned by passing a competency exam 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 field experience in addition to passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience in addition to a passing score on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are provided in multiple 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 other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing might be mandated in your location, and you may also wish to acquire certification, it’s important that you enroll in an HVAC technical 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 readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Classes
There are a variety of alternatives available for HVAC instruction in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, typically achieved in just 6 months, however some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs may provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will deliver more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief explanation of each option offered near Grand Canyon AZ.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more comprehensive background of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically requiring two years to complete, some degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more for a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a standard four year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.
Selecting the ideal credential program will be based on what your future career aspirations are, along with the time and money that you have to invest. One possibility is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Grand Canyon AZ, later going back to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, be sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Schools
Attending an HVAC school online is one possibility to getting your training and earning a certificate or degree. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in hands on training. Many also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be attended via the internet, this option may be a more practical solution for many Grand Canyon AZ students that are pressed for time. And some online degree programs are cheaper than other traditional options. Even commuting expenses from Grand Canyon and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family commitments have left you with limited time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your active schedule.
Questions For HVAC Training Programs
As soon as you have selected the type of degree or certificate that you wish to acquire, either online or on campus, you can start to decrease your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are a large number of HVAC technical schools in the Grand Canyon AZ area and throughout the USA to pick from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of key qualifications when making school evaluations. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the initial 2 variables you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you should explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC trade schools in the Grand Canyon AZ area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as 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. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a superior education, it can help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate may signify that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It may also mean that the instructors were not qualified 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 directory of alumni, which may produce more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Grand Canyon AZ HVAC employers to help students obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC technical programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC contractors or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with local Grand Canyon AZ HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC technician you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Grand Canyon AZ HVAC contracting company if they can provide some suggestions. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Grand Canyon AZ residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much individualized training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Speak with some of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise 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 are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Grand Canyon AZ, check that the programs you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.
Considering an HVAC School near Grand Canyon AZ?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Grand Canyon Arizona area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
The Grand Canyon (Hopi: Ongtupqa;Yavapai: Wi:kaʼi:la, Navajo: Bidááʼ Haʼaztʼiʼ Tsékooh,Spanish: Gran Cañón) is a steep-sided canyon carved by the Colorado River in Arizona, United States. The Grand Canyon is 277 miles (446 km) long, up to 18 miles (29 km) wide and attains a depth of over a mile (6,093 feet or 1,857 meters).
The canyon and adjacent rim are contained within Grand Canyon National Park, the Kaibab National Forest, Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument, the Hualapai Indian Reservation, the Havasupai Indian Reservation and the Navajo Nation. President Theodore Roosevelt was a major proponent of preservation of the Grand Canyon area, and visited it on numerous occasions to hunt and enjoy the scenery.
Nearly two billion years of Earth's geological history have been exposed as the Colorado River and its tributaries cut their channels through layer after layer of rock while the Colorado Plateau was uplifted. While some aspects about the history of incision of the canyon are debated by geologists, several recent studies support the hypothesis that the Colorado River established its course through the area about 5 to 6 million years ago. Since that time, the Colorado River has driven the down-cutting of the tributaries and retreat of the cliffs, simultaneously deepening and widening the canyon.
Online HVAC School Grand Canyon AZ
Choosing the right HVAC school course is a critical beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating & cooling industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Online HVAC School. However, as we have covered in this post, you need to select an HVAC training program and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC field. Other factors to look for are ample 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. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling choices and whether or not night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options as well. If you ask the right questions as we have outlined in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC technician in Grand Canyon AZ.
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