How to Pick the Right HVAC Degree Program near Mohave Valley Arizona
Once you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning professional, the next step is to find an HVAC technical school near Mohave Valley AZ. But with so many to select from, how do you decide on the right one to receive the training that you need? Some prospective students will make their selection based exclusively on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their home. While these are necessary concerns, 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. Those and other benchmarks will be discussed 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 a/c technician does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Professional
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, although every state and local municipality has its own requirements. Earning professional certification is not required, but an optional way for Mohave Valley AZ HVAC technicians to demonstrate that they are highly proficient and experienced in their area of specialization. There are a number of acknowledged certifications within the industry that are available. Below are some 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 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 in addition to passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience along with a passing score on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are three forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing might be mandated in your location, and you may also wish to obtain certification, it’s imperative that you pick an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be handling refrigerants, make sure that the program you pick prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Classes
There are a variety of choices available for HVAC training in a trade or technical school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the least period of time, often completed in as little as six months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree training programs might provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will provide more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short explanation of each option offered near Mohave Valley AZ.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They provide a solid foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more detailed understanding of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Normally 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 geared more towards a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a standard four year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning 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, in addition to 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 trade in Mohave Valley AZ, subsequently returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Training Online
Choosing an HVAC program online is one alternative in attaining your training and earning a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to complete hands on training. Many also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes may be participated in online, this alternative may be a more practical solution for many Mohave Valley AZ students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are more economical than other traditional alternatives. Even travelling expenses from Mohave Valley and study supplies may be reduced, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family obligations have left you with minimal time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your busy schedule.
Questions For HVAC Training Classes
Once you have picked the type of degree or certificate that you wish to obtain, either online or on campus, you can start to limit your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Mohave Valley AZ area and all over the Country to pick from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of key qualifications when making school evaluations. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the initial 2 factors you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC trade programs in the Mohave Valley 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 relates to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Confirm that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you get a superior education, it may help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, many states require 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 or portion of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate could indicate that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It might 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 broader directory 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 will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Mohave Valley AZ HVAC employers to assist students acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC trade programs are taught along 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 HVAC contractors or labor unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with local Mohave Valley AZ HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC tech you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Mohave Valley AZ HVAC contractor if they can provide some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Mohave Valley AZ residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much personalized training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak with some of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with a few of the instructors and learn 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 meet your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Mohave Valley AZ, confirm that the schools you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.
Considering an HVAC School near Mohave Valley AZ?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Mohave Valley Arizona area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Mohave Valley, Arizona
Mohave Valley ('Amat' 'Analy Uuhwely in Mojave) is a census-designated place (CDP) in Mohave County, Arizona, United States. The population was 13,694 at the 2000 census. It is geographically connected to Needles, California, Fort Mohave, Arizona, and Bullhead City, Arizona.
The first recorded European to come through Mohave Valley was Melchor Díaz. He documented his travels in northwestern Mohave County in 1540. He recounts meeting a large population of natives who referred to themselves as the Pipa Aha Macav, meaning "People by the River". From "Aha Macav" came the shortened name "Mojave" (also spelled "Mohave"). While Mohave Valley and Mohave County use the modern English spelling, the tribe retains the traditional Spanish spelling "Mojave". Both are correct, and both are pronounced "Moh-hah-vee".
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 45.4 square miles (118 km2), of which, 45.3 square miles (117 km2) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) of it (0.35%) is water.
Heating and Air Conditioning Classes Mohave Valley AZ
Picking the right HVAC training program 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 Heating and Air Conditioning Classes. However, as we have addressed in this article, you need to select an Heating and Cooling school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC trade. Other factors to look for are lots of hands-on training and modern facilities. You should go to each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to inspect 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. In addition, ask about scheduling choices and if night or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to ask about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the right questions as we have laid out in our guidelines for comparing 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 eventually become a licensed HVAC professional in Mohave Valley AZ.
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