How to Find the Right Heating and Cooling College near New River Arizona
Now that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and cooling technician, the next action is to look for an HVAC vocational school near New River AZ. But with so many to pick from, how do you decide on the best one to obtain the training that you need? Many future students will make their selection based solely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Even though these are significant concerns, they are not the only ones to investigate. Just some of the other factors 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 additional criteria will be covered in more detail later within this article. But before we examine how to pick an HVAC training program, let’s look at what a heating and cooling specialist does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Professional
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs provide services for 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 requirements. Earning professional certification is not compulsory, but an alternative way for New River AZ HVAC techs to prove that they are exceptionally qualified and experienced in their area of expertise. There are many acknowledged certifications within the trade that are available. Here are some of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is earned by passing a competency examination and can be received in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience together with passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience as well as a passing result on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are provided in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for technicians that work with refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing may be mandated in your location, and you may also desire to earn certification, it’s imperative that you enroll in an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the program you decide on prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Classes
There are a variety of options available for HVAC training in a trade or technical school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, usually accomplished in as little as six months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree programs may provide a competitive edge in the job market and will provide more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief description of each option offered near New River AZ.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They provide a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more exhaustive understanding of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Usually taking 2 years to complete, many degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more for a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a standard 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 appropriate credential program will be based on what your long term career objectives are, as well as the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One approach is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in New River AZ, subsequently going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, be sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Classes
Enrolling in an HVAC school online is one approach to attaining your education and receiving a certificate or degree. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete hands on training. A number also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes may be participated in via the internet, this approach may be a more practical solution for many New River AZ students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even commuting expenses from New River and study supplies can be reduced, helping to make schooling more economical. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family commitments have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to fit school into your hectic schedule.
Questions For HVAC Certification Courses
After 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 probably aware, there are numerous HVAC technical schools in the New River AZ area and all over the United States to choose from. That’s why it is essential to have a checklist of key qualifiers when making school evaluations. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the initial 2 aspects you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you will want to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC vocational programs in the New River AZ area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire 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 and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you receive a superior education, it can help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, some states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Cooling 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 course. A low completion rate might suggest that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It might also suggest that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which may result in more contacts for the school to employ 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 New River AZ HVAC employers to help grads obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC trade programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling businesses or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with local New River AZ HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC tech you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local New River AZ HVAC contractor if they can give you some pointers. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your New River AZ home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult 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. Speak with some of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with a few of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near New River AZ, check that the schools you are considering offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family issues.
Considering an HVAC School near New River AZ?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the New River Arizona area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
New River, Arizona
New River is named after the seasonal wash of the same name, part of the Agua Fria River system which drains into the Salt River. It was founded by Lord Darrell Duppa in 1868 as a stagecoach stop. For many years it was the terminus of the old Black Canyon Highway (now Interstate 17). The pavement ended in New River and continued as a dirt road to the city of Prescott.
New River is located at 33°52′9″N 112°5′9″W / 33.86917°N 112.08583°W / 33.86917; -112.08583 (33.869149, −112.085759). It is bordered by the Tonto National Forest to the north, Cave Creek to the east, Phoenix to the south, and Anthem to the west. The CDP includes the area known as Desert Hills.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 70.8 square miles (183 km2), of which, 70.8 square miles (183 km2) of it is land and 0.01% is water. It includes both Daisy Mountain and Gavilan Peak.
HVAC Certificate Programs New River AZ
Picking the right HVAC school course is a critical first step toward a rewarding career in the heating & cooling trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Certificate Programs. However, as we have discussed in this article, you need to choose an Heating and Cooling technical school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC community. Other features to look for are ample practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should visit each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to explore the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. In addition, inquire about scheduling options and whether or not evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to inquire about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the proper questions as we have detailed in our guidelines for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC professional in New River AZ.
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