How to Find the Right HVAC College near Palo Verde Arizona
Now that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next step is to find an HVAC trade school near Palo Verde AZ. But with so many to pick from, how do you select the right one to receive the training that you need? Some future students will make their selection based solely on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. Even though these are significant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to take into account. Just some of the other things that you need to investigate are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and other criteria will be covered in more detail later within this article. But before we examine how to pick an HVAC technical school, let’s look at what a heating and a/c specialist does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Professional
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors 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 mandated to be licensed, though every state and local municipality has its own criteria. Attaining professional certification is not mandatory, but an alternative way for Palo Verde AZ HVAC techs to establish that they are exceptionally proficient and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are a number of respected certifications within the field that are offered. Below are a few of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is earned by passing a competency exam 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 exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience along with a passing result on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are offered in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are three forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing may be required in your location, and you may also wish to acquire certification, it’s essential that you pick an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be handling refrigerants, make sure that the program you pick preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Schools
There are a number of options available for HVAC instruction in a vocational or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the minimum amount of time, often accomplished in as little as 6 months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will furnish more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief explanation of each option offered near Palo Verde AZ.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They provide a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more comprehensive knowledge 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 suited more for a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional 4 year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.
Selecting the right credential program will be based on what your future career goals are, along with the time and money that you have to invest. One option is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Palo Verde AZ, later going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Training
Attending an HVAC program online is one approach to obtaining your training and receiving a certificate or degree. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in hands on training. A number also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes may be participated in online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution for some Palo Verde AZ students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other traditional alternatives. Even travelling expenses from Palo Verde and study supplies can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family obligations have left you with little time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to fit school into your busy schedule.
Questions For HVAC Certification Classes
Once you have picked the type of degree or certificate that you would like to earn, either on campus or online, you can begin to limit your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Palo Verde AZ area and throughout the Country to pick from. That’s why it is very important to have a checklist of key qualifiers when making school comparisons. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the initial two factors you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you need to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC technical programs in the Palo Verde AZ area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Make sure that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you acquire a superior education, it may help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, some states require that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate could suggest that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It may also suggest that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which may produce more contacts for the school to use 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 field, but also that it has the network of Palo Verde AZ HVAC employers to assist grads acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC vocational programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling businesses or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with local Palo Verde AZ HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying practical 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 instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC tech you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Palo Verde AZ HVAC contractor if they can provide some suggestions. Also keep in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Palo Verde AZ residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Speak to some of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with a few of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Palo Verde AZ, confirm that the programs you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.
Considering an HVAC School near Palo Verde AZ?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Palo Verde Arizona area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station
The Palo Verde Generating Station is a nuclear power plant located near Tonopah, Arizona, in western Arizona. It is located about 45 miles (72 km) due west of downtown Phoenix, Arizona, and it is located near the Gila River, which is dry save for the rainy season in late summer.
The Palo Verde Generating Station is the largest power plant in the United States by net generation. Its average electric power production is about 3.3 gigawatts (GW), and this power serves about four million people. The Arizona Public Service Company (APS) operates and owns 29.1% of the plant. Its other major owners include the Salt River Project (17.5%), the El Paso Electric Company (15.8%), Southern California Edison (15.8%), PNM Resources (10.2%), the Southern California Public Power Authority (5.9%), and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (5.7%).
The Palo Verde Generating Station is located in the Arizona desert, and is the only large nuclear power plant in the world that is not located near a large body of water. The power plant evaporates the water from the treated sewage from several nearby cities and towns to provide the cooling of the steam that it produces.
HVAC Course Online Palo Verde AZ
Selecting the ideal HVAC school program is a crucial first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating and air conditioning field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Course Online. However, as we have addressed in this article, you should pick an HVAC trade school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC field. Other features to search for are sufficient hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to check out each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to tour the campus and talk 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, ask about scheduling options and if night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial assistance and student loan options as well. If you ask the proper questions as we have outlined in our checklist for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC contractor in Palo Verde AZ.
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