How to Select the Right HVAC Certificate Program near Litchfield Park Arizona
Once you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next action is to locate an HVAC technical school near Litchfield Park AZ. But with so many to choose from, how do you select the best one to get the training that you need? A number of potential students will make their decision based solely on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. While these are necessary considerations, they are not the only ones to investigate. A few of the other factors that you need to research are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and other benchmarks will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we tackle how to pick an HVAC technical school, let’s take a look at what a heating and air conditioning technician does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Professional
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, although every state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Attaining professional certification is not compulsory, but a voluntary way for Litchfield Park AZ HVAC techs to demonstrate that they are highly qualified and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are several respected certifications within the industry that are available. 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 achieved by passing a proficiency exam and can be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience as well as passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience in addition to a passing result on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for technicians that work with refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing could be mandated in your area, and you may also intend to earn certification, it’s essential that you choose an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be handling refrigerants, make certain that the school you select preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree Training Programs
There are a variety of options available for HVAC training in a technical or vocational school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the minimum amount of time, often accomplished in just six months, however some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree programs may provide a competitive edge in the job market and will furnish more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief description of each credential offered near Litchfield Park AZ.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level residential or commercial HVAC specialists. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more comprehensive background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Typically requiring 2 years to finish, many degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more towards 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 mastering how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Picking the appropriate credential program will be based on what your future career aspirations 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 field in Litchfield Park AZ, eventually going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make certain to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Courses Online
Enrolling in an HVAC school online is one alternative in obtaining your education and receiving a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to complete hands on training. Some also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes may be participated in on the web, this option may be a more convenient solution for many Litchfield Park AZ students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even driving expenses from Litchfield Park and study supplies may be minimized, helping to make schooling more economical. And numerous online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family responsibilities have left you with limited time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it easier to accommodate school into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask HVAC Certification Classes
Once you have chosen the type of degree or certificate that you wish to earn, either on campus or online, you can begin to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of HVAC trade schools in the Litchfield Park AZ area and across the USA to pick from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a list of important qualifications when making school comparisons. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the first 2 factors you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you will want to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC technical schools in the Litchfield Park AZ area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Confirm that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you acquire a quality education, it can assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate could signify that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It might also mean that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, 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 trade, but additionally that it has the network of Litchfield Park AZ HVAC employers to assist grads secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC trade programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC businesses or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with local Litchfield Park AZ HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC technician you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Litchfield Park AZ HVAC contracting company if they can provide some pointers. Also bear in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Litchfield Park AZ home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Talk with a few of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Litchfield Park AZ, verify 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. Finally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering an HVAC School near Litchfield Park AZ?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Litchfield Park Arizona area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Litchfield Park, Arizona
Litchfield Park is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States. It is twenty miles northwest of Phoenix. According to the U.S. Census, the population of the city was estimated to be 6,009 as of 2017.
The town of Litchfield Park is a historically affluent community outside of Phoenix named after its founder, Paul Weeks Litchfield (1875–1959). He was an executive of the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company who came to the Phoenix area in 1916 in search of suitable land to farm a long-staple cotton that had previously been available only from the Sea Islands off the coast of Georgia and from Egypt. This cotton was needed to strengthen the rubber in the pneumatic tire, of which Goodyear was the world's largest producer. The east coast cotton supply had been devastated by the boll weevil and the African supply had been greatly reduced by World War I attacks from German U-boats. Litchfield went to the Phoenix area at the suggestion of the United States Department of Agriculture, but he was not successful in motivating local farmers to grow his cotton. Instead he got Goodyear to form the Southwest Cotton Company in Phoenix, with Litchfield as its president, eventually purchasing some 36,000 acres in the general Salt River Valley area including 5,000 acres around the present site of Litchfield Park, then known as Litchfield Ranch. Much of the land was bought for as little as $25 per acre. The cotton was cultivated with a workforce of mostly Mexican and Native American men. The U.S. Postal Service agreed to the name "Litchfield Park" in 1926. In 1929, the Wigwam Resort was opened to the public. In 1926, Litchfield went on to become the president of the Goodyear-Zeppelin Corporation, and then Chairman of the Board in 1930. He retired from the company in 1958, and spent the final months of his life as a resident of Litchfield Park at his home on Fairway Drive.
In 1964, Goodyear created Litchfield Park Land and Development Co. to expand Litchfield Park into a 90,000 resident community.Arden E. Goodyear was the head of the company, Patrick Cusick was vice president and general manager, and Victor Gruen was hired to design some of the buildings. Emanuel Cartsonis, who had worked with Cusick became city planner. The plan called for 25,000 homes, a college, a junior college, eighteen elementary schools, ten junior high schools, and six high schools, as well as improvements to the town's golf course and harness track at an expense of at least 750 million dollars. Goodyear made many mistakes during development, including selling properties right up to the curb line, which means that the city must get permission from property owners before they can put in a sidewalk. They abandoned their plans for expanding Litchfield Park before they were completed and sold whatever land they could.
Heating and Air Conditioning Training Litchfield Park AZ
Picking the ideal HVAC training course is a critical first step 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 Training. However, as we have addressed in this article, you need to pick an Heating and Cooling trade school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC field. 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 explore the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. In addition, inquire about scheduling choices and whether night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options as well. If you ask the proper questions as we have outlined in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC specialist in Litchfield Park AZ.
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