How to Choose the Right HVAC Certification Training near Brea California
Once you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and cooling professional, the next step is to locate an HVAC technical school near Brea CA. But with so many to select from, how do you decide on the best one to obtain 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. Although these are relevant concerns, they are not the only ones to evaluate. A few of the other things that you need to investigate are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and other criteria will be addressed in more detail later in this article. But before we examine how to pick an HVAC trade school, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c professional does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Specialist
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, however each state and local municipality has its own requirements. Attaining professional certification is not compulsory, but an alternative way for Brea CA HVAC techs to demonstrate that they are highly qualified and experienced in their area of expertise. There are several acknowledged certifications within the industry that are available. Following are a few of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is attained 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 field experience as well as passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience together with a passing result on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are three types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing may be mandated in your location, and you may also desire to earn certification, it’s important that you enroll in an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the school you decide on preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Courses
There are several options available for HVAC instruction in a technical or vocational school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the lesser period of time, typically completed in just 6 months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, particularly 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 deliver more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief explanation of each credential offered near Brea CA.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning 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 extensive knowledge of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually taking two years to finish, some degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited 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.
Selecting the appropriate credential program will be based on what your future career aspirations are, in addition to the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One approach is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Brea CA, later returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Training Online
Choosing an HVAC school online is one option to obtaining your education and earning a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in hands on training. Some also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes may be participated in on the web, this option may be a more practical solution for many Brea CA students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are more economical than other traditional choices. Even driving expenses from Brea and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family obligations have left you with limited time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to fit school into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask HVAC Training Programs
Once you have picked the type of certificate or degree that you wish to earn, either on campus or online, you can start to decrease your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many HVAC trade schools in the Brea CA area and throughout the USA to pick from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of key qualifications when making school evaluations. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the first two factors you will consider. 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 Brea CA area have received 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 certain that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you obtain a superior education, it may assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many states require that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate may signify that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It could also suggest that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which may produce more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Brea CA HVAC employers to help graduates acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC training programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling companies or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have working relationships with local Brea CA HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC tech you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Brea CA HVAC company if they can provide some suggestions. Additionally keep in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Brea CA residence. 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 receive as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Talk with some of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to a few of the teachers and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Brea CA, check that the schools you are comparing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.
Considering an HVAC School near Brea CA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Brea California area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
The city began as a center of crude oil production, was later propelled by citrus production, and is now an important retail center because of the large Brea Mall and the recently redeveloped Brea Downtown. Brea is also known for its extensive public art program which began in 1975 and continues today with over 140 artworks in the collection placed and located throughout the city. Brea's public art program has been used as a model and inspiration for many public art programs across the United States.
The area was visited on July 29, 1769 by the Spanish Portolá expedition – the first Europeans to see inland parts of Alta California. The party camped in Brea Canyon, near a large native village and a small pool of clean water. A historical marker dedicated to his visit stands in Brea Canyon just north of town.
The village of Olinda was founded in present-day Carbon Canyon at the beginning of the 19th century and many entrepreneurs came to the area searching for "black gold" (petroleum). In 1894, the owner of the land, Abel Stearns, sold 1,200 acres (4.9 km2) to the west of Olinda to the newly created Union Oil Company of California, and by 1898 many nearby hills began sporting wooden oil-drilling towers on the newly discovered Brea-Olinda Oil Field. In 1908 the village of Randolph, named for railway engineer Epes Randolph, was founded just south of Brea Canyon for the oil workers and their families. Baseball legend Walter Johnson grew up in Olinda at the start of the 20th century where he worked in the surrounding oil fields as a youth.
Training for HVAC Brea CA
Choosing the right HVAC school course is a crucial beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating and cooling industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Training for HVAC. However, as we have discussed in this post, you should choose an HVAC trade school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC trade. Other features to search for are plenty of practical training and modern facilities. You need to go to each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to tour 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. Additionally, ask about scheduling choices and whether or not evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have outlined in our guidelines for assessing 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 contractor in Brea CA.
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