How to Choose the Right HVAC Program near Canyon Country California
Now that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next step is to choose an HVAC technical school near Canyon Country CA. But with so many to pick from, how do you select the ideal one to get the training that you need? Some future students will make their choice based entirely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Although these are significant concerns, they are not the only ones to investigate. Some of the other factors 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 additional criteria will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we discuss how to choose an HVAC vocational school, let’s take a look at what a heating and air conditioning contractor does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Professional
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, however each state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Earning professional certification is not mandatory, but an alternative means for Canyon Country CA HVAC technicians to demonstrate that they are highly proficient and experienced in their area of specialization. There are many respected certifications within the trade that are available. Here are a few of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is earned by passing a competency exam and may be received 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 exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience along with a passing score on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are three types of certification obtainable, 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 desire to earn certification, it’s imperative that you select an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be handling refrigerants, make certain that the school you pick preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree Schools
There are a number of options offered for HVAC training in a technical or trade school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the least period of time, typically accomplished in as little as 6 months, however some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will provide more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a short description of each option offered near Canyon Country CA.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level residential or commercial 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 detailed knowledge of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Normally taking two years to finish, some 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 call for an Associate Degree, while others are a standard 4 year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Selecting the appropriate credential program will be based on what your long term career objectives are, as well as the time and money that you have to invest. One approach is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the trade in Canyon Country CA, subsequently returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make certain to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Classes Online
Attending an HVAC program online is one possibility in getting your training and earning a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part 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 balance of the classes can be attended on the web, this approach may be a more accessible solution for some Canyon Country CA students that are pressed for time. And some online degree programs are less costly than other traditional options. Even travelling expenses from Canyon Country and study materials may be lessened, helping to make schooling more affordable. And many online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family obligations have left you with limited time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to accommodate school into your busy schedule.
What to Ask HVAC Trade Schools
Once you have decided on the type of certificate or degree that you want to earn, either on campus or online, you can begin to decrease your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of HVAC trade schools in the Canyon Country CA area and across the Country to pick from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of key qualifications when making school evaluations. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the initial two factors you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you need to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC technical programs in the Canyon Country CA area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance HVAC technology. Make sure that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you get an excellent education, it can help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning 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 program. A low completion rate may signify that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It might also signify that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s also important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which can mean more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Canyon Country CA HVAC employers to help grads obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC vocational programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade 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 Canyon Country CA HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed 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, check with the HVAC tech you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Canyon Country CA HVAC contracting company if they can provide some pointers. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Canyon Country CA home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might 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 larger 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. Talk with several of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to a few of the teachers and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Canyon Country CA, confirm that the schools you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.
Considering an HVAC School near Canyon Country CA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Canyon Country California area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Canyon Country, Santa Clarita, California
Canyon Country is north of the San Fernando Valley via Newhall Pass through the Santa Susana and San Gabriel Mountains. Canyon Country is located in the upper watershed of the Santa Clara River in the Santa Clarita Valley and Sierra Pelona Mountains foothills.
The area was the ancestral homeland of the Tataviam people for over five hundred years, and other tribes before then, such as the Tongva, Kitanemuk, and Serrano people. After the Spanish invasion, the valley first became grazing lands of the Mission San Fernando Rey de España around 1790. In 1834, after Mexican Independence, it became part of the Rancho San Francisco land grant centered on the confluence of the Santa Clara River and Castaic Creek.
In the 1880s the rancho become the Newhall Ranch empire of Henry Newhall, now the present day Newhall Land and Farming Company. In 1928 the St. Francis Dam collapsed, suddenly flooding and washing away settlements and people along the Santa Clara River section of present-day Santa Clarita not including Canyon Country. Canyon Country was originally to be called Solemint. It later absorbed the community to the west called Honby. In the 1960s and 1970s the Newhall Land company's suburban developments transformed Canyon Country and the surrounding towns into a focused residential and cultural city.
HVAC Certification Classes Near Me Canyon Country CA
Selecting the ideal HVAC training program is a crucial first step toward a rewarding career in the heating & cooling trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Certification Classes Near Me. However, as we have covered in this article, you should select an HVAC technical school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC community. Other features to look for are lots of practical training and modern 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 choices and whether evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have detailed in our guidelines for assessing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC technician in Canyon Country CA.
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