How to Choose HVAC Certificate Programs Chino Hills CA

How to Pick the Right Heating and Cooling Certificate Program near Chino Hills California

air conditioner condensers in Chino Hills CANow that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and cooling specialist, the next step is to look for an HVAC trade school near Chino Hills CA. But with so many to select from, how do you decide on the ideal one to get the training that you need? Some prospective students will make their choice based entirely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Even though these are relevant considerations, 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. These and other benchmarks will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we examine how to choose an HVAC trade school, let’s take a look at what a heating and air conditioning technician does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.

Becoming an HVAC Tech

Chino Hills CA HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, however each state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Acquiring professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary way for Chino Hills CA HVAC specialists to prove that they are highly proficient and experienced in their area of expertise. There are many recognized certifications within the field 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 earned by passing a competency exam and may be acquired in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available 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 3 years of experience in addition to a passing result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in several specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is required for techs that work with refrigerants. There are three 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 desire to acquire certification, it’s essential that you choose an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be working with refrigerants, make certain that the school you choose prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Degree Classes

radiator heater in Chino Hills CA homeThere are a variety 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. Earning a certificate will take the minimum amount of time, typically completed in just 6 months, although some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree programs might provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will provide more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief summary of each credential offered near Chino Hills CA.

  • Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They provide a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more comprehensive background of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally taking 2 years to complete, some degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more for a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional 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 ideal credential program will be based on what your long term career aspirations are, in addition to the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One option is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Chino Hills CA, subsequently going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Online Classes

Chino Hills CA student attending HVAC school onlineAttending an HVAC school online is one possibility in attaining your education and receiving a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will call for some attendance on campus to participate in hands on training. Some also offer 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 online, this approach may be a more practical solution for some Chino Hills CA students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even travelling expenses from Chino Hills and study materials may be minimized, helping to make schooling more economical. And numerous online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family commitments have left you with limited time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to fit school into your hectic schedule.

Questions For HVAC Trade Schools

Questions to ask Chino Hills CA HVAC training schoolsWhen you have decided on the type of certificate or degree that you wish to earn, either on campus or online, you can start to narrow down your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are numerous HVAC technical schools in the Chino Hills CA area and all over the USA to select from. That’s why it is essential to have a list of key qualifications when making school assessments. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the initial 2 factors you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you should research before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  A large number of HVAC trade programs in the Chino Hills CA area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Verify that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you acquire a quality education, it can assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, a number of states require that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate may suggest that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It may also suggest that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which may mean more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Chino Hills CA HVAC employers to help grads secure apprenticeships or employment.

Apprenticeship Programs.  A large number of HVAC technical programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC contractors or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with local Chino Hills CA HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make certain that the campus 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 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 Chino Hills CA HVAC contractor if they can provide some pointers. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Chino Hills CA residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be higher 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 larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Speak with a few of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to a few of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.

Flexible Scheduling.  Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Chino Hills CA, confirm that the programs you are looking at provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family issues.

Considering an HVAC School near Chino Hills CA?

Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Chino Hills California area.  If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.

Chino Hills, California

Chino Hills is a city located in the southwestern corner of San Bernardino County, California, United States. The city borders Los Angeles County on its northwest side, Orange County to its south, and Riverside County to its southeast.

After the Spanish founded Mission San Gabriel in 1771, the Chino Hills was used extensively for grazing by mission cattle. During the Mexican Republic era, the hills were used as spillover grazing from such surrounding Mexican ranchos as Santa Ana del Chino and Rancho La Sierra (Yorba). After Mexico ceded California to the United States it was, and still is, a swamp and subject to flooding annually. Most historical dwellings were demolished in the rush to build. A local state monument is present in the grass lawn area of the local fire department if one looks closely. Casa Colina, a well-known rehabilitation center now situated in Pomona California, began as a tubercular clinic in the Los Serranos sector. Similarly, the well-known hospital, Loma Linda Hospital, also had its beginnings as a tubercular clinic. Sadly, most patients admitted for tuberculosis, succumbed to the illness because of the ineffectiveness of pre-antibiotic treatments.

This land was sold to Richard Gird, the founder of nearby Chino subdivision and from which the town of Chino sprung in 1910.[8] With the building of the Carbon Canyon Mineral Springs in the modern-day Sleepy Hollow region of the city and the new Los Serranos Country Club in Los Serranos, Chino Hills, California, the area became a destination for both Los Angeles tourists and bootleggers during the prohibition because of its isolation. For the same reason, Sleepy Hollow became a destination for hippies and artists during the 1960s.[9] During the late 1980s, an incorporation effort began and in 1991, the city was incorporated with a population of 42,000.[10]

How to Choose HVAC Certificate Programs Chino Hills CA

Choosing the right HVAC training course is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating and cooling industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding How to Choose HVAC Certificate Programs. However, as we have covered in this post, you should select an Heating and Cooling school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC community. Other things to search for are sufficient hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to go to each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to inspect 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. Additionally, inquire about scheduling options and if evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to ask about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the proper questions as we have detailed 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 appropriate training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC professional in Chino Hills CA.

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