How to Choose the Right HVAC College near Corning California
Now that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner specialist, the next action is to locate an HVAC trade school near Corning CA. But with so many to choose from, how do you choose the right one to obtain the training that you need? Some prospective students will make their selection based solely on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their home. While these are necessary concerns, they are not the only ones to take into account. Just some 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 additional benchmarks will be addressed in more detail later within this article. But before we examine how to select an HVAC trade school, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c professional does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Contractor
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair 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 prerequisites. Acquiring professional certification is not required, but an alternative means for Corning CA HVAC techs to prove that they are exceptionally skilled and experienced in their area of specialization. There are many acknowledged certifications within the trade that are available. Here 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 may be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of professional experience as well as passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience as well as a passing result on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are provided in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for specialists that handle 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 desire to acquire certification, it’s important that you pick an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be handling refrigerants, make sure that the school you select preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Schools
There are a number of choices offered for HVAC training in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the least amount of time, typically accomplished in as little as six months, although some programs 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 training programs may 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 Corning CA.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more exhaustive understanding of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually requiring 2 years to finish, some degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more towards a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs call for 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 learn how to design them.
Choosing the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your future career aspirations are, in addition to the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One possibility is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Corning CA, subsequently going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make certain to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Courses Online
Enrolling in an HVAC program online is one option in attaining your training and earning a certificate or degree. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. Many also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes may be attended via the internet, this approach may be a more practical solution for many Corning CA students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are cheaper than other traditional choices. Even travelling expenses from Corning and study supplies may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family obligations have left you with little time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to fit school into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask HVAC Trade Schools
As soon as you have chosen the type of degree or certificate that you would like to obtain, either on campus or online, you can begin to narrow down your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are many HVAC trade schools in the Corning CA area and across the USA to pick from. That’s why it is essential to have a checklist of important qualifiers when making school assessments. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the initial two variables you will take into consideration. Following are some additional ones that you need to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Corning CA area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Confirm that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you receive a superior education, it can assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, some states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate may signify that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It may also mean that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s also important 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 will not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Corning CA HVAC employers to assist graduates obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC vocational programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC contractors or labor unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with local Corning CA HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC specialist you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Corning CA HVAC company if they can give you some pointers. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Corning CA home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there might be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much individualized training 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 big they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Talk to several of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience 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 can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Corning CA, verify that the programs you are comparing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, 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 Corning CA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Corning California area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Corning is a city in Tehama County, California that is located about 19 miles south of Red Bluff and about 100 miles north of Sacramento. The population was 7,663 at the 2010 census, up from 6,741 at the 2000 census.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Corning had a population of 7,663 people. The population density was 2,158.8 people per square mile (833.5/km²). The racial makeup of Corning was 5,510 (71.9%) White, 44 (0.6%) African American, 201 (2.6%) Native American, 82 (1.1%) Asian, 11 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 1,496 (19.5%) from other races, and 319 (4.2%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3,271 individuals (42.7%).
There were 2,630 households, out of which 1,193 (45.4%) had children under age 18 living in them, 1,136 (43.2%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 533 (20.3%) had a female householder with no husband present, 179 (6.8%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 224 (8.5%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 12 (0.5%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 633 households (24.1%) were made up of individuals and 259 (9.8%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.90. There were 1,848 families (70.3% of all households); the average family size was 3.44 persons.
HVAC Online Courses Corning CA
Choosing the right HVAC training program is an important beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating and air conditioning trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Online Courses. However, as we have addressed in this post, you should choose an HVAC vocational school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC trade. Other things to search for are sufficient practical training and modern facilities. You need to go to each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to explore the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling options and whether or not night or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to ask about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the right questions as we have outlined in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC professional in Corning CA.
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