How to Pick the Right Heating and Cooling College near Greenville California
Now that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and cooling specialist, the next action is to look for an HVAC vocational school near Greenville CA. But with so many to pick from, how do you pick the ideal one to receive the training that you require? Some future students will make their selection based solely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. While these are important considerations, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Some of the other things that you need to research are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and additional criteria will be covered in more detail later within this article. But before we explore how to pick an HVAC trade school, let’s take a look at what a heating and air conditioning technician does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Professional
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are generally required to be licensed, although every state and local municipality has its own requirements. Obtaining professional certification is not compulsory, but an alternative way for Greenville CA HVAC technicians to prove that they are exceptionally qualified and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are a number of recognized certifications within the trade that are available. Here are some 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 proficiency examination 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 required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience together with a passing result on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are provided in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing could be required in your area, and you may also wish to obtain certification, it’s essential that you choose an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be working with refrigerants, make certain that the program you choose preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Training Programs
There are several choices offered for HVAC instruction in a trade or technical school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the minimum period of time, usually completed in as little as six months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree training programs might provide a competitive edge in the job market and will deliver more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short explanation of each credential offered near Greenville CA.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They provide a strong foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more detailed understanding of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually requiring 2 years to complete, a number of 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 as well as business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional 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 right credential program will be dependent on what your long term career aspirations are, together with the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One approach is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Greenville CA, eventually returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Training Online
Choosing an HVAC school online is one possibility in getting your training and earning a certificate or degree. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. A number also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes can be attended via the internet, this option may be a more convenient solution for some Greenville CA students that are pressed for time. And some online degree programs are less costly than other traditional alternatives. Even commuting expenses from Greenville and study supplies may be minimized, helping to make schooling more affordable. And numerous online programs 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 HVAC online training program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your busy lifestyle.
Questions For HVAC Certification Classes
After you have decided on the type of certificate or degree that you wish to acquire, either on campus or online, you can begin to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous HVAC technical schools in the Greenville CA area and all over the Country to select from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school comparisons. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the initial 2 variables you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you need to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC technical programs in the Greenville CA area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Make sure that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you get a superior education, it may help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate could suggest that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It could also indicate that the teachers were not qualified 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 directory of graduates, which can mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Greenville CA HVAC employers to help students acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC vocational programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with local Greenville CA HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional 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 working with on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC specialist you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Greenville CA HVAC company if they can provide some suggestions. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Greenville CA home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Speak to some of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Greenville CA, confirm that the programs you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.
Considering an HVAC School near Greenville CA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Greenville California area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Greenville is a census-designated place (CDP) in Plumas County, California, United States, on the north-west side of Indian Valley. According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 8.0 square miles (21 km2), all of it land. The population was 1,129 at the 2010 census, down from 1,160 at the 2000 census.
The Maidu people had been living in valley area around present-day Greenville for centuries when Anglo settlers arrived in the 1850's. Among the earliest structures built in the town was a boarding house operated by Mr. and Mrs. Green. The town was named for Green, who was killed in the collapse of the first Round Valley Dam. When Henry C. Bidwell arrived in 1862 and opened a trading post, several business owners moved down from Round Valley to Greenville.
This region experiences hot and dry summers with temps as high as 104°Fand cold sometimes wet winters as cold as 0 °F °F. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Greenville has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated "Csb" on climate maps.
Hands On HVAC Training Greenville CA
Selecting the right HVAC school course is an important first step toward a gratifying career in the heating & cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Hands On HVAC Training. However, as we have addressed in this article, you should choose an HVAC school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC profession. Other things to search for are ample hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should check out each of the schools personally 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. In addition, inquire about scheduling options and whether evening or weekend classes are available 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 checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC technician in Greenville CA.
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