How to Enroll In the Right HVAC Certificate Program near La Verne California
Once you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next step is to find an HVAC trade school near La Verne CA. But with so many to select from, how do you choose the ideal one to receive the training that you require? Many potential students will make their decision based solely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their home. While these are necessary factors to consider, they are not the only ones to take into account. Some of the other factors that you need to research are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and other benchmarks will be discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we tackle how to pick an HVAC trade school, let’s look at what a heating and cooling technician does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Tech
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors provide services for 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 every state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Attaining professional certification is not mandatory, but an alternative way for La Verne CA HVAC techs to establish that they are highly qualified and experienced in their area of specialization. There are several respected certifications within the field that are available. Following are a few of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is achieved by passing a competency examination and can be received in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience in addition to passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience as well as a passing score on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for techs that handle refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing could be mandated in your location, and you may also wish to obtain certification, it’s imperative that you choose an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be handling refrigerants, make sure that the program you pick prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Schools
There are a number of choices available for HVAC instruction in a trade or technical school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, usually achieved in as little as six months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will deliver more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief explanation of each credential offered near La Verne CA.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more comprehensive knowledge of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Normally requiring two years to complete, many degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more for 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 cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Picking the ideal credential program will be dependent on what your future career objectives are, in addition to the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One possibility is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the trade in La Verne CA, eventually going back to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, 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 attaining your training and receiving a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. Some also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be participated in via the internet, this approach may be a more accessible solution for many La Verne CA students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even driving expenses from La Verne and study supplies can be reduced, helping to make schooling more economical. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family commitments have left you with little time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to fit school into your active lifestyle.
Questions For HVAC Training Programs
Once you have picked the type of certificate or degree that you desire to obtain, either online or on campus, you can start to decrease your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are a large number of HVAC vocational schools in the La Verne CA area and throughout the United States to pick from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of important qualifications when making school evaluations. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the first two variables you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you need to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC vocational programs in the La Verne CA area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Make certain that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you get a superior education, it can help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, some states require that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate could indicate that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It might also signify that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list 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 a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of La Verne CA HVAC employers to help students acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC training programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling companies or labor unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with local La Verne CA HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC technician you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local La Verne CA HVAC company if they can give you some suggestions. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your La Verne CA residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Speak with some of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to a few of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near La Verne CA, confirm that the schools you are comparing provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, check 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 La Verne CA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the La Verne California area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
La Verne, California
The history of the area dates back to the 1830s when Ygnacio Palomares received the 15,000-acre (61 km2) Rancho San Jose land grant from Governor Juan Bautista Alvarado in 1837. The land included the present day cities Pomona, Claremont, San Dimas, Glendora, and La Verne. The adobe which Palomares built in 1837 is still preserved in Pomona as La Casa Primera de Rancho San Jose (The First House). Palomares soon moved a mile or so northeast and constructed the Ygnacio Palomares Adobe. He ensured that a nephew, Jose Dolores Palomares, secured a tract of land a mile west. In the mid-1880s, entrepreneur Isaac W. Lord purchased a tract of Jose Palomares' land and convinced the Santa Fe Railroad company to run its line across towards Los Angeles. Lord had the land surveyed for building lots and in 1887 had a large land sale, naming the new town 'Lordsburg' after himself. He also had a large Lordsburg Hotel constructed, but the land boom was over by the time it was completed. It sat empty for several years, until sold to four members of the German Baptist Brethren Church, who persuaded others of that denomination that it would be an excellent site for a new institution of higher learning. Lordsburg College was founded in 1891. In 1906 the town was incorporated as "La Verne." Residents grew field crops, then began planting citrus trees, which flourished. Lordsburg became known as the "Heart of the Orange Empire." The city of La Verne flourished as a center of the citrus industry until after World War II, when the citrus industry slowly faded away. Today the last two orange groves are on the grounds of the La Verne Mansion and Heritage Park.
La Verne is a suburb 30 miles (48 km) east of Los Angeles, located in the San Gabriel Valley below the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.562 square miles (22.18 km2). It is to the east of San Dimas and to the west of Claremont. The city of Pomona lies to the south. California State Route 210 bisects La Verne in an east–west direction, and U.S. Route 66 also passes through the city.
The 2010 United States Census reported that La Verne had a population of 31,063. The population density was 3,628.0 people per square mile (1,400.8/km²). The racial makeup of La Verne was 23,057 (74.2%) White (55.4% Non-Hispanic White), 1,065 (3.4%) African American, 265 (0.9%) Native American, 2,381 (7.7%) Asian, 61 (0.2%) Pacific Islander, 2,822 (9.1%) from other races, and 1,412 (4.5%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9,635 persons (31.0%).
HVAC Training Schools Online La Verne CA
Finding the right HVAC school program is an important beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating & cooling industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Training Schools Online. However, as we have addressed in this post, you should pick an Heating and Cooling trade school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC profession. Other features to search for are sufficient practical training and modern facilities. You need to visit each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to explore 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. Also, ask about scheduling choices and whether night or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to ask about financial aid and student loan options too. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have outlined in our guidelines for evaluating 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 commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC technician in La Verne CA.
More Hot and Cool Locations in California
Business Results 1 - 10 of 2400