How to Select the Right HVAC Training Program near Kihei Hawaii
Once you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner specialist, the next step is to look for an HVAC technical school near Kihei HI. But with so many to pick from, how do you select the best one to obtain the training that you need? Many potential students will make their choice based exclusively on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Although these are important concerns, they are not the only ones to evaluate. A few of the other details that you need to look into 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 within this article. But before we examine how to choose an HVAC trade school, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c contractor does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Contractor
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are generally mandated to be licensed, although every state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Earning professional certification is not required, but a voluntary way for Kihei HI HVAC specialists to demonstrate that they are exceptionally proficient and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are several acknowledged certifications within the field that are offered. Below 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 can 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 in addition to passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience in addition to a passing score on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are three forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing may be required in your area, and you may also desire to obtain certification, it’s imperative that you enroll in an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be handling refrigerants, make certain that the program you select preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree Schools
There are a variety 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. Obtaining a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, often accomplished in just 6 months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree programs might provide a competitive edge in the job market and will provide more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short summary of each option offered near Kihei HI.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They provide a solid foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more exhaustive understanding of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Normally taking 2 years to finish, many degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more for a career in management as well as 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.
Choosing the appropriate credential program will be based on what your future career objectives are, as well as the time and money that you have to invest. One option is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Kihei HI, later going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Courses
Choosing an HVAC program online is one approach in attaining your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. Many also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes can be attended via the internet, this approach may be a more accessible solution for some Kihei HI students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even travelling expenses from Kihei and study materials can be reduced, helping to make schooling more economical. And many online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family obligations 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 hectic lifestyle.
Questions For HVAC Trade Schools
As soon as you have decided on the type of degree or certificate that you would like to attain, either online or on campus, you can start to decrease your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Kihei HI area and across the Country to pick from. That’s why it is very important to have a checklist of important qualifiers when making school comparisons. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the first 2 variables you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you need to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Kihei HI area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance HVAC technology. Make sure that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you acquire a quality education, it can help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, some states mandate 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 percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate could indicate that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It may also signify that the instructors were not qualified 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 more extensive list of graduates, which can 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 industry, but also that it has the network of Kihei HI HVAC employers to help grads acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC training programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC businesses or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with local Kihei HI HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to form 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 using in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC technician you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Kihei HI HVAC company if they can provide some tips. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Kihei HI home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much personalized 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 big they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Speak to some of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Kihei HI, verify that the programs you are considering offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering an HVAC School near Kihei HI?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Kihei Hawaii area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 11.7 square miles (30.2 km2), of which 9.3 square miles (24.0 km2) is land and 2.4 square miles (6.2 km2), or 20.44%, is water. It is considered to be the South Side of Maui, located on the leeward side of Haleakala. The climate is arid, receiving no more than 10 inches (250 mm) of rain per year.
Although its official city designation is Wailuku, the Kīhei Junction Park and Ride lot is a frequently-used commuter parking lot at the corner of highway 310 (North Kihei Road) and highway 30 (Honoapi'ilani Highway) at coordinates 20.8099479,-156.51417 There is no public bus service that stops here; however, it is located near Ma 'alaea Harbor Village, where there is a public transportation stop. It's primarily used for hikers, bicyclists and ride sharers looking for a meeting place that is centrally located between Kīhei, Lahaina and Wailuku. There's no charge to park; the lot is unattended.
As of the census of 2000, there were 16,749 people, 6,170 households, and 3,813 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 1,648.6 people per square mile (636.5/km2). There were 9,170 housing units at an average density of 902.6 per square mile (348.5/km2). The racial makeup of the CDP was 47.76% White, 6.74% African American, 0.48% Native American, 24.72% Asian, 7.85% Pacific Islander, 1.58% from other races, and 16.87% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.52% of the population.
Online HVAC Degree Kihei HI
Picking the right HVAC training program is a crucial beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating & cooling trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Online HVAC Degree. However, as we have discussed in this article, you should select an HVAC vocational school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC community. Other things to look for are plenty of hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should go to each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to explore the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Additionally, ask about scheduling options and if night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to ask about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have outlined in our checklist for assessing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC professional in Kihei HI.
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