How to Enroll In the Right HVAC Degree Program near Kula Hawaii
Now that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and cooling technician, the next action is to choose an HVAC trade school near Kula HI. But with so many to select from, how do you pick the right one to get the training that you need? A number of prospective students will make their decision based entirely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Although these are necessary factors to consider, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Some of the other things that you need to investigate 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 choose an HVAC technical school, let’s take a look at what a heating and air conditioning contractor does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Specialist
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, although each state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Acquiring professional certification is not compulsory, but an optional way for Kula HI HVAC techs to demonstrate that they are highly qualified and accomplished in their area of specialization. There are several respected certifications within the trade that are offered. Here are a few of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is earned by passing a proficiency 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 professional experience in addition to 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 score on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are made available in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for techs that handle refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing may be required in your area, and you may also wish to obtain certification, it’s imperative that you pick an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the school you choose prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Schools
There are a variety of choices offered for HVAC instruction in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the lesser period of time, usually achieved in just 6 months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree training programs might provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will provide more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a short summary of each option offered near Kula HI.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more comprehensive understanding of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Usually requiring 2 years to finish, a number of 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 traditional four year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.
Choosing the ideal credential program will be based on what your future career objectives 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 gaining some experience in the field in Kula HI, later returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Classes
Enrolling in an HVAC school online is one approach in attaining your education and earning a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in hands on training. Some 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 participated in on the web, this alternative may be a more convenient solution for some Kula HI students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are less costly than other traditional options. Even driving expenses from Kula and study materials may be lessened, helping to make schooling more budget-friendly. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family responsibilities have left you with limited time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it easier to fit school into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Classes
Once you have decided on the type of certificate or degree that you want to earn, either on campus or online, you can start to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of HVAC trade schools in the Kula HI area and throughout the Country to select from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of important qualifiers when making school assessments. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the first two factors you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC trade programs in the Kula HI area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain 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 approved accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you obtain a quality education, it can assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, a number of states require that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are considering 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 could signify that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It may also signify that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which can mean more contacts for the school to utilize 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 field, but additionally that it has the network of Kula HI HVAC employers to assist graduates acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC training programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC companies or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local Kula HI HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure 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, check with the HVAC tech you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Kula HI HVAC company if they can provide some suggestions. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Kula HI residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Talk with several of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with some of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Kula HI, confirm that the programs you are considering offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering an HVAC School near Kula HI?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Kula Hawaii area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Kula is a district of Maui, Hawaii, that stretches across the "up-country", the western-facing slopes of Haleakalā, from Makawao to Ulupalakua. Most of the residential areas lie between about 500 to 1,100 m (1,600 to 3,600 ft) in elevation. The district has traditionally been where full-time residents prefer to live, as distinct from the generally hotter and busier, more tourism-oriented towns near sea level, such as Kihei and Lahaina. The population of the census-designated place (CDP) at the 2010 Census was 6,452.
Kula roughly extends from Haleakala Highway (Hawaii Route 37) in the north to Keokea in the south—a distance of about 16 miles around 20°47′32″N 156°19′37″W / 20.79222°N 156.32694°W / 20.79222; -156.32694Coordinates: 20°47′32″N 156°19′37″W / 20.79222°N 156.32694°W / 20.79222; -156.32694. The largely rural area known as Upper Kula includes the region up-slope from Lower Kula, the more densely populated area spread along the Kula Highway.
The word Kula means "open meadows" in the Hawaiian language. On Maui, Kula is one of the island's 12 foundation districts of ancient Hawaii called moku. Generally, Kula is a zone of arid earth with open country slopes between the inhabited and productive shoreline areas and the densely forested zone higher on the mountain.
How To Become an HVAC Tech Kula HI
Enrolling in the right HVAC school program is a crucial beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating and cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding How To Become an HVAC Tech. However, as we have discussed in this article, you should select an HVAC training program and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC field. Other factors to look for are sufficient hands-on training and modern facilities. You need to check out each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to tour the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. In addition, inquire about scheduling choices and if night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to inquire about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the proper questions as we have laid out in our guidelines for comparing schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC contractor in Kula HI.
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