How to Pick the Right Heating and Cooling Certificate Program near Laie Hawaii
Now that you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioning specialist, the next step is to look for an HVAC technical school near Laie HI. But with so many to pick from, how do you choose the right one to obtain the training that you require? Some prospective students will make their decision based solely on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. While these are relevant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to take into account. Just some of the other factors that you need to look into are the graduation 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 explore how to choose an HVAC trade school, let’s look at what a heating and a/c contractor does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Specialist
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, however every state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Attaining professional certification is not compulsory, but a voluntary way for Laie HI HVAC technicians to establish that they are exceptionally skilled and experienced in their area of specialization. There are several recognized certifications within the industry that are available. Here are some of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is earned by passing a competency examination and can be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience together with passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience in addition to a passing result on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are offered in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for technicians that work with refrigerants. There are three forms of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing could be required in your location, and you may also wish to acquire certification, it’s essential that you enroll in an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be handling refrigerants, make certain that the program you select readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Classes
There are a number of choices offered for HVAC instruction in a technical or trade school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, typically completed in just six months, although some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will deliver more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short description of each option offered near Laie HI.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level 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 extensive background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Generally taking two years to finish, some degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more for a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional 4 year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Choosing the ideal credential program will be based on what your future career aspirations are, in addition to the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One approach is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Laie HI, later returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Classes Online
Choosing an HVAC school online is one alternative in attaining your education and receiving a degree or certificate. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. Some also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes can be attended on the web, this approach may be a more accessible solution for many Laie HI students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even commuting expenses from Laie and study supplies can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family responsibilities 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 schedule.
Questions to Ask HVAC Schools
As soon as you have picked the type of certificate or degree that you desire to obtain, either on campus or online, you can begin to decrease your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many HVAC trade schools in the Laie HI area and across the United States to select from. That’s why it is essential to have a list of key qualifiers when making school assessments. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the first 2 variables you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you need to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC technical programs in the Laie HI area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Verify that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you receive a superior education, it may help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, a number of states require that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning 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 might indicate that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It may also suggest that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which can result in 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 an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Laie HI HVAC employers to assist grads obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC technical programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC companies or labor unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with local Laie HI HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC technician you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Laie HI HVAC contracting company if they can give you some tips. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Laie HI residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger 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 instructors. Talk with a few of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Laie HI, verify that the programs you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.
Considering an HVAC School near Laie HI?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Laie Hawaii area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Laie is a census-designated place (CDP) located in the Koolauloa District on the island of Oahu in Honolulu County, Hawaii, United States. In Hawaiian, lāʻie means "ʻie leaf" (ʻieʻie is a climbing screwpine: Freycinetia arborea). The population was 6,138 at the 2010 census.
Historically, Laie was a puʻuhonua, a sanctuary for fugitives. While a fugitive was in the pu'uhonua, it was unlawful for that fugitive's pursuers to harm him or her. During wartime, spears with white flags attached were set up at each end of the city of refuge. If warriors attempted to pursue fugitives into the puʻuhonua, they would be killed by sanctuary priests. Fugitives seeking sanctuary in a city of refuge were not forced to permanently live within the confines of its walls. Instead, they were given two choices. In some cases, after a certain length of time (ranging from a couple of weeks to several years), fugitives could enter the service of the priests and assist in the daily affairs of the puʻuhonua. A second option was that after a certain length of time the fugitives would be free to leave and re-enter the world unmolested. Traditional cities of refuge were abolished in 1819.
The history of Laie began long before European contact. The name Laie is said to derive from two Hawaiian words: lau meaning "leaf", and ie referring to the ʻieʻie (red-spiked climbing screwpine, Freycinetia arborea), which wreaths forest trees of the uplands or mauka regions of the mountains of the Koʻolau Range behind the community of Laie. In Hawaiian mythology, this red-spiked climbing screwpine is sacred to Kane, god of the earth, god of life, and god of the forests, as well as to Laka, the patron goddess of the hula.
How To Become a HVAC Tech Laie HI
Selecting the right HVAC school course is a crucial beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating & cooling industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding How To Become a HVAC Tech. However, as we have addressed in this article, you should pick an HVAC training program and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC community. Other things to search for are sufficient hands-on training and modern facilities. You should go to each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to explore the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Additionally, inquire about scheduling options and whether or not night or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial aid 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 narrow down your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC technician in Laie HI.
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