How to Select the Right Heating and Cooling Certification Training near Wailuku Hawaii
Now that you have decided on a career as a heating and cooling technician, the next action is to look for an HVAC technical school near Wailuku HI. But with so many to select from, how do you decide on the right one to obtain the training that you need? A number of future students will make their choice based solely on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. Even though these are relevant concerns, they are not the only ones to investigate. A few of the other details 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. Those and other criteria will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we explore how to pick an HVAC training program, let’s look at what a heating and a/c contractor does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Tech
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, however each state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Attaining professional certification is not compulsory, but a voluntary means for Wailuku HI HVAC specialists to establish that they are highly qualified and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are multiple recognized certifications within the trade that are offered. Here are some of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is attained by passing a proficiency exam and may be earned 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 3 years of experience as well as a passing score on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are offered in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are three types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing might be required in your area, and you may also desire to obtain certification, it’s important that you pick an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be handling refrigerants, make sure that the program you decide on prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are a number of options offered for HVAC instruction in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the minimum period of time, often completed in as little as 6 months, though some programs 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 training programs can provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will provide more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief description of each option offered near Wailuku HI.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They provide a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more detailed knowledge of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Normally taking 2 years to finish, some degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more towards 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 learning how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.
Choosing the appropriate credential program will be based on what your future career goals are, in addition to the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One option is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Wailuku HI, later returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Courses
Enrolling in an HVAC school online is one approach in attaining your training and earning a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. Some also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes may be attended online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution for some Wailuku HI students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are less expensive than other traditional choices. Even travelling expenses from Wailuku and study supplies may be minimized, 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 HVAC online training program will make it less complicated to fit school into your active lifestyle.
Questions For HVAC Training Programs
After you have selected the type of certificate or degree that you want to attain, either online or on campus, you can begin to limit your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Wailuku HI area and throughout the United States to select from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a checklist of important qualifications when making school comparisons. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the first two aspects you will take into consideration. Following are some additional ones that you will want to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC technical schools in the Wailuku HI area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Confirm that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain a superior education, it can assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, a number of states require that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate may suggest that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It could also suggest that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which may result in more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Wailuku HI HVAC employers to assist grads obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC trade programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling businesses or labor unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with local Wailuku HI HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC technician you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Wailuku HI HVAC contracting company if they can give you some pointers. Also bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Wailuku HI residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Talk with some of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the teachers and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Wailuku HI, verify that the programs you are comparing provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.
Considering an HVAC School near Wailuku HI?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Wailuku Hawaii area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Wailuku is located just west of Kahului, at the mouth of the ʻĪao Valley. In the early 20th century Wailuku was the main tourist destination on Maui, though it has since been eclipsed with the rise of the resort towns such as Kaʻanapali, so much that there are no hotels to speak of in Wailuku.
Historic sites in the town include Kaʻahumanu Church (named after one of Hawaiʻi's great monarchs, Queen Kaʻahumanu) which dates to 1876, the Wailuku Civic Center Historic District, the site of the Chee Kung Tong Society Building, and the Bailey House, a 19th-century former seminary and home that houses a history museum and the Maui Historical Society.
There are two ancient temples near Wailuku, called heiau — the Halekiʻi Heiau and the Pihanakalani Heiau. Both date back hundreds of years and were used for religious purposes by the native Hawaiians.
HVAC Diploma Wailuku HI
Choosing the ideal HVAC school course is a crucial beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating & cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Diploma. However, as we have addressed in this post, you need to select an Heating and Cooling trade school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC profession. Other things to look for are lots of hands-on training and modern facilities. You need to go to each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to tour the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling choices and if evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial aid and student loan options too. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have laid out 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 specialist in Wailuku HI.
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