How to Enroll In the Right Heating and Cooling College near Craigmont Idaho
Once you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioning specialist, the next action is to choose an HVAC technical school near Craigmont ID. But with so many to choose from, how do you choose the best one to obtain the training that you need? A number of potential students will make their selection based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Although these are significant considerations, they are not the only ones to take into account. Just some of the other things 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 addressed in more detail later within this article. But before we discuss how to choose an HVAC vocational school, let’s look at what a heating and cooling specialist does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, although every state and local municipality has its own requirements. Obtaining professional certification is not compulsory, but an optional way for Craigmont ID HVAC specialists to establish that they are exceptionally skilled and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are multiple respected certifications within the industry that are available. Here are a few 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 exam and can be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience as well as passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience along with a passing score on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for technicians that work with refrigerants. There are three forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing may be required in your location, and you may also intend to acquire certification, it’s important that you select an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the school you select prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are a variety of alternatives offered for HVAC training in a vocational or trade school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the minimum period of time, often accomplished in as little as six months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree training programs might provide a competitive edge in the job market and will deliver more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief description of each option offered near Craigmont ID.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more exhaustive understanding of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Normally taking 2 years to finish, a number of degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more towards a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional four year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Selecting the ideal credential program will be based on what your long term career aspirations are, along with 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 Craigmont ID, later returning to earn 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 Courses Online
Choosing an HVAC school online is one alternative to getting your training and earning a certificate or degree. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to complete hands on training. Many also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be participated in via the internet, this option may be a more convenient solution for many Craigmont ID students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even commuting expenses from Craigmont and study supplies can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family commitments have left you with minimal time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your hectic lifestyle.
Questions For HVAC Training Classes
Once you have chosen the type of certificate or degree that you wish to obtain, either online or on campus, you can begin to decrease your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many HVAC trade schools in the Craigmont ID area and throughout the Country to pick from. That’s why it is very important to have a checklist of key qualifiers when making school comparisons. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the initial two aspects you will take into consideration. Following are some additional ones that you should research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC trade schools in the Craigmont ID area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Make sure that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you receive a superior education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, some states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC 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 lower completion rate may indicate that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It might also mean that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s also essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which may produce more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Craigmont ID HVAC employers to assist graduates obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC training programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC contractors or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Craigmont ID HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC specialist you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Craigmont ID HVAC contracting company if they can give you some suggestions. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Craigmont ID home. Remember 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 desirable that you get as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Talk with some of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Craigmont ID, verify that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, find 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 Craigmont ID?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Craigmont Idaho area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Craigmont is a city in the northwest United States in Lewis County, Idaho. Located on the Camas Prairie in north central Idaho, it is within the Nez Perce Indian Reservation. The population was 501 at the 2010 census, down from 556 in 2000.
The city is named for Colonel William Craig (1809–69), a mountain man who had a Nez Perce wife. He settled at Lapwai near his father-in-law Hin-mah-tute-ke-kaikt or James in 1840 when he gave up being a fur trapper due to the collapse of the market for beaver.
The Nez Perce Reservation was opened to white settlement 124 years ago in 1895, and a town named "Chicago," a mile west of the current Craigmont, was founded in 1898. In response to not getting their mail from the post office, it was renamed "Ilo" four years later, after Ilo Leggett, daughter of town founder and merchant W.O. Leggett. A fire burnt the town in 1904 and shortly thereafter the Camas Prairie Railroad bypassed the town and started a settlement, platted by Lewiston financier John P. Vollmer, on the northeast side of the railroad tracks, and he named it "Vollmer." Ilo responded and moved its community to the southwest side of the tracks, adjacent to Vollmer. After a decade-long feud and the consolidation of the school districts, the communities merged in 1920 to become Craigmont.
HVAC Training School Craigmont ID
Choosing the ideal HVAC school course is a crucial beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating and air conditioning field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Training School. However, as we have addressed in this article, you should select an HVAC vocational school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC trade. Other features to search for are lots of practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should check out each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to tour the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling options and whether evening 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 appropriate questions as we have laid out in our guidelines for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC contractor in Craigmont ID.
More Hot and Cool Locations in Idaho