How to Enroll In the Right Heating and Cooling School near Thonotosassa Florida
Once you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioning specialist, the next action is to locate an HVAC technical school near Thonotosassa FL. But with so many to pick from, how do you pick the ideal one to obtain the training that you require? A number of potential students will make their choice based entirely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Even though these are necessary factors to consider, they are not the only ones to take into account. Some of the other details that you need to investigate are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and additional criteria will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we examine how to pick an HVAC vocational school, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning technician does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Pro
HVAC is an acronym that is widely 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, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, though each state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Attaining professional certification is not compulsory, but an optional means for Thonotosassa FL HVAC technicians to demonstrate that they are exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are a number of recognized certifications within the trade that are offered. Here are a few of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is attained by passing a competency exam and may be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience in addition to passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience along with a passing result on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are offered in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are three types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing could be mandated in your area, and you may also intend to earn certification, it’s essential that you select an HVAC vocational school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be working with refrigerants, make certain that the program you pick readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Classes
There are a number of alternatives available 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 least period of time, typically accomplished in as little as six months, although some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will provide more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief description of each option offered near Thonotosassa FL.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning residential or commercial HVAC specialists. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more extensive background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Typically requiring two years to finish, a number of degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more for a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional four year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.
Choosing the right credential program will be based on what your future career aspirations are, along with the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One approach is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Thonotosassa FL, subsequently going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Training Online
Choosing an HVAC program online is one approach in getting your training and receiving a certificate or degree. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. A number also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes can be attended on the web, this option may be a more practical solution for some Thonotosassa FL students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even driving expenses from Thonotosassa and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many 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 online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to fit school into your hectic lifestyle.
Questions to Ask HVAC Trade Schools
Once you have chosen the type of certificate or degree that you desire to obtain, either online or on campus, you can begin to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of HVAC technical schools in the Thonotosassa FL area and across the Country to pick from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of important qualifications when making school evaluations. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the first 2 aspects you will take into consideration. Following are some additional ones that you need to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC technical schools in the Thonotosassa FL area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, such as HVAC technology. Confirm that the school and program are 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 get a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, some states require that the HVAC training program be accredited in order 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 finish the program. A low completion rate might indicate that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It might also signify that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which can mean more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Thonotosassa FL HVAC employers to help grads secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC vocational programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC contractors or trade unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local Thonotosassa FL HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the tools 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, consult with the HVAC technician you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Thonotosassa FL HVAC contractor if they can give you some suggestions. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Thonotosassa FL residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much personalized instruction 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 witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Talk to a few of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to some of the teachers and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications 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 Thonotosassa FL, check that the programs you are looking at provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, 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 due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering an HVAC School near Thonotosassa FL?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Thonotosassa Florida area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
The name "Thonotosassa" comes from the Seminole-Creek words ronoto "flint" and sasv "some", meaning the place was a source of valuable flint. Following the establishment of Fort Brooke in 1824 in what is now Tampa, a road that ran northwest of Lake Thonotosassa was built between Fort Brooke and Fort King in Ocala. This road became known as the Fort King Road, which today is crossed in several locations by U.S. Route 301. Nevertheless, the presence of a Seminole village largely discouraged whites from moving into the area. After the Second Seminole War ended in 1842, whites began to settle.
In 1893, the Tampa and Thonotosassa Railroad opened a 13-mile (21 km) route between the two growing communities. This line today no longer extends into Thonotosassa, its northern tracks having been removed along with the town depot by the 1980s, but its southern portion remains a busy industrial spur, joining with the CSX main line at Neve Wye.
Thonotosassa is located in northeastern Hillsborough County at 28°3′22″N 82°17′34″W / 28.05611°N 82.29278°W / 28.05611; -82.29278 (28.056135, -82.292663). It is bordered to the southwest by East Lake-Orient Park, and to the south by Mango and Seffner. The unincorporated community of Antioch is on the eastern edge of the CDP.
Air Conditioner and Refrigeration Courses Thonotosassa FL
Picking the right HVAC school course is a crucial first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating and cooling trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Air Conditioner and Refrigeration Courses. However, as we have addressed in this post, you should select an HVAC school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC profession. Other things to search for are ample practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should check out each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to explore the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Also, inquire about scheduling choices and whether 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 proper questions as we have detailed 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 eventually become a licensed HVAC professional in Thonotosassa FL.
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