How to Select the Right Heating and Cooling Program near Sun City Florida
Now that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next step is to find an HVAC trade school near Sun City FL. But with so many to select from, how do you pick the ideal one to obtain the training that you need? Some potential students will make their selection based exclusively on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Although these are necessary concerns, they are not the only ones to investigate. Just some of the other factors that you need to look into are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and additional criteria will be discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we discuss how to pick an HVAC training program, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling specialist does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Pro
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, though each state and local municipality has its own requirements. Obtaining professional certification is not mandatory, but an alternative means for Sun City FL HVAC technicians to establish that they are exceptionally qualified and experienced in their area of specialization. There are a number of recognized certifications within the trade that are offered. Here are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is attained by passing a competency examination and can be earned 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 exam 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. Similar to NATE, certifications are made available in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing could be required in your location, and you may also wish to obtain certification, it’s imperative that you enroll in an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the school you decide on preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Schools
There are several options offered for HVAC training in a technical or trade school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the least amount of time, typically completed in just 6 months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree programs might provide a competitive edge in the job market and will provide more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a short explanation of each credential offered near Sun City FL.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more detailed background of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically taking 2 years to complete, a number of degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more towards a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a standard 4 year program. In addition to being taught 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 future career aspirations are, in addition to the time and money that you have to invest. One possibility is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Sun City FL, subsequently returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Classes Online
Attending an HVAC school online is one approach in attaining your education and earning a degree or certificate. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete practical training. Some also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be attended on the web, this approach may be a more convenient solution for some Sun City FL students that are pressed for time. And some online degree programs are less costly than other traditional choices. Even commuting expenses from Sun City and study supplies may be reduced, helping to make schooling more economical. And a large number of online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family obligations have left you with limited time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to fit school into your active schedule.
Questions For HVAC Certification Courses
After you have chosen the type of certificate or degree that you wish to obtain, either online or on campus, you can start to narrow down your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are many HVAC trade schools in the Sun City FL area and across the Country to select from. That’s why it is essential to have a list of key qualifications when making school comparisons. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the initial 2 aspects you will take into consideration. Following are some additional ones that you need to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC vocational programs in the Sun City FL area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Make sure that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate might signify that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It could also suggest that the teachers were not competent 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 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 will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Sun City FL HVAC employers to assist students secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC trade programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling contractors or trade unions. Check if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with local Sun City FL HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the equipment 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, talk to the HVAC technician you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Sun City FL HVAC company if they can provide some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Sun City FL home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging 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 several of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Sun City FL, check that the schools you are comparing offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Considering an HVAC School near Sun City FL?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Sun City Florida area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Sun City Center, Florida
Sun City Center is an unincorporated census-designated place in southern Hillsborough County, Florida, United States. It is located south of Tampa and north of Sarasota on I-75. As of the 2010 census, the population was 19,258. The ZIP Code serving the community is 33573.
Sun City Center is an age-restricted community, which consists of single-family dwellings, duplexes, townhouses, and apartment buildings. It has its own hospital and several nursing home facilities. It is legal to drive golf carts on the wide, palm-lined streets during daylight hours, and most shopping has special parking slots for same. There are about seven golf courses, various hobby shops, and an outdoor and two indoor pools in the main clubhouse area. There are clubs for almost any interest or hobby, including ham radio, computers, art, woodworking, photography, sewing, cards, investments, and dancing.
Sun City Center is located in southern Hillsborough County at 27°42′48″N 82°21′35″W / 27.71333°N 82.35972°W / 27.71333; -82.35972 (27.713353, -82.359659). It is bordered to the northwest by Apollo Beach, to the northeast by Balm, to the east by Wimauma, and to the west by Ruskin. Interstate 75 forms the northwestern edge of the CDP, with access from Exit 240, Sun City Center Boulevard (State Road 674). U.S. Route 301 forms the eastern edge of the CDP, and the southern edge follows the Little Manatee River. Tampa is 24 miles (39 km) to the north, and Bradenton is 21 miles (34 km) to the southwest via I-75, or 25 miles (40 km) via US-301.
Air Conditioner Diploma Course Sun City FL
Enrolling in the right HVAC school program is a critical beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating & cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Air Conditioner Diploma Course. However, as we have covered in this post, you need to choose an Heating and Cooling training program and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC profession. Other factors to look for are sufficient hands-on training and modern facilities. You need to go to each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to explore the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Attempt 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 remember to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the right questions as we have detailed in our guidelines for assessing 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 dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC professional in Sun City FL.
More Hot and Cool Locations in Florida
Business Results 1 - 10 of 510