How to Select the Right HVAC Certification Course near Prescott Arizona
Once you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and cooling professional, the next action is to locate an HVAC trade school near Prescott AZ. But with so many to choose from, how do you decide on the best one to get the training that you require? A number of prospective students will make their selection based solely on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. Even though these are significant concerns, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Some of the other factors 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 discussed in more detail later within this article. But before we discuss how to pick an HVAC training program, let’s look at what a heating and cooling contractor does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Contractor
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, although every state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Earning professional certification is not required, but an optional way for Prescott AZ HVAC specialists to prove that they are exceptionally qualified and accomplished in their area of specialization. There are a number of recognized certifications within the industry that are available. Here are a few of the significant 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 may be acquired 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 three years of experience along with a passing score on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are made available in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing may be mandated in your location, and you may also intend to acquire certification, it’s imperative that you select an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be working with refrigerants, make certain that the program you choose readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Classes
There are a number of options offered for HVAC training in a trade or technical school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the least period of time, usually completed in just six months, although 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 training programs might provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will provide more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short summary of each option offered near Prescott AZ.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more detailed background of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally requiring 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 tailored more towards a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a standard 4 year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Choosing the ideal credential program will be based on what your future career aspirations are, as well as the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One approach is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Prescott AZ, later returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, be sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Training Online
Attending an HVAC program online is one option to attaining your training and earning a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. Many 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 participated in via the internet, this approach may be a more accessible solution for some Prescott AZ students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other traditional alternatives. Even travelling expenses from Prescott and study materials may be lessened, helping to make schooling more economical. And numerous online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family responsibilities have left you with limited time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your active lifestyle.
Questions to Ask HVAC Training Programs
When you have picked the type of certificate or degree that you wish to obtain, either on campus or online, you can begin to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Prescott AZ area and throughout the United States to pick from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of key qualifiers when making school assessments. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the first two aspects you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC technical schools in the Prescott AZ area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, 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. Along with helping guarantee that you acquire a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, a number of states require that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Cooling 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 may suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It may also signify that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which can produce more contacts for the school to employ 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 Prescott AZ HVAC employers to help graduates obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC training programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling businesses or labor unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Prescott AZ HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school 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 presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC specialist you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Prescott AZ HVAC contractor if they can provide some pointers. Also bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Prescott AZ home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger 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 students and instructors. Speak to several of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Prescott AZ, confirm that the schools you are comparing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering an HVAC School near Prescott AZ?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Prescott Arizona area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Prescott (/ˈprɛskət/ PRESS-kət;Yavapai: ʼWi:kwatha Ksikʼita) is a city in Yavapai County, Arizona, United States. According to the 2010 Census, the population of the city is 39,843. The city is the county seat of Yavapai County. In 1864 Prescott was designated as the capital of the Arizona Territory, replacing the temporary capital at Fort Whipple. The Territorial Capital was moved to Tucson in 1867. Prescott again became the Territorial Capital in 1877, until Phoenix became the capital in 1889.
The towns of Prescott Valley, 7 miles (11 km) east; Chino Valley, 16 miles (26 km) north; Dewey-Humboldt, 13 miles (21 km) east, and Prescott, together comprise what is locally known as the "Quad-City" area. This also sometimes refers to central Yavapai County in general, which would include the towns of: Mayer, Paulden, Wilhoit, and Williamson Valley. Combined with these smaller communities the area had a population of 103,260 as of 2007[update]. Prescott is the center of the Prescott Metropolitan Area, defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as all of Yavapai County.
Arizona Territorial Governor John Noble Goodwin selected the original site of Prescott following his first tour of the new territory. Goodwin replaced Governor John A. Gurley, appointed by Abraham Lincoln, but died before taking office. Downtown streets in Prescott are named in honor of each of them. Goodwin selected a site 20 miles (32 km) south of the temporary capital on the east side of Granite Creek near a number of mining camps. The territorial capital was later moved to the new site along with Fort Whipple, with the new town named in honor of historian William H. Prescott during a public meeting on May 30, 1864. Robert W. Groom surveyed the new community, and an initial auction sold 73 lots on June 4, 1864. By July 4, 1864, a total of 232 lots had been sold within the new community. Prescott was officially incorporated in 1881.
HVAC Degrees Prescott AZ
Choosing the ideal HVAC training program is an important first step toward a gratifying career in the heating and air conditioning industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Degrees. However, as we have discussed in this article, you need to pick an Heating and Cooling vocational school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC field. Other features to look for are plenty of hands-on training and modern facilities. You need to check out each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to tour the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Additionally, ask about scheduling options and if night or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have detailed in our guidelines for comparing schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC specialist in Prescott AZ.
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