How to Select the Right HVAC Certificate Program near Red Rock Arizona
Once you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning professional, the next step is to find an HVAC technical school near Red Rock AZ. But with so many to choose from, how do you choose the ideal one to obtain the training that you require? Some future students will make their decision based solely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Even though these are significant considerations, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Some of the other factors that you need to research 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 explore how to choose an HVAC technical school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling contractor does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Pro
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are generally required to be licensed, although every state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Obtaining professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary means for Red Rock AZ HVAC technicians to establish that they are exceptionally proficient and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are several acknowledged certifications within the field that are offered. Below are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is achieved by passing a proficiency examination and can be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience together with passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience together with a passing result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing may be mandated in your area, and you may also wish to earn certification, it’s imperative that you pick an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be working with refrigerants, make sure that the program you pick preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree Training Programs
There are a number of options offered for HVAC instruction in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the minimum amount of time, often achieved in just six months, although some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree programs may provide a competitive edge in the job market and will provide more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief description of each option offered near Red Rock 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 industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more extensive knowledge of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Typically requiring 2 years to finish, 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 or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional four year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Choosing the right credential program will be dependent on what your long term career aspirations are, in addition to the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One option is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Red Rock AZ, later returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Schools Online
Attending an HVAC program online is one approach to attaining your training and earning a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete hands on training. Many also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to 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 many Red Rock AZ students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even commuting expenses from Red Rock and study supplies can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family commitments have left you with minimal time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to fit school into your hectic lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Trade Schools
As soon as you have selected the type of certificate or degree that you desire to obtain, either on campus or online, you can start to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of HVAC technical schools in the Red Rock AZ area and across the Country to pick from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of key qualifiers when making school assessments. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the initial two factors you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you will want to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC vocational programs in the Red Rock AZ area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Confirm that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you receive a superior education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, some states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to qualify 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 portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate could signify that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It might also mean that the instructors were not qualified to instruct 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 graduates, which can 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 additionally that it has the network of Red Rock AZ HVAC employers to assist students secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC technical programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC companies or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with local Red Rock AZ HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding 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. Make certain that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC technician you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Red Rock AZ HVAC company if they can provide some suggestions. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Red Rock AZ home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be increased 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 bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Speak to a few of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Red Rock AZ, confirm that the schools you are considering offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, 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 Red Rock AZ?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Red Rock Arizona area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Red Rock, Pinal County, Arizona
ASU has contracted with APS to develop and operate a 29 MWdc solar facility at APS’s Saguaro Generating Station near Red Rock, AZ. With the addition of this project to ASU’s existing project portfolio, ASU will have driven the development of solar energy production beyond the 50MWdc milestone. As part of the transaction, APS will supply ASU with 65,000 MWh per year of solar energy, an increase of more than 150% above the current renewable energy used by the university.
At the 2010 Census Red Rock had a population of 2,169. The racial and ethnic composition of the population was 66.3% non-Hispanic white, 1.9% Black or African American, 1.6% Native American, 1.0% Asian, 0.1% non-Hispanic reporting some other race, 5.8% reporting two or more races and 27.8% Hispanic or Latino.
HVAC Service Training Red Rock AZ
Selecting the ideal HVAC training course is an important beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating & cooling industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Service Training. However, as we have addressed in this article, you need to choose an Heating and Cooling trade school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC trade. Other features to look for are lots of practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to visit each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. In addition, inquire about scheduling choices and if evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial assistance and student loan options as well. If you ask the proper questions as we have detailed in our guidelines for assessing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC contractor in Red Rock AZ.
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