How to Enroll In the Right Heating and Cooling Certification Class near Seligman Arizona
Now that you have decided on a career as a heating and cooling technician, the next step is to locate an HVAC trade school near Seligman AZ. But with so many to choose from, how do you choose the right one to receive the training that you need? A number of potential students will make their decision based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Even though these are significant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Some of the other details that you need to research are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and other benchmarks will be addressed in more detail later within this article. But before we discuss how to choose an HVAC technical school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling technician does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Contractor
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, however each state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Attaining professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary way for Seligman AZ HVAC specialists to establish that they are exceptionally skilled and accomplished in their area of specialization. There are many recognized certifications within the industry that are offered. Below are a few 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 exam and can be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience in addition to passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience together with a passing result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for technicians that work with refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing might be required in your location, and you may also wish to obtain certification, it’s essential that you select an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be handling refrigerants, make sure that the school you select preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree Training Programs
There are a number of choices offered for HVAC instruction in a technical or vocational school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the minimum period of time, typically completed in as little as 6 months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive edge in the job market and will provide more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief summary of each credential offered near Seligman AZ.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more extensive knowledge of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically requiring two years to finish, many degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more towards a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a standard four year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Choosing the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your long term career goals are, as well as 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 acquiring some experience in the field in Seligman AZ, later returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Classes
Choosing an HVAC school online is one approach in obtaining your training and receiving a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in hands on training. A number also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes may be participated in online, this option may be a more practical solution for some Seligman AZ students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even driving expenses from Seligman and study supplies may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family obligations have left you with minimal time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to accommodate school into your busy lifestyle.
Questions For HVAC Training Classes
Once you have selected the type of certificate or degree that you would like to acquire, either on campus or online, you can start to decrease your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous HVAC technical schools in the Seligman AZ area and throughout the Country to pick from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of relevant qualifiers when making school assessments. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the first two factors you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you should explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC trade schools in the Seligman AZ area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Verify that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you receive a quality education, it can help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, some states require that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate might signify that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It might also indicate that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which may result in more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Seligman AZ HVAC employers to assist graduates obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC vocational programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC contractors or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with local Seligman AZ HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are presently 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 Seligman AZ HVAC contractor if they can give you some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Seligman AZ residence. Take note that if you decide to attend 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 important that you get as much individualized training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Talk with some of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to some of the teachers and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Seligman AZ, verify that the schools you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, check 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 Seligman AZ?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Seligman Arizona area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Seligman is located at 35°19′42″N 112°52′27″W / 35.32833°N 112.87417°W / 35.32833; -112.87417 (35.328199, −112.874303), at 5,240 feet (1,600 m) in elevation, alongside the Big Chino Wash, in a northern section of Chino Valley. The wash is a major tributary of the Verde River. Seligman is a popular stopping point along Historic U.S. Route 66.
Originally, Seligman was called "Prescott Junction", because it was the railroad stop on the Santa Fe mainline junction with the Prescott and Arizona Central Railway Company feeder line running to Prescott, in the Arizona Territory. The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway (AT&SF) had reached it in 1882. In 1886 it was renamed Seligman, after Jesse Seligman, one of the founders of J.W. Seligman Co. of New York, who helped finance the railroad lines in the area. The original feeder line to Prescott was replaced in 1891 by the Santa Fe, Prescott and Phoenix Railway with the Santa Fe mainline junction at Ash Fork instead.
Because of its flat land Seligman became a large switching yard consisting of many tracks, and served as a large livestock shipping center for the areas ranchers. It was also a terminal point for changing train crews between Winslow and Needles, who used overnight cottages in the town.
Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Training Seligman AZ
Enrolling in the ideal HVAC training program is an important beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating and cooling trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Training. However, as we have discussed in this post, you need to choose an HVAC trade school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC profession. Other factors to look for are ample hands-on training and modern facilities. You should go to each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling options and whether or not night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the proper questions as we have outlined in our guidelines for evaluating 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 eventually become a licensed HVAC specialist in Seligman AZ.
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