How to Choose the Right HVAC Degree Program near Show Low Arizona
Now that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next step is to choose an HVAC trade school near Show Low AZ. But with so many to pick from, how do you select the ideal one to get the training that you require? A number of future students will make their choice based solely on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Although these are important concerns, they are not the only ones to take into account. Just 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. These and other criteria will be discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we examine how to choose an HVAC training program, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c specialist does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Contractor
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, however every state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Earning professional certification is not required, but an alternative means for Show Low AZ HVAC techs to establish that they are exceptionally proficient and accomplished in their area of specialization. There are many respected certifications within the trade that are offered. Below are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is achieved by passing a competency exam and may be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of professional experience in addition to passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience together with a passing score on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are made available in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are three types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing could be required in your location, and you may also wish to acquire 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 certain that the program you choose prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Classes
There are a number of options available for HVAC training in a vocational or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, often completed in just 6 months, although some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree training programs may provide a competitive edge in the job market and will furnish more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief explanation of each credential offered near Show Low AZ.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They provide a strong foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more extensive knowledge of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually taking 2 years to complete, some degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more for a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional four year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Selecting the ideal credential program will be dependent on what your long term career aspirations are, in addition to the time and money that you have to invest. One option is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Show Low AZ, later returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Courses Online
Choosing an HVAC school online is one alternative to getting your training and receiving a certificate or degree. Most 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 balance of the classes may be participated in online, this option may be a more accessible solution for many Show Low AZ students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even driving expenses from Show Low and study supplies may be lessened, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And many online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family commitments have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to accommodate school into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask HVAC Training Programs
Once you have picked the type of degree or certificate that you want to acquire, either on campus or online, you can begin to decrease your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of HVAC trade schools in the Show Low AZ area and across the Country to pick from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school evaluations. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the initial two variables you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you need to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC technical schools in the Show Low AZ area have acquired 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 instance HVAC technology. Confirm that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you receive an excellent education, it can help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, many states require that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate could suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It could also mean that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which may result in more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Show Low AZ HVAC employers to help graduates obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC trade programs are taught together 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 HVAC contractors or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with local Show Low AZ HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC technician you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Show Low AZ HVAC contracting company if they can give you some pointers. Also bear in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Show Low AZ residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive 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 see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak with several of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to some of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Show Low AZ, verify that the programs you are comparing offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering an HVAC School near Show Low AZ?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Show Low Arizona area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Show Low, Arizona
Show Low is a city in Navajo County, Arizona, United States. It lies on the Mogollon Rim in east central Arizona, at an elevation of 6,345 feet (1,934 m). The city was established in 1870 and incorporated in 1953. According to the 2010 census, the population of the city was 10,660.
The two men were equal partners in a 100,000-acre (400 km2) ranch; however, the partners determined that there was not enough room for both of them in their settlement, and agreed to settle the issue over a game of "Seven Up" (with the winner taking the ranch and the loser leaving).
After the game seemed to have no winner in sight, Clark said, "If you can show low, you win." In response, Cooley turned up the deuce of clubs (the lowest possible card) and replied, "Show low it is."
Heating and Air Classes Show Low AZ
Finding the right HVAC school course is a critical beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating and cooling trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Heating and Air Classes. However, as we have covered in this post, you should choose an Heating and Cooling training program and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC field. Other features to search for are sufficient practical training and modern facilities. You need to go to each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to tour the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. In addition, ask about scheduling choices and whether or not night or weekend classes are offered 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 outlined in our checklist for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC specialist in Show Low AZ.
More Hot and Cool Locations in Arizona
Business Results 1 - 10 of 6