Air Conditioning Degree Stanfield AZ

How to Choose the Right HVAC Training Program near Stanfield Arizona

air conditioner condensers in Stanfield AZOnce you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and cooling professional, the next step is to find an HVAC technical school near Stanfield AZ. But with so many to select from, how do you pick the best one to get the training that you need? A number of prospective students will make their choice based entirely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their home. While these are necessary concerns, they are not the only ones to take into account. Just some of the other factors that you need to investigate are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and additional benchmarks will be discussed in more detail later within this article. But before we tackle how to pick an HVAC vocational school, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning contractor does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Specialist

Stanfield AZ HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, although each state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Earning professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary means for Stanfield AZ HVAC techs to prove that they are exceptionally skilled and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are multiple acknowledged certifications within the trade that are offered. Below are a few of the significant ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is attained 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 field experience as well as passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience in addition to a passing result on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are made available in various specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are three forms of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Since licensing may be required in your area, and you may also intend to obtain certification, it’s important that you enroll in an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the program you select readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Degree Classes

radiator heater in Stanfield AZ homeThere are several choices available for HVAC instruction in a technical or trade school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, typically achieved in just 6 months, however some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of 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 deliver more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a short description of each option offered near Stanfield AZ.

  • Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They provide a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more detailed knowledge of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically taking 2 years to finish, many 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 or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional four year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.

Picking the appropriate credential program will be based on what your long term career goals are, together with the time and money that you have to commit. One option is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the trade in Stanfield AZ, eventually going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Courses Online

Stanfield AZ student attending HVAC school onlineChoosing an HVAC school online is one approach in attaining your education and earning a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. Some also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes may be participated in via the internet, this option may be a more convenient solution for some Stanfield AZ students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are more economical than other on campus choices. Even commuting expenses from Stanfield and study materials can be reduced, helping to make schooling more affordable. 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, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your hectic lifestyle.

Questions to Ask HVAC Training Programs

Questions to ask Stanfield AZ HVAC training schoolsOnce you have decided on the type of certificate or degree that you want to obtain, either online or on campus, you can start to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Stanfield AZ area and all over the USA to select from. That’s why it is essential to have a checklist of relevant qualifiers when making school assessments. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the first two factors you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you should research before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  A large number of HVAC trade programs in the Stanfield AZ area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Make sure that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it can help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, 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 considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate might signify that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It may also suggest that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which may mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Stanfield AZ HVAC employers to help students secure apprenticeships or employment.

Apprenticeship Programs.  A large number of HVAC training programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC companies or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with local Stanfield AZ HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make certain that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC tech you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Stanfield AZ HVAC contracting company if they can give you some tips. Also keep in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Stanfield AZ home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s desirable that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Talk with some of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to a few of the teachers and learn 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 evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Stanfield AZ, check that the programs you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.

Considering an HVAC School near Stanfield AZ?

Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Stanfield Arizona area.  If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.

Stanfield, Arizona

As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 651 people, 187 households, and 146 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 164.2 people per square mile (63.5/km²). There were 202 housing units at an average density of 51.0/sq mi (19.7/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 50.69% White, 3.99% Black or African American, 11.37% Native American, 0.92% Pacific Islander, 30.88% from other races, and 2.15% from two or more races. 61.60% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 187 households out of which 37.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.9% were married couples living together, 23.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.9% were non-families. 17.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.48 and the average family size was 3.94.

In the CDP, the population was spread out with 32.6% under the age of 18, 11.8% from 18 to 24, 28.0% from 25 to 44, 17.7% from 45 to 64, and 10.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28 years. For every 100 females, there were 101.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.5 males.

Air Conditioning Degree Stanfield AZ

Finding the ideal HVAC training program 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 Air Conditioning Degree. However, as we have addressed in this article, you need to choose an HVAC trade school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC field. Other features to look for are ample practical training and modern facilities. You need to go to each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to explore the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Also, inquire about scheduling choices and whether evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options as well. If you ask the right questions as we have laid out in our checklist for comparing 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 commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC contractor in Stanfield AZ.

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