How to Choose the Right HVAC Degree Program near Mesa Arizona
Now that you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioning professional, the next action is to find an HVAC technical school near Mesa AZ. But with so many to pick from, how do you pick the best one to get the training that you require? Many future students will make their selection based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Even though these are significant concerns, they are not the only ones to investigate. Some of the other things that you need to look into are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and additional criteria will be addressed in more detail later in this article. But before we examine how to pick an HVAC vocational school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling technician does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Pro
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are generally required to be licensed, though every state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Acquiring professional certification is not mandatory, but an alternative way for Mesa AZ HVAC technicians to establish that they are highly proficient and accomplished in their area of specialization. There are multiple respected certifications within the field that are offered. Following are a few of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is earned by passing a competency examination and can be received 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 along with a passing result on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are provided in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are three types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing may be mandated in your area, and you may also wish 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 handling refrigerants, make sure that the program you choose preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Courses
There are a variety of alternatives available for HVAC training in a trade or technical school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the least period of time, typically completed in as little as 6 months, though 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 can provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will provide more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief explanation of each credential offered near Mesa AZ.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more extensive background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Generally taking two years to finish, many degrees include 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 conventional 4 year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.
Selecting the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your future career aspirations are, along with the time and money that you have to commit. One approach is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Mesa AZ, later going back to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, be sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Courses Online
Enrolling in an HVAC program online is one option to getting your education and earning a degree or certificate. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. Many also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes can be attended on the web, this alternative may be a more accessible solution for many Mesa AZ students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even travelling expenses from Mesa and study materials may be reduced, helping to make schooling more affordable. And a large number of online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family obligations have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your busy schedule.
Questions For HVAC Certification Courses
After you have selected the type of degree or certificate that you wish to earn, either online or on campus, you can begin to limit your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are many HVAC trade schools in the Mesa AZ area and all over the USA to select from. That’s why it is very important to have a checklist of relevant qualifiers when making school comparisons. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the first 2 variables you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC trade schools in the Mesa AZ area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Make certain that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, some states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to be approved 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 program. A low completion rate might indicate that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It could also suggest that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which can result in 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 trade, but also that it has the network of Mesa AZ HVAC employers to help grads secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC vocational programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling contractors or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have working relationships with local Mesa AZ HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC tech you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Mesa AZ HVAC company if they can provide some suggestions. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Mesa AZ residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Talk with several of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Mesa AZ, confirm that the schools you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering an HVAC School near Mesa AZ?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Mesa Arizona area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Mesa (/ˈmeɪsə/ MAY-sə) is a city in Maricopa County, in the U.S. state of Arizona. It is a suburb located about 20 miles (32 km) east of Phoenix in the East Valley section of the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. It is bordered by Tempe on the west, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community on the north, Chandler and Gilbert on the south along with Queen Creek, and Apache Junction on the east.
Mesa is the largest suburban city by population in the United States, the third-largest city in Arizona after Phoenix and Tucson, and the 35th-largest city overall in the US. The city is home to 508,958 people as of 2018 according to the Census Bureau, which makes it more populous than major cities such as Minneapolis, St. Louis, or Miami. Mesa is home to numerous higher education facilities including the Polytechnic campus of Arizona State University. It is also home to the largest relief airport in the Phoenix area, Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, which is located in the southeastern corner of the city.
The history of Mesa dates back at least 2,000 years to the arrival of the Hohokam people. The Hohokam, whose name means "All Used Up" or "The Departed Ones", built the original canal system. The canals were the largest and most sophisticated in the prehistoric New World. Some were up to 90 feet (27 m) wide and 10 feet (3.0 m) deep at their head gates, extending for as far as 16 miles (26 km) across the desert. By A.D. 1100 water could be delivered to an area over 110,000 acres (450 km2), transforming the Sonoran Desert into an agricultural oasis. By A.D. 1450, the Hohokam had constructed hundreds of miles of canals many of which are still in use today.
Air Conditioner Training Mesa AZ
Finding the ideal HVAC school program is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating and cooling industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Air Conditioner Training. However, as we have discussed in this article, you need to select an HVAC training program and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC profession. Other things to look for are lots of practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should go to each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to inspect 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. In addition, inquire about scheduling choices and whether or not night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have detailed in our guidelines for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC professional in Mesa AZ.
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