How to Enroll In the Right Heating and Cooling Training Program near Apple Valley California
Now that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner professional, the next step is to locate an HVAC vocational school near Apple Valley CA. But with so many to choose from, how do you choose the right one to receive the training that you need? Some prospective students will make their selection based exclusively on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Even though these are significant considerations, they are not the only ones to investigate. Some of the other factors 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 covered in more detail later within this article. But before we explore how to select an HVAC vocational school, let’s look at what a heating and cooling contractor does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Tech
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are generally required to be licensed, although every state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Acquiring professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary means for Apple Valley CA HVAC techs to prove that they are highly proficient and experienced in their area of expertise. There are several acknowledged certifications within the industry that are available. Below are some of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is attained by passing a proficiency exam and can 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 exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience along with a passing score on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing might be mandated in your area, and you may also wish to earn certification, it’s essential that you pick an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be handling refrigerants, make sure that the program you pick prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Schools
There are a number of alternatives available for HVAC training in a vocational or trade school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, typically achieved in as little as 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 programs may provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will furnish more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a short summary of each credential offered near Apple Valley CA.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more exhaustive understanding of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally requiring two years to complete, a number of degrees include 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 call for an Associate Degree, while others are a standard 4 year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Picking the right credential program will be based on what your long term career aspirations are, along with the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One possibility is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Apple Valley CA, subsequently going back 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 Training Online
Choosing an HVAC program online is one option in attaining your education and earning a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in hands on training. Many also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes may be participated in online, this approach may be a more convenient solution for many Apple Valley CA students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even travelling expenses from Apple Valley and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family responsibilities have left you with limited time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your active lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Training Programs
As soon as you have chosen the type of degree or certificate that you wish to obtain, either on campus or online, you can begin to narrow down your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous HVAC trade schools in the Apple Valley CA area and across the USA to pick from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of key qualifiers when making school assessments. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the first 2 factors you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you need to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC technical programs in the Apple Valley CA area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as HVAC technology. Make sure that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you receive a superior education, it can assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training program 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 percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate could suggest that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It may also mean that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s also 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 an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Apple Valley CA HVAC employers to help graduates acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC training programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling businesses or trade unions. Check if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with local Apple Valley CA HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC tech you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Apple Valley CA HVAC company if they can provide some suggestions. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Apple Valley CA residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging 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 teachers. Speak to some of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with a few of the teachers and learn what their level of expertise 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 handle your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Apple Valley CA, confirm that the programs you are comparing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.
Considering an HVAC School near Apple Valley CA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Apple Valley California area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Apple Valley, California
Apple Valley is located in the Victor Valley of San Bernardino County, in the U.S. state of California. It was incorporated on November 14, 1988, and is one of the twenty-two incorporated municipalities in California that uses "town" in its name instead of "city." The town is east of and adjoining to the neighboring cities of Victorville and Hesperia, 35 miles (56 km) south of Barstow and 49 miles (79 km) north of San Bernardino through the Cajon Pass. The population was 69,135 at the 2010 census.
Apple Valley was home to Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, whose museum was first established in Apple Valley (in 1967) before the museum was relocated to Victorville in 1976. Since 2003, the museum has been in Branson, Missouri. The move was made in hopes of reaching more fans; however, the museum closed for financial reasons on December 12, 2009.
Apple Valley is located at the southern edge of the Mojave Desert. It is bordered by the cities of Victorville on the west and Hesperia on the southwest sides, with the Census-Designated Place of Lucerne Valley a distance to the east and the city of Barstow c. 30 miles to the north. Apple Valley, in combination with Victorville, Hesperia, Adelanto and immediate surrounding areas, are commonly known as the Victor Valley. The primary thoroughfare through Apple Valley is State Route 18, which was given the moniker "Happy Trails Highway" within Apple Valley town limits, after the theme song of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, who once resided on Outer Highway 18. The commercial area is split currently between State Route 18 and Bear Valley Road (the two roads are near parallel until they intersect in the east, outside of town). The Mojave River that borders the west side of Apple Valley flows south-to-north. The town is bounded on its southern edge by the foothills of the San Bernardino mountains.
HVAC Certification Courses Apple Valley CA
Selecting the ideal HVAC school course is a critical beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating & cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Certification Courses. However, as we have addressed in this post, you should select an Heating and Cooling training program and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC trade. Other factors to look for are plenty of practical training and modern facilities. You should check out each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to inspect 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. Additionally, inquire about scheduling options and if evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to ask about financial assistance and student loan options as well. If you ask the right questions as we have outlined in our checklist 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 dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC technician in Apple Valley CA.
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