How to Choose HVAC Degree Programs Chino CA

How to Find the Right Heating and Cooling College near Chino California

air conditioner condensers in Chino CANow that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and cooling professional, the next action is to locate an HVAC technical school near Chino CA. But with so many to choose from, how do you pick the best one to obtain the training that you need? A number of potential students will make their choice based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. Even though these are relevant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to investigate. A few 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 additional criteria will be discussed in more detail later within this article. But before we explore how to choose an HVAC training program, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c contractor does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Pro

Chino CA HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, however every state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Acquiring professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary means for Chino CA HVAC technicians to demonstrate that they are exceptionally qualified and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are many acknowledged certifications within the trade that are available. 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 earned by passing a competency exam and can be earned in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of professional experience as well as passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience together with a passing score on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in several specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for techs that work with refrigerants. There are three forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Since licensing might be required in your area, and you may also wish to earn certification, it’s imperative that you select an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be handling refrigerants, make sure that the school you select prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.

HVAC Degree and Certificate Schools

radiator heater in Chino CA homeThere are a variety of choices available for HVAC training in a vocational or trade 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 just six months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree programs might provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will deliver more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short summary of each credential offered near Chino CA.

  • Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They provide a solid foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more exhaustive background of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically taking 2 years to finish, some 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 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 air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.

Selecting the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your long term career goals are, as well as 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 Chino CA, eventually going back to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Classes Online

Chino CA student attending HVAC school onlineAttending an HVAC program online is one possibility to attaining your education and earning a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will call for some attendance on campus to participate in hands on training. A number also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be participated in via the internet, this alternative may be a more accessible solution for many Chino CA students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are cheaper than other traditional choices. Even commuting expenses from Chino and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And numerous online schools 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 online HVAC degree program will make it easier to fit school into your active lifestyle.

Questions to Ask HVAC Training Programs

Questions to ask Chino CA HVAC training schoolsAs soon as you have chosen the type of degree or certificate that you want to obtain, either on campus or online, you can begin to limit your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are a large number of HVAC technical schools in the Chino CA area and throughout the Country to choose from. That’s why it is essential to have a list of relevant qualifiers when making school assessments. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the initial 2 factors you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you need to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Numerous HVAC technical programs in the Chino CA area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Verify that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it can assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, some states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning schools you are looking at 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 may suggest that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It may also mean that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which may produce more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Chino CA HVAC employers to assist students secure apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  A large number of HVAC vocational programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC contractors or labor unions. Check if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with local Chino CA HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make certain that the campus 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, consult with the HVAC technician you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Chino CA HVAC contractor if they can give you some pointers. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Chino CA residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s important that you receive as much individualized training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Talk with a few of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with a few of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.

Flexible Scheduling.  Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Chino CA, check that the programs you are looking at provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, find 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 Chino CA?

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

Chino, California

Chino is a city in San Bernardino County, California, United States at the western end of the Riverside-San Bernardino Area. Chino and its surroundings have long been a center of agriculture and dairy farming, providing milk products in Southern California and much of the southwestern United States. Chino's agricultural history dates back to the Spanish land grant forming Rancho Santa Ana del Chino. The area specialized in orchard, row crops and dairy.

Chino is bounded by Chino Hills to the west, Pomona to the northwest, unincorporated San Bernardino County (near Montclair) to the north, Ontario to the northeast, Eastvale to the Southeast, and unincorporated Riverside County to the south. It is easily accessible via the Chino Valley (71) and Pomona (60) freeways. The population was 77,983 at the 2010 census.

Downtown Chino is home to satellite branches of the San Bernardino County Library and Chaffey Community College, the Chino Community Theatre, the Chino Boxing Club and a weekly Farmer's Market. In 2008, the city of Chino was awarded the prestigious "100 Best Communities for Youth" award for the second time in three years.[8] Chino hosted shooting events for the 1984 Summer Olympics at the Prado Olympic Shooting Park in the Prado Regional Park. Two California state prisons for adults (California Institution for Men and California Institution for Women), as well as the Heman G. Stark Youth Correctional Facility, lie within the city limits.[9]

How to Choose HVAC Degree Programs Chino CA

Selecting the right HVAC school program is a critical first step toward a gratifying career in the heating & cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding How to Choose HVAC Degree Programs. However, as we have covered in this article, you should choose an Heating and Cooling trade school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC trade. Other things to search for are sufficient practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should visit 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 training and the interaction between them. In addition, inquire about scheduling options and if night or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial aid and student loan options also. If you ask the right questions as we have detailed 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 right training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC specialist in Chino CA.

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