How to Enroll In the Right HVAC Certification Class near Colfax California
Once you have decided on a career as a heating and cooling technician, the next action is to look for an HVAC trade school near Colfax CA. But with so many to choose from, how do you select the right one to get the training that you need? A number of prospective students will make their selection based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their home. While these are significant concerns, they are not the only ones to take into account. Just some of the other things that you need to research are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and other criteria will be addressed in more detail later within this article. But before we examine how to select an HVAC training program, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling professional does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
How to Become 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, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, however each state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Acquiring professional certification is not compulsory, but a voluntary means for Colfax CA HVAC technicians to prove that they are highly proficient and accomplished in their area of specialization. There are a number of respected certifications within the industry 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 earned by passing a proficiency 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 field experience in addition to passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience along with a passing result on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are provided in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for techs that handle refrigerants. There are three types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing might be required in your location, and you may also intend to earn certification, it’s important that you select an HVAC vocational school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the program you select prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Classes
There are a variety of options offered for HVAC training in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the lesser period of time, often achieved in as little as 6 months, however some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive edge in the job market and will furnish more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief explanation of each credential offered near Colfax CA.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level commercial or residential HVAC specialists. 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 & cooling systems than the certificate program. Normally 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 for a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional four year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.
Choosing the appropriate credential program will be based on what your long term career objectives are, along with the time and money that you have to invest. One possibility is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the trade in Colfax CA, eventually going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, be sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Training
Enrolling in an HVAC school online is one option in obtaining your training and earning a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. A number also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes can be participated in online, this alternative may be a more practical solution for some Colfax CA students that are pressed for time. And some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even commuting expenses from Colfax and study supplies can be minimized, helping to make schooling more affordable. And numerous online schools 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 online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your busy schedule.
Questions For HVAC Certification Classes
After you have decided on the type of degree or certificate that you would like to acquire, either online or on campus, you can start to narrow down your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are numerous HVAC trade schools in the Colfax CA area and all over the USA to pick from. That’s why it is very important to have a checklist of important qualifications when making school assessments. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the first 2 factors you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC technical schools in the Colfax CA area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Make sure that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you obtain a superior education, it can assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, many states require that the HVAC training program be accredited in order 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 signify that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It could also suggest that the instructors were not qualified to train 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 alumni, which can mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Colfax CA HVAC employers to help grads secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC trade programs are taught along 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 companies or trade unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with local Colfax CA HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC tech you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Colfax CA HVAC company if they can give you some tips. Also keep in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Colfax CA home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much personalized training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Speak to a few of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to a few of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Colfax CA, check that the schools you are comparing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering an HVAC School near Colfax CA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Colfax California area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Colfax (formerly, Alden Grove, Alder Grove, Illinoistown, and Upper Corral) is a city in Placer County, California, at the crossroads of Interstate 80 and State Route 174. It is part of the Sacramento–Arden-Arcade–Roseville Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 1,963 at the 2010 census. The town is named in honor of U.S. Vice President Schuyler Colfax (1869–73), a bronze statue of whom stands at Railroad Street and Grass Valley Street. (This is the only known statue of Schuyler Colfax in the United States). Some of the town's notable features include the newly restored Southern Pacific Railroad colonnade-style depot (which houses the Colfax Museum and Chamber of Commerce) built in 1905, the downtown shops on Main Street, and Colfax High School, which serves a large surrounding area.
Originally inhabited by the Maidu and Miwok Indians, by the mid-19th century the city site was known as Alder Grove; however, as development increased, the city became known as Illinoistown. In April 1852, the Reelfoot Williams Gang robbed a Nevada City stagecoach of $7,000 in gold bullion near Illinoistown. This was the first stagecoach robbery in the gold country.
Later it was renamed Colfax after then Speaker of the House (and later Vice President) Schuyler Colfax who visited the town in 1865 while inspecting progress of construction of the Central Pacific Railroad, the western portion of the first transcontinental railroad. The city was the southern terminus of the Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad from 1876 until the railroad’s removal in 1942. Historic U.S. Route 40 also runs through the city as well as the more modern Interstate 80. The city is mentioned in Jules Verne’s book, Around the World in Eighty Days.
HVAC Degree Colfax CA
Selecting the ideal HVAC training program is a crucial first step toward a gratifying career in the heating and cooling trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Degree. However, as we have covered in this article, you need to select an Heating and Cooling vocational school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC field. Other features to look for are ample hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should visit each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. In addition, ask about scheduling choices and whether evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the proper questions as we have outlined in our guidelines for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC professional in Colfax CA.
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