How to Choose the Right HVAC Training Program near Desert Hot Springs California
Once you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioner specialist, the next step is to locate an HVAC technical school near Desert Hot Springs CA. But with so many to pick from, how do you select the best one to get the training that you require? Some future students will make their selection based entirely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Although these are significant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to take into account. Just some of the other things 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 benchmarks will be discussed in more detail later within this article. But before we tackle how to select an HVAC technical school, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c specialist does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Contractor
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, though every state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Attaining professional certification is not required, but an optional means for Desert Hot Springs CA HVAC specialists to establish that they are exceptionally qualified and accomplished in their area of specialization. There are many respected certifications within the industry that are available. Here are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is attained by passing a proficiency examination and can be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience together with passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience as well as a passing score on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for technicians that work with refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing may be mandated in your area, and you may also intend to obtain certification, it’s important that you pick an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the program you select readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Courses
There are several choices available for HVAC training in a technical or vocational school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the least amount of time, typically accomplished 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 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 description of each credential offered near Desert Hot Springs CA.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They provide a strong foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more comprehensive knowledge of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Normally requiring 2 years to complete, 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 as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a standard 4 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 based on what your long term career aspirations are, in addition to the time and money that you have to invest. One approach is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Desert Hot Springs CA, subsequently returning to acquire 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 Classes Online
Enrolling in an HVAC program online is one alternative in attaining your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete hands on training. Many also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes can be participated in via the internet, this option may be a more practical solution for some Desert Hot Springs CA students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even commuting expenses from Desert Hot Springs and study materials may be reduced, helping to make schooling more economical. And numerous online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family responsibilities have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to fit school into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask HVAC Trade Schools
Once you have decided on the type of degree or certificate that you would like to earn, either on campus or online, you can start to limit your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are a large number of HVAC trade schools in the Desert Hot Springs CA area and all over the USA to select from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a checklist of relevant qualifications when making school assessments. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the initial 2 aspects you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you will want to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC technical schools in the Desert Hot Springs CA area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Verify that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you acquire a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, many states require 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 complete the course. A lower completion rate may suggest that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It might also suggest that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have higher 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 employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Desert Hot Springs CA HVAC employers to assist grads obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC trade programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling companies or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with local Desert Hot Springs CA HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC specialist you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Desert Hot Springs CA HVAC company if they can give you some suggestions. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Desert Hot Springs CA residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much individualized 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 with some of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience 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 meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Desert Hot Springs CA, confirm that the schools you are comparing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Considering an HVAC School near Desert Hot Springs CA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Desert Hot Springs California area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Desert Hot Springs, California
Desert Hot Springs, also known as DHS, is a city in Riverside County, California, United States. The city is located within the Coachella Valley geographic region, sometimes referred to as the Desert Empire. The population was 25,938 at the 2010 census, up from 16,582 at the 2000 census. The city has undergone rapid development and high population growth since the 1970s, when there were 2,700 residents.
It is named for its many natural hot springs. It is one of few places in the world with naturally occurring hot- and cold mineral springs. Desert Hot Springs is home to the largest collection of warm mineral springs in the United States. More than 20 natural mineral spring lodgings can be found in town. Unlike most hot springs, the mineral springs in town are odorless.
The only people residing in areas north of Palm Springs prior to the 20th century was Cahuilla Indians in the village of Seven Palms. Although Cahuilla people never settled permanently in today’s Desert Hot Springs, they often camped here during winter times due to the warm climate.
Heating and Cooling Classes Desert Hot Springs CA
Finding the ideal HVAC training program is an important beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating and air conditioning industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Heating and Cooling Classes. However, as we have addressed in this post, you need to choose an Heating and Cooling trade school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC field. Other factors to search for are ample practical training and modern facilities. You need to visit each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling options and whether or not evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to ask about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the proper questions as we have detailed in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to filter 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 specialist in Desert Hot Springs CA.
More Hot and Cool Locations in California
Business Results 1 - 10 of 322