How to Pick the Right Heating and Cooling Certification Training near Frazier Park California
Now that you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioner professional, the next action is to locate an HVAC trade school near Frazier Park CA. But with so many to select from, how do you decide on the ideal one to get the training that you require? Some prospective students will make their decision based entirely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Even though these are important concerns, they are not the only ones to evaluate. 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. Those and additional criteria will be covered in more detail later within this article. But before we discuss how to pick an HVAC training program, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c contractor 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 professionals provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, although every state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Attaining professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary means for Frazier Park CA HVAC technicians to prove that they are highly proficient and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are multiple acknowledged certifications within the field that are available. Below are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is attained by passing a proficiency examination and can be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience in addition to passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience along with a passing result on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are offered in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are three types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing might be required in your location, and you may also desire to obtain certification, it’s essential that you select an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be working with refrigerants, make sure that the school you decide on readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are several alternatives offered for HVAC training in a technical or trade school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the lesser period of time, typically completed in just six months, although 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 may provide a competitive edge in the job market and will furnish more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short summary of each credential offered near Frazier Park CA.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more exhaustive background of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally taking 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 tailored more for a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a standard 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.
Choosing the ideal credential program will be based on what your future career goals are, as well as the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One possibility is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the trade in Frazier Park CA, eventually going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Schools
Enrolling in an HVAC program online is one approach to getting your education and earning a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to complete practical training. Some also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes may be attended via the internet, this alternative may be a more convenient solution for many Frazier Park CA students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other traditional alternatives. Even driving expenses from Frazier Park and study supplies may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family obligations have left you with minimal time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to fit school into your busy lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Certification Courses
When you have decided on the type of certificate or degree that you desire to attain, either on campus or online, you can begin to limit your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Frazier Park CA area and across the United States to select from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a list of important qualifiers when making school evaluations. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the initial two factors you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you need to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC vocational programs in the Frazier Park CA area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Make certain that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Additionally, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate might suggest that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It may 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 list of graduates, which can produce 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 an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Frazier Park CA HVAC employers to assist students obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC trade programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC companies or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with local Frazier Park CA HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC specialist you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Frazier Park CA HVAC contracting company if they can provide some suggestions. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Frazier Park CA home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Talk with some of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with a few of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Frazier Park CA, confirm that the schools you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family issues.
Considering an HVAC School near Frazier Park CA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Frazier Park California area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Frazier Park, California
Frazier Park is an unincorporated community in Kern County, California. It is 5 miles (8 km) west of Lebec, at an elevation of 4,639 feet (1,414 m). It is one of the Mountain Communities of the Tejon Pass. The population was 2,691 in the 2010 census, up from 2,348 in 2000.
The earliest record relating to Frazier Park was a report in 1854 that lumber was being produced there from Frazier Mountain trees for use at the new Army post at nearby Fort Tejon. Local historian Bonnie Ketterl Kane wrote that the mill was "supposedly" at the southeast end of the present community. She cited another report that a Kitanemuk Indian referred to the site as Campo del Soldado (Soldier's Camp), "which was where the soldiers stayed when they cut timber from a mountain they called Pinery Mountain, today's Frazier Mountain."
The community itself was established in 1925 by Harry McBain, who named it in 1926 for Frazier Mountain, on its southern flank. Its post office was established on September 14, 1927, with Charles B. Fife as the first postmaster.
Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Training Frazier Park CA
Selecting the right HVAC school course is a crucial first step toward a rewarding career in the heating & cooling industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Training. However, as we have covered in this article, you need to pick an Heating and Cooling school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC trade. Other things to search for are ample practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should check out each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to tour the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. In addition, ask about scheduling choices and if evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial aid 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 narrow down your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC specialist in Frazier Park CA.
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