How to Find the Right Heating and Cooling Certification Class near Lomita California
Once you have decided on a career as a heating and cooling professional, the next action is to choose an HVAC vocational school near Lomita CA. But with so many to choose from, how do you select the ideal 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 home. Although these are important factors to consider, they are not the only ones to take into account. A few 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 benchmarks will be addressed in more detail later in this article. But before we examine how to choose an HVAC vocational school, let’s look at what a heating and cooling specialist does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, though each state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Obtaining professional certification is not compulsory, but an alternative means for Lomita CA HVAC techs to prove that they are highly proficient and experienced in their area of specialization. There are a number of respected certifications within the field 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 competency exam and can be received in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of professional experience in addition to passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience as well as a passing score on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing could be mandated in your area, and you may also intend to earn certification, it’s important that you pick an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the program you decide on readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are several options available for HVAC instruction in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the lesser period of time, usually completed in as little as six months, although some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will provide more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short summary of each credential offered near Lomita CA.
- Certificate. Generally 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 employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more detailed knowledge of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Normally taking 2 years to complete, some degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more towards 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 cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Choosing the appropriate credential program will be based on what your future career goals are, as well as the time and money that you have to commit. One possibility is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Lomita CA, subsequently returning to earn 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 Courses Online
Attending an HVAC school online is one option to obtaining your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete practical training. Many also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes may be participated in online, this option may be a more practical solution for many Lomita CA students that are pressed for time. And some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even driving expenses from Lomita and study supplies can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family commitments have left you with minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your active lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Certification Classes
Once you have selected the type of certificate or degree that you wish to attain, either online or on campus, you can begin to limit your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Lomita CA area and across the Country to select from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of relevant qualifiers when making school evaluations. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the initial 2 variables you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you need to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC vocational programs in the Lomita CA area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Confirm that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you get a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many states require that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate might suggest that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It could also mean that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which can produce more contacts for the school to employ 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 field, but also that it has the network of Lomita CA HVAC employers to help graduates secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC training programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC companies or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with local Lomita CA HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC tech you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Lomita CA HVAC company if they can give you some tips. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Lomita CA home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive 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 large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Talk to a few of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
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 attend classes at night or on weekends near Lomita CA, confirm that the programs you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make 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 Lomita CA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Lomita California area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Lomita originally spanned 7 square miles (18 km2). However, over time, much of this area was annexed by neighboring cities. A notable example is "Lomita Fields", now Zamperini Field (the Torrance Municipal Airport).
The 2010 United States Census reported that Lomita had a population of 20,256. The population density was 10,601.3 people per square mile (4,093.2/km²). The racial makeup of Lomita was 11,987 (59.2%) White (43.4% Non-Hispanic White), 1,075 (5.3%) African American, 174 (0.9%) Native American, 2,923 (14.4%) Asian, 140 (0.7%) Pacific Islander, 2,680 (13.2%) from other races, and 1,277 (6.3%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6,652 persons (32.8%).
There were 8,068 households, out of which 2,479 (30.7%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 3,409 (42.3%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 1,160 (14.4%) had a female householder with no husband present, 481 (6.0%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 491 (6.1%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 55 (0.7%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 2,420 households (30.0%) were made up of individuals and 822 (10.2%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49. There were 5,050 families (62.6% of all households); the average family size was 3.12.
HVAC Degree Lomita CA
Enrolling in the right HVAC school course is an important beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating and cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Degree. However, as we have covered in this article, you should choose an Heating and Cooling technical school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC profession. Other factors to look for are sufficient hands-on training and modern facilities. You should go to each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling choices and whether or not evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to ask about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the proper questions as we have laid out in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC specialist in Lomita CA.
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