How to Find the Right HVAC Certificate Program near Lost Hills California
Once you have made a decision on a career as a heating and cooling specialist, the next step is to find an HVAC technical school near Lost Hills CA. But with so many to pick from, how do you select the ideal one to receive the training that you require? Some prospective students will make their choice based exclusively on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Even though these are important considerations, they are not the only ones to investigate. A few of the other details that you need to look into are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and additional criteria will be addressed in more detail later within this article. But before we tackle how to choose an HVAC vocational school, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c specialist does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Pro
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are generally mandated to be licensed, although every state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Earning professional certification is not compulsory, but a voluntary means for Lost Hills CA HVAC techs to demonstrate that they are exceptionally skilled and accomplished in their area of specialization. There are a number of recognized certifications within the field that are available. Following are a few 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 competency examination and may 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 together with passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience in addition to a passing score on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification obtainable, 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 wish to acquire certification, it’s essential that you choose an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the school you choose prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree Courses
There are a variety of alternatives offered for HVAC instruction in a technical or vocational school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the minimum period of time, often accomplished in just 6 months, though 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 training programs can provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will furnish more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief summary of each credential offered near Lost Hills CA.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They provide a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more detailed understanding of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally taking 2 years to finish, some degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more towards a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional four year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.
Picking the ideal credential program will be based on what your long term career aspirations are, as well as the time and money that you have to invest. One approach is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Lost Hills CA, eventually returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Training Online
Attending an HVAC school online is one possibility to obtaining your education and earning a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in hands on training. Some also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be participated in on the web, this alternative may be a more practical solution for some Lost Hills CA students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are more economical than other on campus choices. Even driving expenses from Lost Hills and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family commitments have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your busy schedule.
Questions For HVAC Trade Schools
As soon as you have picked the type of certificate or degree that you want to attain, either online or on campus, you can start to limit your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are numerous HVAC technical schools in the Lost Hills CA area and all over the Country to choose from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of important qualifications when making school evaluations. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the initial two aspects you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you should explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC technical schools in the Lost Hills CA area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Confirm that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate might indicate that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It may also suggest that the teachers 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 graduates, which can produce more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Lost Hills CA HVAC employers to assist grads secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC trade programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling companies or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with local Lost Hills CA HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school 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 currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC technician you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Lost Hills CA HVAC contractor if they can provide some pointers. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Lost Hills CA home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Speak with a few of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to a few of the teachers and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Lost Hills CA, check that the programs you are comparing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Considering an HVAC School near Lost Hills CA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Lost Hills California area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Lost Hills, California
Lost Hills (formerly, Lost Hill) is a census-designated place (CDP) in Kern County, California, United States. Lost Hills is located 42 miles (68 km) west-northwest of Bakersfield, at an elevation of 305 feet (93 m). The population was 2,412 at the 2010 census, up from 1,938 at the 2000 census. About 75% of the population is engaged in agricultural positions.
Lost Hills is located at 35°36′59″N 119°41′39″W / 35.61639°N 119.69417°W / 35.61639; -119.69417. It stands on the east bank of the California Aqueduct. Interstate 5 is located near, but not adjacent, to Lost Hills. The town is at the intersection of State Route 46 and Lost Hills Road. The enormous Lost Hills Oil Field, which is sixth largest by remaining reserves in California, is west and northwest of town, extending about ten miles (16 km) along the range of the low Lost Hills Range, for which the town was named.
The Lost Hills post office opened in 1911, closed in 1912, re-opened in 1913 (having transferred it from Cuttens), and moved in 1937. At one time, the Post Office was a small rented room, in the Edmondson's cafe and bar. Later it was a small mobile home size building. In 2012-2013, Paramount Farms, the company for which 75% of the population works, gave the small town of Lost Hills a helping hand with the reopening of the Lost Hills park. In 2012, the town of Lost Hills underwent infrastructure projects like new sidewalks and gentrification in the town. By 2014, new housing developments started to spring up in the town of Lost Hills.
Heating and Air Conditioning School Lost Hills CA
Finding the ideal HVAC school program is an important first step toward a gratifying career in the heating & cooling trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Heating and Air Conditioning School. However, as we have covered in this article, you should select an Heating and Cooling school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC trade. Other things to search for are ample hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to visit each of the schools in person 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 instruction and the interaction between them. In addition, inquire about scheduling options and whether evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial assistance and student loan options as well. If you ask the proper questions as we have outlined in our guidelines for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC specialist in Lost Hills CA.
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