How to Select the Right Heating and Cooling Certificate Program near Lihue Hawaii
Now that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner specialist, the next action is to look for an HVAC vocational school near Lihue HI. But with so many to pick from, how do you choose the best one to receive the training that you require? A number of potential students will make their decision based exclusively on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. While these are significant considerations, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Just some of the other things that you need to investigate are the graduation 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 tackle how to choose an HVAC technical school, let’s look at what a heating and a/c technician does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Specialist
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are generally mandated to be licensed, however every state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Acquiring professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary way for Lihue HI HVAC technicians to prove that they are highly proficient and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are multiple recognized certifications within the field that are offered. Here are a few of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is achieved by passing a competency examination and can be received in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience together with passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience together with a passing score on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are provided in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for techs that handle refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing may be required in your location, and you may also intend to acquire certification, it’s important that you pick an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the program you choose readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree Training Programs
There are a variety of choices available for HVAC training in a vocational or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the least amount of time, typically achieved in as little as six months, although some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs might provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will provide more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short description of each credential offered near Lihue HI.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more extensive background of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Normally requiring two 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 four year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Picking the right credential program will be based on what your long term career objectives are, together with the time and money that you have to invest. One option is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Lihue HI, subsequently going back to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Training Online
Attending an HVAC program online is one option in obtaining your training and receiving a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. Many also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes can be attended on the web, this option may be a more accessible solution for some Lihue HI students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are cheaper than other traditional choices. Even travelling expenses from Lihue and study materials may be minimized, helping to make schooling more affordable. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family responsibilities have left you with limited time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it easier to accommodate school into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask HVAC Training Programs
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 no doubt aware, there are many HVAC vocational schools in the Lihue HI area and throughout the Country to select from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of important qualifiers when making school comparisons. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the first two factors you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you will want to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Lihue HI area have acquired 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, such as HVAC technology. Make sure that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you obtain a superior education, it may help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, many states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate might suggest that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It could also indicate that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which can mean more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Lihue HI HVAC employers to assist graduates obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC training programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC contractors or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Lihue HI HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools 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 with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Lihue HI HVAC contractor if they can give you some suggestions. Additionally keep in mind that unless you can move, the school must be within driving distance of your Lihue HI home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much personalized training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Talk to some of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to a few of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Lihue HI, verify that the programs you are considering offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Considering an HVAC School near Lihue HI?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Lihue Hawaii area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Lihue or Līhuʻe is an unincorporated census-designated place (CDP) and the county seat of Kauai County, Hawaii. Lihue (pronounced [liːˈhuʔe]) is the second largest town on the Hawaiian island of Kauaʻi after Kapaʻa. As of the 2010 Census, the CDP had a total population of 6,455.
In ancient times, Lihue was a minor village. Līhuʻe means "cold chill" in the Hawaiian language. Lihue is in the ancient district of Puna, the southeastern coast of the island, and land division (ahupuaʻa) of Kalapaki.Royal Governor Kaikioʻewa officially made it his governing seat in 1837, moving it from Waimea; he gave the town its name after the land he owned on Oahu by the same name.
With the emergence of the sugar industry in the 1800s, Lihue became the central city of the island with the construction of a large sugar mill. Early investors were Henry A. Peirce, Charles Reed Bishop and William Little Lee. The plantation struggled until William Harrison Rice built the first irrigation system in 1856.
Online HVAC Course Lihue HI
Picking the right HVAC training course is a critical first step toward a gratifying career in the heating and air conditioning industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Online HVAC Course. However, as we have covered in this post, you should choose an HVAC school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC trade. Other things to search for are lots of practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should go to each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to explore 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, inquire about scheduling choices and whether or not night 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 right questions as we have detailed in our guidelines for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC specialist in Lihue HI.
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