How To Become a HVAC Technician Makawao HI

How to Enroll In the Right HVAC Training Class near Makawao Hawaii

air conditioner condensers in Makawao HIOnce you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next step is to find an HVAC technical school near Makawao HI. But with so many to select from, how do you choose the best one to obtain the training that you need? Some potential students will make their decision based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. While these are important concerns, they are not the only ones to take into account. Just some of the other things that you need to look into are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and other criteria will be addressed in more detail later within this article. But before we tackle how to select an HVAC vocational school, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c professional does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Technician

Makawao HI HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, though each state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Attaining professional certification is not required, but a voluntary means for Makawao HI HVAC specialists to establish that they are highly proficient and experienced in their area of specialization. There are multiple recognized certifications within the trade that are offered. 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 achieved by passing a competency exam and may be acquired in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification offers 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 in addition to a passing result on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are provided in several specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is required for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are three forms of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Since licensing might be mandated in your area, and you may also wish to acquire certification, it’s imperative that you enroll in an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be working with refrigerants, make certain that the school you select readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.

HVAC Degree Schools

radiator heater in Makawao HI homeThere are a variety of choices available for HVAC training in a vocational or trade school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, usually completed in just 6 months, however some courses 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 may provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will furnish more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short description of each credential offered near Makawao HI.

  • Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred 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 background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Typically requiring 2 years to finish, many degrees include an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more for a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a standard 4 year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.

Selecting the appropriate credential program will be based on what your future career goals are, together with the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One option is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Makawao HI, subsequently going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Classes Online

Makawao HI student attending HVAC school onlineEnrolling in an HVAC program online is one possibility to getting your education and earning a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to participate in hands on training. A number also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be attended online, this alternative may be a more accessible solution for some Makawao HI students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are more economical than other traditional choices. Even commuting expenses from Makawao and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And many online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family responsibilities have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your active schedule.

Questions to Ask HVAC Training Classes

Questions to ask Makawao HI HVAC training schoolsAs soon as you have picked the type of certificate or degree that you desire to acquire, either online or on campus, you can start to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are many HVAC trade schools in the Makawao HI area and across the United States to pick from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of key qualifiers when making school assessments. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the first two variables you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you should explore before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Many HVAC technical schools in the Makawao HI area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, 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 approved accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you acquire a superior education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Additionally, some states require that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate could indicate that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It could also signify that the instructors were not competent 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 list of graduates, which may mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Makawao HI HVAC employers to help students obtain apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Many HVAC vocational programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling contractors or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with local Makawao HI HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional 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 presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC tech you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Makawao HI HVAC contracting company if they can provide some pointers. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Makawao HI home. 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 receive as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger 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 teachers and students. Speak with some of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.

Flexible Scheduling.  Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Makawao HI, confirm that the programs you are comparing offer those choices. 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 policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.

Considering an HVAC School near Makawao HI?

Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Makawao Hawaii area.  If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.

Makawao, Hawaii

Makawao is a census-designated place (CDP) in Maui County, Hawaiʻi, United States. The population was 7,184 at the 2010 census.[1] Located on the rural northwest slope of Haleakala on East Maui, the community is known for being the hub of the "Upcountry", a part of the island dominated by mostly agriculture and ranch land.

As of the census of 2000,[4] there were 6,327 people, 2,151 households, and 1,565 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 1,353.8 people per square mile (523.1/km²). There were 2,222 housing units at an average density of 475.5 per square mile (183.7/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 40.54% White, 0.32% African American, 0.55% Native American, 17.04% Asian, 8.74% Pacific Islander, 1.56% from other races, and 31.25% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 11.93% of the population.

There were 2,151 households out of which 41.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.7% were married couples living together, 14.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.2% were non-families. 17.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.94 and the average family size was 3.34.

How To Become a HVAC Technician Makawao HI

Picking the right HVAC school course is an important first step toward a rewarding career in the heating and air conditioning industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding How To Become a HVAC Technician. However, as we have discussed in this post, you should select an HVAC vocational school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC community. Other features to search for are ample hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should check out each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to explore the campus and talk 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 night or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to inquire about financial aid and student loan options too. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have detailed in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC professional in Makawao HI.

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