How to Choose the Right HVAC Certification Course near Wheeler Army Airfield Hawaii
Once you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next step is to look for an HVAC trade school near Wheeler Army Airfield HI. But with so many to choose from, how do you decide on the right one to receive the training that you need? Many potential students will make their selection based solely on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. Even though these are significant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to investigate. Just some of the other factors 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. These and other benchmarks will be addressed in more detail later in this article. But before we discuss how to select an HVAC vocational school, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning professional does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Tech
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, however every state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Obtaining professional certification is not mandatory, but an optional means for Wheeler Army Airfield HI HVAC techs to prove that they are exceptionally proficient and accomplished in their area of specialization. There are multiple respected certifications within the field that are available. Here are a few of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is achieved 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. 2 years of field experience as well as passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience as well as a passing result on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are made available in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for techs that handle refrigerants. There are three forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing may be required in your area, and you may also intend to acquire certification, it’s imperative that you choose an HVAC vocational school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be working with refrigerants, make certain that the program you pick preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Schools
There are a variety of alternatives available for HVAC instruction in a technical or trade school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the least period of time, typically accomplished in as little as six months, although some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will deliver more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a short explanation of each credential offered near Wheeler Army Airfield HI.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more extensive understanding of heating & 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 tailored more towards 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 learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Choosing the ideal credential program will be dependent on what your future career aspirations are, along with the time and money that you have to invest. One approach is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Wheeler Army Airfield HI, subsequently going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Classes
Attending an HVAC school online is one option in attaining your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete hands on training. Some also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes may be attended online, this option may be a more convenient solution for some Wheeler Army Airfield HI students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are less expensive than other traditional choices. Even commuting expenses from Wheeler Army Airfield and study materials can be reduced, helping to make schooling more budget-friendly. And numerous online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family responsibilities have left you with minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to fit school into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask HVAC Schools
Once you have chosen the type of certificate or degree that you would like to acquire, either on campus or online, you can start to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are numerous HVAC technical schools in the Wheeler Army Airfield HI area and throughout the USA to choose from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of important qualifiers when making school evaluations. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the first 2 variables you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you need to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC trade schools in the Wheeler Army Airfield HI area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance HVAC technology. Make sure that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you receive a quality education, it can assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of states require that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate may indicate that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It could also signify that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have high 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 utilize 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 additionally that it has the network of Wheeler Army Airfield HI HVAC employers to help grads acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC training programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational 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 reviewing have working partnerships with local Wheeler Army Airfield HI HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing practical 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 equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC technician you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Wheeler Army Airfield HI HVAC contracting company if they can provide some suggestions. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Wheeler Army Airfield HI home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Talk with several of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with a few of the teachers and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Wheeler Army Airfield HI, verify that the programs you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure 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, illness or family issues.
Considering an HVAC School near Wheeler Army Airfield HI?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Wheeler Army Airfield Hawaii area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Wheeler Army Airfield
Wheeler Army Airfield (IATA: HHI, ICAO: PHHI, FAA LID: HHI), also known as Wheeler Field and formerly as Wheeler Air Force Base, is a United States Army post located in the City & County of Honolulu and in the Wahiawa District of the Island of O'ahu, Hawaii. It is a National Historic Landmark for its role in the 7 December 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
Wheeler AAF comprises approximately 1,389 acres (5.62 km2) of land adjacent to Schofield Barracks and is home to a variety of Department of Defense activities including the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), the 169th Aircraft Control & Warning Squadron (169 ACWS) of the Hawaii Air National Guard, the 193rd Aviation Regiment (Medium Lift), Detachment 55 Operational Support Airlift (Det 55 OSA) of the Hawaii Army National Guard, the Regular Army's 25th Infantry Division's Combat Aviation Brigade, and Trial Defense Service-Hawaii.
On 6 February 1922, a detachment of 20 enlisted men from Luke Field, proceeded to Schofield Barracks, under Lieutenant William T. Agee, to clear the flying field on the grounds of the former 17th Cavalry Regiment drill grounds and construct housing for the divisional air service. Two canvas hangars were erected and the field cleared of weeds, guava and algaroba trees. Thus Wheeler Field got its modest start. It was named Wheeler Field on 11 November 1922 in honor of Major Sheldon H. Wheeler, former commander of Luke Field on Ford Island, killed in the crash of DH-4B, AAS Ser. No. 63525 on 13 July 1921.
Heating and Cooling Training Wheeler Army Airfield HI
Selecting the ideal HVAC school course is an important beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating & cooling trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Heating and Cooling Training. However, as we have discussed in this post, you should select an Heating and Cooling trade school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC profession. Other factors to look 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 explore the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Additionally, ask about scheduling options and whether evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have outlined in our guidelines for assessing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC technician in Wheeler Army Airfield HI.
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