Air Conditioning Installation Training Courses Van Meter IA

How to Find the Right Heating and Cooling College near Van Meter Iowa

air conditioner condensers in Van Meter IAOnce you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning professional, the next step is to look for an HVAC technical school near Van Meter IA. But with so many to choose from, how do you pick the right one to get the training that you require? A number of prospective students will make their selection based entirely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. While these are significant considerations, they are not the only ones to investigate. 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 criteria will be discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we tackle how to select an HVAC vocational school, let’s take a look at what a heating and air conditioning specialist does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Specialist

Van Meter IA HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are generally mandated to be licensed, however each state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Obtaining professional certification is not mandatory, but an optional means for Van Meter IA HVAC techs to demonstrate that they are exceptionally proficient and accomplished in their area of specialization. There are several recognized certifications within the field that are offered. Following are a few 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 examination and can be received in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience in addition to passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience along with 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 techs that handle refrigerants. There are three types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Because licensing may be required in your location, and you may also wish to earn 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 Certificate and Degree Schools

radiator heater in Van Meter IA homeThere are a variety of choices available for HVAC training in a technical or vocational school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the least amount of time, typically completed in as little as six months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree programs might provide a competitive edge in the job market and will deliver more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short description of each option offered near Van Meter IA.

  • Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They provide a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more comprehensive background of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically taking 2 years to finish, some degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more towards a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional four year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.

Picking the right credential program will be based on what your future career objectives are, together with the time and money that you have to invest. One approach is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Van Meter IA, eventually going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Classes Online

Van Meter IA student attending HVAC school onlineAttending an HVAC school online is one possibility to getting your training and earning a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in hands on training. A number also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes may be attended via the internet, this option may be a more accessible solution for some Van Meter IA students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other traditional alternatives. Even commuting expenses from Van Meter and study supplies may be minimized, helping to make schooling more affordable. And numerous online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family responsibilities have left you with limited time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your active lifestyle.

Questions to Ask HVAC Training Programs

Questions to ask Van Meter IA HVAC training schoolsOnce you have decided on the type of certificate or degree that you wish to acquire, either on campus or online, you can start to narrow down your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are many HVAC vocational schools in the Van Meter IA area and all over the USA to select from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a list of key qualifications when making school comparisons. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the initial 2 factors you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you will want to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Many HVAC technical schools in the Van Meter IA area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Confirm that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, many states require that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the HVAC schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate may indicate that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It could also mean that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s also important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which can mean more contacts for the school to utilize 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 industry, but additionally that it has the network of Van Meter IA HVAC employers to assist students secure apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Many HVAC technical 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 within their network of Heating and Cooling contractors or labor unions. Check if the schools you are considering have working relationships with local Van Meter IA HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make sure that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC tech you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Van Meter IA HVAC contractor if they can give you some suggestions. Also bear in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Van Meter IA home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s important that you receive as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Talk to several of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to some of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.

Flexible Scheduling.  Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Van Meter IA, confirm that the programs you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family issues.

Considering an HVAC School near Van Meter IA?

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

Van Meter, Iowa

Van Meter is a city in Dallas County, Iowa, United States, along the Raccoon River. The population was 1,016 at the 2010 census,[5] with an estimated population in 2014 of 1,133.[6] Van Meter is part of the Des Moines–West Des Moines Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Van Meter was laid out as a town in 1869.[7] The city was named for Jacob Rhodes Van Meter and his family, Dutch settlers from Meteren, the Netherlands.[8] Van Meter was incorporated on December 29, 1877.[9]

As of the census[3] of 2010, there were 1,016 people, 382 households, and 280 families residing in the city. The population density was 793.8 inhabitants per square mile (306.5/km2). There were 415 housing units at an average density of 324.2 per square mile (125.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 97.9% White, 0.2% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.6% Asian, and 1.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.6% of the population.

Air Conditioning Installation Training Courses Van Meter IA

Choosing the ideal HVAC school course is a crucial 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 Air Conditioning Installation Training Courses. However, as we have discussed in this article, you need to select an HVAC vocational school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC trade. Other things to look for are sufficient hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should visit each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to tour the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. In addition, inquire about scheduling choices and whether or not evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to inquire about financial aid and student loan options also. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have laid out in our guidelines for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC technician in Van Meter IA.

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