Air Conditioning College Courses West des Moines IA

How to Find the Right HVAC Certification Training near West des Moines Iowa

air conditioner condensers in West des Moines IAOnce you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next step is to look for an HVAC trade school near West des Moines IA. But with so many to select from, how do you choose the best one to obtain the training that you need? Many future students will make their decision based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Although these are important concerns, they are not the only ones to take into account. A few of the other details 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. These and additional criteria will be covered in more detail later within this article. But before we explore how to choose an HVAC training program, let’s look at what a heating and cooling contractor does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Professional

West des Moines IA HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are generally required to be licensed, though each state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Obtaining professional certification is not mandatory, but an alternative means for West des Moines IA HVAC technicians to establish that they are highly skilled and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are many respected certifications within the industry that are offered. Below are some of the important ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is earned by passing a proficiency exam and can be acquired in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available 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 3 years of experience together with a passing score on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are offered in multiple specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Because licensing might be required in your area, and you may also intend to obtain certification, it’s essential that you pick an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be working with refrigerants, make certain that the school you choose readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Degree and Certificate Classes

radiator heater in West des Moines IA homeThere are a variety of options available for HVAC training in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the minimum amount of time, often accomplished in as little as six months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will furnish more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief description of each credential offered near West des Moines IA.

  • Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning residential or commercial HVAC specialists. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more extensive knowledge of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Usually taking two years to complete, some degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more for a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a standard four year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.

Picking the appropriate credential program will be based on what your long term career objectives are, together with the time and money that you have to commit. One possibility is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in West des Moines IA, later returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make certain to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Training Online

West des Moines IA student attending HVAC school onlineEnrolling in an HVAC program online is one option to attaining your education and earning a degree or certificate. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. Some also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes can be participated in on the web, this alternative may be a more accessible solution for many West des Moines IA students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even travelling expenses from West des Moines 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 career or family commitments have left you with minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your active schedule.

Questions to Ask HVAC Trade Schools

Questions to ask West des Moines IA HVAC training schoolsOnce you have chosen the type of certificate or degree that you wish to earn, either online or on campus, you can begin to decrease your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are a large number of HVAC trade schools in the West des Moines IA area and all over the USA to pick from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a list of key qualifications when making school assessments. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the first 2 factors you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you need to research before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Numerous HVAC vocational schools in the West des Moines IA area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Make sure that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you get a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, a number of 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 considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate might suggest that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It might also mean that the instructors 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 may result in more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of West des Moines IA HVAC employers to assist graduates obtain apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  A large number of HVAC vocational programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling contractors or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with local West des Moines IA HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Confirm that the school 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, check with the HVAC tech you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local West des Moines IA HVAC contractor if they can provide some tips. Also bear in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your West des Moines IA residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be higher tuition charges 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 bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Speak to a few of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with some of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.

Flexible Scheduling.  Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near West des Moines IA, confirm that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.

Considering an HVAC School near West des Moines IA?

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

West Des Moines, Iowa

As of the 2010 census, the city population was 56,609.[4][5] West Des Moines is the second-largest city in the Des Moines metropolitan area and the tenth-largest city in Iowa. It ranked 94th in Money magazine's list of the "100 Best Places to Live and Launch" in 2008, 77th and 57th on the 100 Best Places to Live in 2014 and 2015, respectively, and 18th on the Hipster Cities of 2015.[6][7][8]

The West Des Moines area used to be home to the Sac and Fox tribes. Near the stroke of midnight on October 11, 1845 a gunshot was fired by a cattle farmer, James Cunningham Jordan (1813–1893) and the tribes left. His residence, the Jordan House, has been restored and is now home to the West Des Moines Historical Society. In West Des Moines' early years, the town was a trading and shipping junction. West Des Moines incorporated as the city of Valley Junction on October 9, 1893.

In its early days Valley Junction was home to the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad's switching facilities and repair shops due to its location at the junction of several railroad lines. The Rock Island's facilities moved out of Valley Junction and back into Des Moines in 1936.

Air Conditioning College Courses West des Moines IA

Finding the right HVAC school program is a crucial beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating and air conditioning trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Air Conditioning College Courses. However, as we have addressed in this post, you need to select an Heating and Cooling training program and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC profession. Other factors to look for are lots of practical training and modern facilities. You need to check out each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to explore the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Additionally, 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 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 proper training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC professional in West des Moines IA.

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    Business Results 1 - 10 of 55

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