Category Archives: Oregon

Air Conditioner and Refrigeration Courses Scio OR

How to Enroll In the Right Heating and Cooling Certificate Program near Scio Oregon

air conditioner condensers in Scio OROnce you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next step is to choose an HVAC trade school near Scio OR. But with so many to pick from, how do you select the ideal one to get the training that you need? Some prospective students will make their selection based entirely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. While these are important considerations, 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 criteria will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we explore how to choose an HVAC technical school, let’s take a look at what a heating and air conditioning professional does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Specialist

Scio OR HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are generally mandated to be licensed, though every state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Earning professional certification is not required, but a voluntary way for Scio OR HVAC technicians to demonstrate that they are exceptionally proficient and accomplished in their area of specialization. There are a number of respected certifications within the field that are available. Following are some of the important ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is attained 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. 2 years of professional experience in addition to passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience in addition to a passing score on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in several specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Because licensing might be mandated in your location, and you may also wish to acquire certification, it’s essential that you enroll in an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be working with refrigerants, make sure that the school you choose readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.

HVAC Certificate and Degree Classes

radiator heater in Scio OR homeThere are a number of choices offered for HVAC training in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the minimum amount of time, usually completed in just 6 months, although some courses 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 programs might provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will provide more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short summary of each option offered near Scio OR.

  • Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning residential or commercial 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 extensive background of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically taking two years to complete, some degrees feature 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 call for an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional 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 ideal credential program will be dependent on what your long term career objectives are, in addition to the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One possibility is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Scio OR, subsequently going back to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Online Schools

Scio OR student attending HVAC school onlineAttending an HVAC program online is one alternative in getting your education and receiving a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to complete 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 may be participated in on the web, this alternative may be a more convenient solution for many Scio OR students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are more economical than other traditional alternatives. Even travelling expenses from Scio and study materials may be minimized, helping to make schooling more economical. And a large number of 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, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to accommodate school into your active lifestyle.

Questions For HVAC Certification Classes

Questions to ask Scio OR HVAC training schoolsAfter you have picked the type of certificate or degree that you desire to obtain, either on campus or online, you can begin to decrease your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many HVAC technical schools in the Scio OR area and all over the USA to select from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of key qualifications when making school comparisons. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the first two factors you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you will want to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  A large number of HVAC technical schools in the Scio OR area have received 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, such as HVAC technology. Verify that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you get an excellent education, it can assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, some states require that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to qualify 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 finish the program. A low completion rate could indicate that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It could also mean that the instructors were not qualified 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 broader list of alumni, which can mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Scio OR HVAC employers to assist students acquire apprenticeships or employment.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Most HVAC training programs are taught in conjunction 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 labor unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with local Scio OR HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make certain that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC technician you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Scio OR HVAC company if they can provide some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Scio OR residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s desirable that you receive as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Talk with some of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, 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 schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Scio OR, verify that the schools you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.

Considering an HVAC School near Scio OR?

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

Scio, Oregon

Oregon Geographic Names suggests that Scio was named by one of the original residents, William McKinney, who, with Henry L. Turner, set up a flour mill at the new town. Turner suggested McKinney come up with a name for the place, and McKinney used the name of his former home, Scio, Ohio.

This region experiences warm (but not hot) and dry summers, with no average monthly temperatures above 71.6 °F (22.0 °C). According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Scio has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated "Csb" on climate maps.[10]

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 838 people, 306 households, and 225 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,205.3 inhabitants per square mile (851.5/km2). There were 324 housing units at an average density of 852.6 per square mile (329.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 91.4% White, 0.4% African American, 1.8% Native American, 0.6% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 2.0% from other races, and 3.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.1% of the population.

Air Conditioner and Refrigeration Courses Scio OR

Finding the right HVAC school course is a crucial first step toward a gratifying career in the heating & cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Air Conditioner and Refrigeration Courses. However, as we have addressed in this article, you need to choose an Heating and Cooling training program and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC community. Other factors to look for are ample practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to visit each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Also, inquire about scheduling options and whether evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to ask about financial aid and student loan options also. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have outlined in our checklist for comparing schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC professional in Scio OR.

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