How to Choose an HVAC School near Quartzsite Arizona
Once you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning specialist, the next action is to choose an HVAC technical school near Quartzsite AZ. 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 exclusively on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Even though these are relevant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to investigate. A few of the other factors that you need to research are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and additional benchmarks will be discussed in more detail later within this article. But before we examine how to select an HVAC vocational school, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c technician does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Specialist in Quartzsite AZ
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, however each state and local municipality has its own requirements. Earning professional certification is not compulsory, but an optional way for Quartzsite AZ HVAC technicians to demonstrate that they are exceptionally proficient and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are multiple respected certifications within the industry that are available. Here are a few of the significant 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 received in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience as well as passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience along with a passing result on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are offered in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing might be mandated in your location, and you may also wish to earn certification, it’s imperative that you select an HVAC technical school that will train 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 examinations.
HVAC Degree Classes
There are a number 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 least amount of time, often accomplished in as little as six months, although some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree training programs may provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will provide more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief summary of each option offered near Quartzsite AZ.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more exhaustive background of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally taking 2 years to complete, many degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more towards a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a standard 4 year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Picking the appropriate credential program will be based on what your future career objectives are, together with the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One option is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Quartzsite AZ, later going back to acquire 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 Classes
Choosing an HVAC program online is one alternative in attaining your education and earning a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. A number also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes may be attended online, this approach may be a more convenient solution for many Quartzsite AZ students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other traditional options. Even driving expenses from Quartzsite and study supplies may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family responsibilities have left you with limited time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to accommodate school into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask HVAC Training Classes near Quartzsite AZ
After you have chosen the type of certificate or degree that you wish to obtain, either online or on campus, you can start to narrow down your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are numerous HVAC technical schools in the Quartzsite AZ area and throughout the United States to choose from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a checklist of relevant qualifiers when making school comparisons. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the initial two variables you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you should explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC trade schools in the Quartzsite AZ area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Verify that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, some states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate might indicate that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It may also indicate that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which may produce 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 field, but also that it has the network of Quartzsite AZ HVAC employers to help graduates acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC training programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC businesses or labor unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local Quartzsite AZ HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to establish 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 working with in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC tech you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Quartzsite AZ HVAC contracting company if they can provide some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Quartzsite AZ home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Speak with a few of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Quartzsite AZ, confirm that the schools you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.
Attending HVAC School near Quartzsite AZ?
Quartzsite lies on the western portion of the La Posa Plain along Tyson Wash. The Dome Rock Mountains overlook the town on the west with Granite Mountain on the southwest edge of the town and Oldman Mountain on the northwest. The Plomosa Mountains lie across the La Posa Plain to the east.
The town has a hot desert climate (Köppen BWh) with mild to warm winters from November to March and hot to extreme summers for the remainder of the year. In the middle of summer, Quartzsite is one of the hottest places in the United States and has recorded temperatures as high as 122 °F or 50.0 °C on 28 July 1995.
There is very little precipitation with only 3.51 inches (89.2 mm) falling during an average year, while in May and June more than 80 percent of years do not have measurable rainfall. Since records began in 1928 the wettest month has been September 1939 with 6.16 inches (156.5 mm) which was part of the wettest year with 11.05 inches (280.7 mm) and featuring on September 5 the wettest day with 3.00 inches (76.2 mm). This moisture was due to the remnants of a rare Gulf of California hurricane. The driest calendar year was 1928 with 0.92 inches (23.4 mm). However, between July 2001 and August 2002 as little as 0.45 inches (11.4 mm) fell over fourteen months.
Choose the Right HVAC Certification Training near Quartzsite AZ
Choosing the ideal HVAC training course is a crucial first step toward a gratifying career in the heating and cooling trade. As we have addressed in this article, you should choose a school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC trade. Other things to look for are lots of practical training and modern facilities. You should check out each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and talk 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 options and whether night or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to ask about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the right questions as we have detailed in our guidelines 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 dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC contractor in Quartzsite AZ.
More Fabulous Cities in Arizona
Business Results 1 - 10 of 4