How to Select an HVAC School near Seligman Arizona
Once you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner professional, the next step is to look for an HVAC trade school near Seligman AZ. But with so many to choose from, how do you choose the best one to receive the training that you need? A number of prospective students will make their choice based solely on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Even though these are relevant considerations, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Some 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 covered in more detail later in this article. But before we tackle how to pick 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 Tech in Seligman AZ
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, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are generally required to be licensed, although each state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Earning professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary way for Seligman AZ HVAC technicians to demonstrate that they are exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are several acknowledged certifications within the industry that are offered. Below are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is achieved by passing a proficiency exam and can be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of professional experience together with passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience as well as a passing result on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are made available in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for techs that work with refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing could be required in your location, and you may also intend to obtain certification, it’s imperative that you select an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be working with refrigerants, make sure that the program you pick preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree Schools
There are several options offered for HVAC instruction in a vocational or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the lesser period of time, often accomplished in just six months, however 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 may provide a competitive edge in the job market and will provide more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief description of each credential offered near Seligman AZ.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more exhaustive knowledge of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually requiring 2 years to finish, many 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 as well as business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a standard four year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Selecting the right credential program will be based on what your long term career objectives are, together with the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One approach is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Seligman AZ, later returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Schools
Choosing an HVAC school online is one alternative to obtaining your training and earning a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete 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 attended via the internet, this option may be a more practical solution for many Seligman AZ students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other traditional alternatives. Even commuting expenses from Seligman and study supplies can be lessened, helping to make schooling more economical. And a large number of online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family commitments have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it easier to accommodate school into your active lifestyle.
Questions to Ask HVAC Training Classes near Seligman AZ
As soon as you have selected the type of degree or certificate that you want to attain, either online or on campus, you can start to limit your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of HVAC trade schools in the Seligman AZ area and all over the Country to choose from. That’s why it is imperative to have a checklist of important qualifications when making school comparisons. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the first 2 variables you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you should explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC technical schools in the Seligman AZ area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Make certain that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, many states require that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate might suggest that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It may also suggest that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which may result in more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Seligman AZ HVAC employers to help students secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC trade programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs 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 reviewing have working relationships with local Seligman AZ HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC tech you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Seligman AZ HVAC company if they can give you some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Seligman AZ home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may 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 difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Talk with some of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to a few of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Seligman AZ, verify that the schools you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Attending HVAC School near Seligman AZ?
Seligman is located at 35°19′42″N 112°52′27″W / 35.32833°N 112.87417°W / 35.32833; -112.87417 (35.328199, −112.874303), at 5,240 feet (1,600 m) in elevation, alongside the Big Chino Wash, in a northern section of Chino Valley. The wash is a major tributary of the Verde River. Seligman is a popular stopping point along Historic U.S. Route 66.
Originally, Seligman was called "Prescott Junction", because it was the railroad stop on the Santa Fe mainline junction with the Prescott and Arizona Central Railway Company feeder line running to Prescott, in the Arizona Territory. The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway (AT&SF) had reached it in 1882. In 1886 it was renamed Seligman, after Jesse Seligman, one of the founders of J.W. Seligman Co. of New York, who helped finance the railroad lines in the area. The original feeder line to Prescott was replaced in 1891 by the Santa Fe, Prescott and Phoenix Railway with the Santa Fe mainline junction at Ash Fork instead.
Because of its flat land Seligman became a large switching yard consisting of many tracks, and served as a large livestock shipping center for the areas ranchers. It was also a terminal point for changing train crews between Winslow and Needles, who used overnight cottages in the town.
Pick the Right HVAC Training Course near Seligman AZ
Finding the right HVAC training course is a crucial first step toward a gratifying career in the heating and air conditioning industry. As we have covered in this article, you need to pick a vocational school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC trade. Other features to look for are plenty of practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to visit each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to tour the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Additionally, ask about scheduling options and whether or not evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options as well. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have laid out in our guidelines for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC specialist in Seligman AZ.
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