How to Select an HVAC Training Course near Youngtown Arizona
Once you have made a decision on a career as a heating and cooling specialist, the next step is to look for an HVAC trade school near Youngtown AZ. But with so many to pick from, how do you decide on the best one to obtain the training that you require? A number of prospective students will make their choice based exclusively on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Although these are necessary factors to consider, they are not the only ones to take into account. Some of the other factors that you need to investigate are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and additional criteria will be discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we tackle how to choose an HVAC trade school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling technician does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Professional in Youngtown AZ
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, although each state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Attaining professional certification is not compulsory, but an alternative means for Youngtown AZ HVAC technicians to prove that they are highly skilled and experienced in their area of expertise. There are a number of recognized certifications within the field that are offered. Following are a few of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is attained by passing a proficiency examination and can be received in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of professional experience together with passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience together with 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 handle refrigerants. There are three types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing could be required in your location, and you may also desire to earn certification, it’s imperative that you pick an HVAC vocational school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be handling refrigerants, make certain that the school you choose readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Schools
There are a variety of options offered 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 period of time, often accomplished in as little as six months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will deliver more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short description of each option offered near Youngtown AZ.
- 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 trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more extensive background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Usually requiring two years to finish, 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 as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional four year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.
Picking the ideal credential program will be dependent on what your long term career aspirations are, as well as the time and money that you have to commit. One option is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Youngtown AZ, subsequently going back 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 Schools Online
Attending an HVAC school online is one approach to attaining your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. A number also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes can be attended online, this option may be a more practical solution for many Youngtown AZ students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are less expensive than other traditional options. Even driving expenses from Youngtown and study supplies can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family commitments have left you with limited time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to fit school into your busy schedule.
What to Ask HVAC Training Classes near Youngtown AZ
When you have decided on the type of degree or certificate that you want to acquire, either on campus or online, you can begin to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of HVAC trade schools in the Youngtown AZ area and throughout the United States to choose from. That’s why it is very important to have a checklist of relevant qualifiers when making school comparisons. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the first two factors you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you need to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC technical programs in the Youngtown AZ area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Make sure that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you acquire an excellent education, it can assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, many states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC schools you are looking at 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 may signify that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It may also suggest that the instructors 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 more extensive directory of graduates, which may result in 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 a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Youngtown AZ HVAC employers to assist graduates obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC vocational programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling companies or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with local Youngtown AZ HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also provides 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 trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC tech you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Youngtown AZ HVAC contracting company if they can give you some pointers. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Youngtown AZ residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Talk to some of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
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 at night or on weekends near Youngtown AZ, check that the programs you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending HVAC School near Youngtown AZ?
In 1954, two developers bought 320 acres (1.3 km2) of farmland and built the United States' first planned community dedicated exclusively to retirees. Designed by Ben Schleifer, the community was ironically named Youngtown. In 1996, the town, citing its age restrictions, denied extending the stay of a 16-year-old child to live in the community. In response, Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods investigated and determined that the age ordinance was unenforceable. In response, Youngtown repealed the age restrictions in 1999.
Youngtown is located at 33°35′41″N 112°17′56″W / 33.59472°N 112.29889°W / 33.59472; -112.29889 (33.594603, −112.298776), on the east bank of the Agua Fria River, just south of US 60. It is bordered on the west by El Mirage and on the east by the much larger retirement community of Sun City.
As of the census of 2000, there were 3,010 people, 1,641 households, and 746 families residing in the town. The population density was 2,296.1 people per square mile (887.2/km²). There were 1,783 housing units at an average density of 1,360.1 per square mile (525.5/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 88.90% White, 1.36% Black or African American, 0.50% Native American, 0.60% Asian, 0.27% Pacific Islander, 7.24% from other races, and 1.13% from two or more races. 12.72% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Enroll in the Right HVAC Trade School near Youngtown AZ
Selecting the ideal HVAC training program is a crucial beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating and air conditioning industry. As we have addressed in this article, you need to choose a technical school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC profession. Other features to look for are lots of practical training and modern facilities. You need to go to each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to inspect 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 options and whether night 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 proper questions as we have detailed in our checklist for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC professional in Youngtown AZ.
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