How to Select an HVAC Training Course near Chino Valley Arizona
Once you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning specialist, the next step is to look for an HVAC technical school near Chino Valley AZ. But with so many to pick from, how do you pick the right one to receive the training that you require? Many potential students will make their decision based entirely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Even though these are significant concerns, they are not the only ones to take into account. Some of the other things 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 other benchmarks will be discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we explore how to select an HVAC trade school, let’s look at what a heating and a/c specialist does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Contractor in Chino Valley AZ
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, though every state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Acquiring professional certification is not compulsory, but an alternative way for Chino Valley AZ HVAC techs to demonstrate that they are highly proficient and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are several respected certifications within the industry that are offered. Here are some of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is achieved by passing a proficiency examination and may be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience together with passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience along with a passing result on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are made available in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for techs that work with refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing might be mandated in your location, and you may also intend to obtain certification, it’s important that you enroll in an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be working with refrigerants, make certain that the school you pick preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are a variety of alternatives available for HVAC instruction in a vocational or trade school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the least period of time, usually accomplished in just six months, although some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree training programs might provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will deliver more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief summary of each option offered near Chino Valley AZ.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more comprehensive knowledge of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Normally taking 2 years to complete, some degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more for a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional 4 year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.
Choosing the right credential program will be dependent on what your future career objectives are, in addition to 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 acquiring some experience in the trade in Chino Valley AZ, eventually returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Classes
Attending an HVAC program online is one alternative in attaining your training and earning a degree or certificate. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. A number also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes may be participated in via the internet, this option may be a more convenient solution for some Chino Valley AZ students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even travelling expenses from Chino Valley and study supplies may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family responsibilities have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to fit school into your active lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Training Programs near Chino Valley AZ
As soon as you have chosen the type of certificate or degree that you want to attain, either on campus or online, you can begin to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many HVAC trade schools in the Chino Valley AZ area and throughout the USA to choose from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of relevant qualifiers when making school comparisons. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the initial two variables you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you need to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC vocational schools in the Chino Valley AZ area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance HVAC technology. Make certain 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 ensure that you obtain a quality education, it can help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, a number of states require that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate might indicate that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It might also suggest that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, 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 validate that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Chino Valley AZ HVAC employers to help students secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC technical programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC contractors or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local Chino Valley AZ HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC specialist you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Chino Valley AZ HVAC contracting company if they can provide some pointers. Also bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Chino Valley 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 receive as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Speak to several of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with a few of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise 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 are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Chino Valley AZ, confirm that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.
Attending HVAC School near Chino Valley AZ?
Chino Valley, Arizona
Chino Valley is located at 34°45′30″N 112°26′59″W / 34.75833°N 112.44972°W / 34.75833; -112.44972 (34.758381, -112.449758). The town is located adjacent the southeast terminus of Chino Valley, about 9 miles (14 km) north at Paulden. The smaller north-trending Little Chino Valley lies just east of the townsite.
Chino Valley is the site of the first Territorial Capital of Arizona. The capital moved to Prescott, 15 miles (24 km) away, in 1864. U.S. Army Cavalry Lt. Amiel W. Whipple, while traveling through the area in 1854, gave the community its name. "Chino" is the Spanish name for the abundant curly grama grass growing in the area.
In 1895, a narrow gauge branch of the United Verde and Pacific Railroad to Jerome, joining the Santa Fe, Prescott, and Phoenix Railway, was completed, and Jerome Junction was established. In 1923, the activities of Jerome Junction were absorbed by Chino Valley.
Pick the Right HVAC Trade School near Chino Valley AZ
Enrolling in the right HVAC training course is a crucial beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating & cooling industry. As we have discussed in this post, you should pick a vocational school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC trade. Other things to search for are sufficient practical training and modern facilities. You need to go to each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to tour the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. In addition, inquire about scheduling options and whether night or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to inquire about financial aid and student loan options also. If you ask the proper questions as we have laid out in our guidelines for assessing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC professional in Chino Valley AZ.
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