How to Find the Right HVAC Training Class near Citrus Heights California
Now that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning professional, the next action is to locate an HVAC technical school near Citrus Heights CA. But with so many to select from, how do you choose the ideal one to obtain the training that you require? Some potential students will make their choice based solely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Although these are significant considerations, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Just some of the other things that you need to look into are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and additional criteria will be covered in more detail later in 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 contractor does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Specialist in Citrus Heights CA
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are generally mandated to be licensed, however each state and local municipality has its own criteria. Earning professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary means for Citrus Heights CA HVAC technicians to establish that they are exceptionally qualified and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are several acknowledged certifications within the field that are offered. Following are a few of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is earned by passing a competency examination and can be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience together with passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience together with a passing result on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are offered in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing may be required in your area, and you may also desire to obtain certification, it’s imperative that you pick an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be working with refrigerants, make sure that the school you select readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree Courses
There are several options offered for HVAC instruction in a vocational or trade school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the least period of time, usually accomplished in as little as six months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree programs may provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will furnish more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief description of each option offered near Citrus Heights CA.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level residential or commercial HVAC specialists. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more detailed background of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Normally requiring two years to finish, some degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more towards a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional 4 year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Choosing the right credential program will be based on what your future career aspirations are, together with the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One approach is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Citrus Heights CA, eventually going back to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Training Online
Choosing an HVAC school online is one approach to obtaining your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to participate in hands on training. A number also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be attended via the internet, this option may be a more practical solution for some Citrus Heights CA students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other traditional options. Even driving expenses from Citrus Heights and study supplies may be minimized, helping to make schooling more budget-friendly. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family commitments have left you with limited time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to fit school into your busy schedule.
Questions For HVAC Certification Classes near Citrus Heights CA
Once you have selected the type of degree or certificate that you desire to attain, either on campus or online, you can begin to limit your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are a large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Citrus Heights CA area and all over the USA to select from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a checklist of key qualifications when making school comparisons. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the initial two factors you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you will want to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC trade programs in the Citrus Heights CA area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Make certain that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it can assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, a number of states require that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate might suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It may also mean that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which can result in more contacts for the school to employ 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 additionally that it has the network of Citrus Heights CA HVAC employers to help graduates obtain 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 programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC businesses or labor unions. Check if the schools you are considering have working relationships with local Citrus Heights CA HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to build 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 presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC specialist you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Citrus Heights CA HVAC contracting company if they can give you some suggestions. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Citrus Heights CA residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Speak with some of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Citrus Heights CA, check that the schools you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.
Attending HVAC School near Citrus Heights CA?
Citrus Heights, California
Citrus Heights is located at 38°42′N 121°17′W / 38.700°N 121.283°W / 38.700; -121.283 (38.6947, -121.2905). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 14.2 square miles (37 km2), all land. The city incorporated January 2, 1997 (January 1 according to the official city website), becoming the fifth city in Sacramento County.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Citrus Heights had a population of 83,301. The population density was 5,854.6 people per square mile (2,260.5/km²). The racial makeup of Citrus Heights was 66,856 (80.3%) White, 2,751 (3.3%) African American, 753 (0.9%) Native American, 2,714 (3.3%) Asian (1.2% Filipino, 0.4% Indian, 0.4% Chinese, 0.3% Japanese, 0.2% Vietnamese, 0.4% Other), 363 (0.4%) Pacific Islander, 5,348 (6.4%) from other races, and 4,516 (5.4%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 13,734 persons (16.5%).
There were 32,686 households, out of which 10,452 (32.0%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 14,241 (43.6%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 4,689 (14.3%) had a female householder with no husband present, 2,027 (6.2%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 2,653 (8.1%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 252 (0.8%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 8,860 households (27.1%) were made up of individuals and 3,280 (10.0%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53. There were 20,957 families (64.1% of all households); the average family size was 3.08.
Enroll in the Right HVAC Training Course near Citrus Heights CA
Enrolling in the ideal HVAC training program is a crucial beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating & cooling trade. As we have covered in this post, you should select a trade school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC profession. Other factors to look for are plenty of hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should visit each of the schools in person 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, ask about scheduling choices and whether night or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the proper questions as we have detailed in our checklist for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC technician in Citrus Heights CA.
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