How to Find the Right HVAC Training Course near Lawndale California
Now that you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioning specialist, the next action is to locate an HVAC vocational school near Lawndale CA. But with so many to pick from, how do you select the right one to receive the training that you need? Many future students will make their choice based exclusively on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. While these are significant concerns, they are not the only ones to investigate. A few 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. Those and other criteria will be addressed in more detail later in this article. But before we explore how to choose an HVAC training program, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling contractor does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Technician in Lawndale CA
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are generally mandated to be licensed, although each state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Attaining professional certification is not compulsory, but a voluntary means for Lawndale CA HVAC technicians to establish that they are exceptionally qualified and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are a number of respected certifications within the trade that are available. Following are some of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is earned by passing a competency exam and can be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of professional experience in addition to passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience as well as a passing score on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing might be required in your area, and you may also intend to obtain certification, it’s imperative that you enroll in an HVAC vocational school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the school you pick prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are a variety of choices available for HVAC instruction in a technical or trade school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the least amount of time, often accomplished in as little as 6 months, although some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree training programs may provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will furnish more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short explanation of each credential offered near Lawndale CA.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular 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 delivers a more extensive background of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally 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 or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a standard 4 year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Selecting the appropriate credential program will be based on what your future career goals are, as well as 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 getting some experience in the field in Lawndale CA, later returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make certain to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Schools
Attending an HVAC program online is one possibility in getting your education and earning a certificate or degree. Most 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 participated in online, this approach may be a more accessible solution for some Lawndale CA students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are less costly than other traditional alternatives. Even commuting expenses from Lawndale and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And numerous online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family commitments have left you with minimal time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to accommodate school into your active lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Schools near Lawndale CA
As soon as you have chosen the type of certificate or degree that you wish to attain, either online or on campus, you can start to decrease your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous HVAC technical schools in the Lawndale CA area and across the USA to pick from. That’s why it is essential to have a checklist of relevant qualifiers when making school comparisons. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the initial 2 aspects you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC trade programs in the Lawndale CA area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance HVAC technology. Verify that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, a number of states require that the HVAC training course be accredited for it 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 complete the course. A lower completion rate may suggest that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It might also signify that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly 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 result in 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 field, but additionally that it has the network of Lawndale CA HVAC employers to help students acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC technical programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC businesses or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with local Lawndale CA HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC technician you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Lawndale CA HVAC company if they can give you some pointers. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Lawndale CA home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger 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 students and instructors. Talk to some of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with a few of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Lawndale CA, check that the schools you are comparing provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Attending HVAC School near Lawndale CA?
Lawndale is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. The population was 32,769 at the 2010 census, up from 31,712 according to the 2000 census. The city is in the South Bay region of the Greater Los Angeles Area.
From the 1780s onward, the area that is now Lawndale was part of the Rancho Sausal Redondo, a land grant given by the Spanish colonial government that includes much of what is now the South Bayshore region. In 1905 Charles B. Hopper first subdivided the area and named it after the Chicago neighborhood of the same name. Lots sold slowly and different promotions were tried such as promoting Lawndale as a chicken raising area. The first railway to run through Lawndale was the Inglewood Division of the Redondo Railway which would later become part of the Pacific Electric "Red Car" system. It ran down the middle of Railway Ave. (now Hawthorne Blvd.) until 1933. In 1927 the Santa Fe railroad arrived. After World War II, the immense demand for housing from returning veterans and California newcomers resulted in Lawndale's formation as a bedroom community. On December 28, 1959 it was incorporated as a city in Los Angeles county.
Starting in the 1970s Lawndale's relatively low housing prices but more desirable location relative to its neighboring cities attracted absentee landlords and a substantial portion of its residents increasingly became renters.
Select the Right HVAC Training Classes near Lawndale CA
Enrolling in the ideal HVAC training program is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating & cooling field. As we have addressed in this article, you should select a school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC community. Other factors to look for are ample hands-on 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 talk with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Also, inquire about scheduling choices and whether or not night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have detailed in our checklist for comparing schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC specialist in Lawndale CA.
More Fabulous Cities in California
Business Results 1 - 10 of 3000