How to Find the Right HVAC Certification Class near Duncan Arizona
Once you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner professional, the next action is to choose an HVAC trade school near Duncan AZ. But with so many to select from, how do you select the ideal one to obtain the training that you require? Many prospective students will make their decision based entirely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. While these are important factors to consider, they are not the only ones to take into account. Some of the other factors 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. Those and other benchmarks will be discussed in more detail later within this article. But before we explore how to choose an HVAC technical school, let’s look at what a heating and cooling technician does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Contractor in Duncan AZ
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, although every state and local municipality has its own requirements. Acquiring professional certification is not compulsory, but an alternative means for Duncan AZ HVAC specialists to prove that they are highly qualified and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are multiple recognized certifications within the field that are available. Below are a few of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is attained by passing a proficiency exam and can be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience as well as passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience in addition to a passing score on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are three forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing may be required in your area, and you may also desire to acquire certification, it’s imperative that you choose an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be handling refrigerants, make certain that the school you choose preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Training Programs
There are several alternatives available for HVAC instruction in a vocational or trade school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the minimum period of time, often completed in as little as 6 months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree programs may provide a competitive edge in the job market and will furnish more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short explanation of each option offered near Duncan AZ.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They provide a strong foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more exhaustive understanding of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Normally requiring two years to finish, a number of degrees include 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 traditional 4 year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Selecting the right credential program will be dependent on what your future career objectives are, together with 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 gaining some experience in the field in Duncan AZ, subsequently going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Classes Online
Enrolling in an HVAC school online is one option to obtaining your education and receiving a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. A number also provide 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 convenient solution for many Duncan AZ students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are more economical than other on campus options. Even commuting expenses from Duncan and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And numerous online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family obligations have left you with minimal time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to fit school into your busy lifestyle.
Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Courses near Duncan AZ
When you have decided on the type of degree or certificate that you want to acquire, either online or on campus, you can begin to narrow down your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Duncan AZ area and all over the Country to select from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a checklist of important qualifications when making school comparisons. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the initial two factors you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC technical schools in the Duncan AZ area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Make sure that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you acquire a superior education, it can help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, many states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate might signify that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It could also indicate that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which can produce 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 an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Duncan AZ HVAC employers to help grads obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC vocational programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling businesses or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with local Duncan AZ HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC technician you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Duncan AZ HVAC contractor if they can give you some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Duncan AZ residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can 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 couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Speak with several of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Duncan AZ, check that the schools you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Attending HVAC School near Duncan AZ?
Duncan is in the Gila River valley, 4 miles (6 km) west of the Arizona-New Mexico border. The town limits are on both sides of the Gila, but the primary portion of the town and the entire downtown area lie on the south side of the river. Duncan was founded in the mid 19th century, and the land was added to the United States as a part of the Mexican Cession. The town of Duncan has been destroyed twice by flood and once by fire.
The town and area are primarily populated by ranchers and miners (especially from the Freeport-McMoran copper mines in southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico). Surrounding smaller towns such as Franklin and York in Arizona and Virden, New Mexico, use Duncan public works and public schools. The Duncan area along the Gila River is renowned for Native American artifacts such as arrow heads, pottery, burial sites, cave paintings and other remnants of the Anasazi and other pre-historic cultures, as well as artifacts from garrison camps of the expedition of Francisco Vázquez de Coronado.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor was born in El Paso, Texas, but grew up near Duncan on the Lazy B ranch, which straddles the border between Arizona and New Mexico. The Day family ran the ranch for many years until selling it; it continues to be run as a ranch. O'Connor later wrote a book titled Lazy B: Growing up on a Cattle Ranch in the American Southwest about her childhood experiences on the ranch with her brother H. Alan Day.
Select the Right HVAC Trade School near Duncan AZ
Choosing the right HVAC training program is a critical first step toward a rewarding career in the heating & cooling industry. As we have discussed in this article, you need to select a vocational school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC community. Other factors to look for are lots of hands-on training and modern facilities. You should visit each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to tour the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. In addition, inquire about scheduling choices and whether night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to ask about financial aid and student loan options too. If you ask the right questions as we have outlined in our guidelines for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC contractor in Duncan AZ.
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