How to Find the Right HVAC School near Queen Creek Arizona
Once you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next action is to look for an HVAC trade school near Queen Creek AZ. But with so many to pick from, how do you pick the ideal one to get the training that you need? A number of prospective students will make their selection based entirely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Although these are necessary factors to consider, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Some of the other factors 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 additional benchmarks will be addressed in more detail later in this article. But before we discuss how to choose an HVAC vocational school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling technician does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Specialist in Queen Creek AZ
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, although every state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Attaining professional certification is not mandatory, but an optional way for Queen Creek AZ HVAC technicians to establish that they are highly skilled and experienced in their area of expertise. There are a number of acknowledged certifications within the field that are offered. Following are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is earned 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 professional experience as well as passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience in addition to a passing score on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for techs that work with refrigerants. There are three forms of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing might be mandated in your area, 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 probably be handling refrigerants, make certain that the school you choose preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are several alternatives available for HVAC instruction in a technical or trade school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the minimum amount of time, typically accomplished in just six months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify 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 advantage for securing employment and will provide more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief description of each option offered near Queen Creek AZ.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more exhaustive background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Generally taking 2 years to finish, many degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more towards a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a standard four year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.
Choosing the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your long term career objectives are, in addition to the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One possibility is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Queen Creek AZ, later going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Courses Online
Choosing an HVAC school online is one alternative to obtaining your training and earning a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to participate in hands on training. Many 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 participated in via the internet, this approach may be a more practical solution for some Queen Creek AZ students that are pressed for time. And some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even travelling expenses from Queen Creek and study supplies can be lessened, helping to make schooling more affordable. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family obligations have left you with little time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to accommodate school into your active schedule.
What to Ask HVAC Certification Courses near Queen Creek AZ
As soon as you have selected the type of degree or certificate that you wish to attain, either on campus or online, you can begin to decrease your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are many HVAC vocational schools in the Queen Creek AZ area and across the United States to choose from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a checklist of relevant qualifiers when making school assessments. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the initial 2 variables you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you should research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC trade programs in the Queen Creek AZ area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Make sure that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you acquire an excellent education, it can assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Cooling 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 lower completion rate may signify that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It may also indicate that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which may mean more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Queen Creek AZ HVAC employers to help graduates acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC trade programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC contractors or labor unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Queen Creek AZ HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional 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 working with in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC technician you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Queen Creek AZ HVAC company if they can give you some pointers. Also bear in mind that unless you can move, the school must be within driving distance of your Queen Creek AZ 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 charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Talk to some of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Queen Creek AZ, confirm that the schools you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, 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 Queen Creek AZ?
Queen Creek, Arizona
Queen Creek is located at 33°15′47″N 111°38′05″W / 33.26306°N 111.63472°W / 33.26306; -111.63472 (33.263101, −111.634685). The Town of Queen Creek is primarily within Maricopa County, but the Town Limits also extend into Pinal County on the eastern and southern borders. Even further to the east and south of QC Town Limits in Pinal County is the large (est. 87,000 population in 2015) unincorporated community of San Tan Valley.
As of the census of 2010, there were 26,361 people, 8,557 households, residing in the town. The population density was 167.3 people per square mile (64.6/km²). There were 8,557 housing units at an average density of 49.6 per square mile (19.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 82.14% White, 0.35% Black or African American, 6.53% Native American, 0.32% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 14.30% from other races, and 2.29% from two or more races. 17.3% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 1,218 households out of which 50.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 75.9% were married couples living together, 7.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 11.8% were non-families. 8.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 2.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.54 and the average family size was 3.77.
Pick the Right HVAC Trade School near Queen Creek AZ
Choosing the ideal HVAC training program is a crucial beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating & cooling field. As we have covered in this post, you need to pick a technical school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC profession. Other factors to look for are sufficient practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should check out each of the schools in person 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 training and the interaction between them. In addition, ask about scheduling choices and if 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 guidelines for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC contractor in Queen Creek AZ.
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