How to Find the Right HVAC School near Red Rock Arizona
Now that you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next step is to look for an HVAC technical school near Red Rock AZ. But with so many to select from, how do you select the best one to get the training that you require? A number of potential students will make their decision based solely on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Although these are relevant considerations, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Some of the other details 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 covered 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 air conditioning specialist does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Pro in Red Rock AZ
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, although each state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Earning professional certification is not mandatory, but an optional way for Red Rock AZ HVAC techs to demonstrate that they are highly proficient and experienced in their area of expertise. There are several respected certifications within the trade that are available. Here are a few of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is achieved by passing a competency examination 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 together with passing a comprehensive exam are needed 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 provided in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for techs that handle refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing might be required in your location, and you may also wish to earn certification, it’s important that you choose an HVAC vocational school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be working with refrigerants, make sure that the program you choose readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Schools
There are a variety of options available for HVAC instruction in a technical or trade school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the least amount of time, often achieved in as little as 6 months, although some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree programs might provide a competitive edge in the job market and will provide more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a short explanation of each credential offered near Red Rock AZ.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more extensive knowledge of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Typically requiring 2 years to finish, a number of degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more towards a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional four year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Picking the right credential program will be based on what your long term career goals are, along with the time and money that you have to commit. One approach is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Red Rock 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 Online Classes
Attending an HVAC school online is one approach to getting your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to complete hands on training. Some also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes may be attended online, this alternative may be a more practical solution for some Red Rock AZ students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even driving expenses from Red Rock and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family responsibilities have left you with little time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to fit school into your active lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Trade Schools near Red Rock AZ
After you have decided on the type of certificate or degree that you want to acquire, either on campus or online, you can begin to decrease your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are numerous HVAC technical schools in the Red Rock AZ area and all over the United States to pick from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of key qualifications when making school assessments. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the initial 2 factors you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you will want to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC technical schools in the Red Rock AZ area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance HVAC technology. Make certain that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you get an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, some states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to be approved 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 percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate might suggest that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It may also mean that the instructors were not competent 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 more extensive list of alumni, which can produce more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Red Rock AZ HVAC employers to help graduates acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC technical programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC businesses or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with local Red Rock AZ HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus 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, consult with the HVAC tech you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Red Rock AZ HVAC contracting company if they can give you some suggestions. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Red Rock AZ residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there might be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Talk to several of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Red Rock AZ, verify that the programs you are considering offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending HVAC School near Red Rock AZ?
Red Rock, Pinal County, Arizona
ASU has contracted with APS to develop and operate a 29 MWdc solar facility at APS’s Saguaro Generating Station near Red Rock, AZ. With the addition of this project to ASU’s existing project portfolio, ASU will have driven the development of solar energy production beyond the 50MWdc milestone. As part of the transaction, APS will supply ASU with 65,000 MWh per year of solar energy, an increase of more than 150% above the current renewable energy used by the university.
At the 2010 Census Red Rock had a population of 2,169. The racial and ethnic composition of the population was 66.3% non-Hispanic white, 1.9% black or African American, 1.6% Native American, 1.0% Asian, 0.1% non-Hispanic reporting some other race, 5.8% reporting two or more races and 27.8% Hispanic or Latino.
Select the Right HVAC Trade School near Red Rock AZ
Enrolling in the right HVAC training program is an important beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating & cooling trade. As we have covered in this post, you need to choose a 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 lots of hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to go to each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to explore the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Additionally, inquire about scheduling choices and whether night or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the right questions as we have laid out in our checklist for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC contractor in Red Rock AZ.
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