How to Enroll In an HVAC School near Kearny Arizona
Now that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and cooling professional, the next action is to choose an HVAC trade school near Kearny AZ. But with so many to choose from, how do you select the best one to obtain the training that you need? Many potential students will make their choice based solely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Although 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 covered in more detail later within this article. But before we discuss how to pick an HVAC trade school, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c professional does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Specialist in Kearny AZ
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are generally required to be licensed, although each state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Acquiring professional certification is not required, but a voluntary way for Kearny AZ HVAC technicians to establish that they are exceptionally qualified and experienced in their area of specialization. There are many respected certifications within the industry that are offered. Here are a few of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is attained by passing a competency examination and can be received in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience together with passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience as well as a passing result on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are made available in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for techs that work with refrigerants. There are three 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 wish to obtain certification, it’s essential that you enroll in an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be working with refrigerants, make certain that the program you choose readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree Courses
There are several options available for HVAC training in a technical or vocational school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, often accomplished in just six months, although some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree programs may provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will provide more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief explanation of each option offered near Kearny AZ.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They provide a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more comprehensive knowledge of heating and a/c 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 for a career in management as well as 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.
Picking the ideal credential program will be based on what your long term career aspirations are, in addition to the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One possibility is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Kearny AZ, subsequently returning to earn 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 Schools
Enrolling in an HVAC school online is one possibility to attaining your training and earning a certificate or degree. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to complete hands on training. Some also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be attended online, this option may be a more convenient solution for some Kearny AZ students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are cheaper than other traditional choices. Even driving expenses from Kearny and study materials may be lessened, helping to make schooling more affordable. And numerous online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family responsibilities have left you with minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your busy lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Certification Classes near Kearny AZ
After you have decided on the type of certificate or degree that you would like to earn, either online or on campus, you can start to narrow down your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Kearny AZ area and throughout the Country to choose from. That’s why it is essential to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school comparisons. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the first two aspects you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you need to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC trade programs in the Kearny AZ area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance HVAC technology. Verify that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you acquire an excellent education, it can assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, some states require that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate might indicate that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It could also mean that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which may mean more contacts for the school to utilize 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 field, but also that it has the network of Kearny AZ HVAC employers to help grads secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC trade programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling businesses or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local Kearny AZ HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC specialist you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Kearny AZ HVAC contracting company if they can provide some tips. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Kearny AZ residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Speak with a few of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Kearny AZ, confirm that the schools you are considering offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending HVAC School near Kearny AZ?
Kearny is a town in Pinal County, Arizona, United States. The town was named after General Stephen Watts Kearny, who passed through the area on November 7, 1846, while leading 100 dragoons to California. According to the 2010 census, the population of the town is 1,950. The economic base of Kearny and nearby towns is the Ray mine and Hayden Smelter, both owned and operated by ASARCO.
Kearny was built by the Kennecott Mining Company in 1958 as a planned community to accommodate the populations of nearby Ray, Sonora and Barcelona, which were about to be swallowed by Kennecott's expanding open-pit copper mine. While many of houses in the town were newly built, some mine employees had their homes moved down the road. Kearny was officially incorporated in 1959.
The town sits near the Gila River in the Copper Basin area along with its sister cities, Hayden and Winkelman. According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 2.8 square miles (7.3 km2), all of it land.
Pick the Right HVAC Trade School near Kearny AZ
Selecting the right HVAC training program is a critical beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating and cooling industry. As we have covered in this post, you should pick a trade school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC profession. Other features to look for are sufficient hands-on training and modern facilities. You should check out each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to explore the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling choices and whether or not night or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to inquire about financial aid and student loan options too. If you ask the proper questions as we have laid out in our checklist for comparing schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC specialist in Kearny AZ.
More Fabulous Cities in Arizona