How to Choose an HVAC Training Course near Blue Jay California
Now that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and cooling specialist, the next step is to look for an HVAC vocational school near Blue Jay CA. But with so many to choose from, how do you choose the best one to obtain the training that you need? Many future students will make their choice based entirely on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. Although these are significant concerns, they are not the only ones to evaluate. A few of the other things that you need to research are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and other criteria will be discussed in more detail later within this article. But before we examine how to select an HVAC training program, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning contractor does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Pro in Blue Jay CA
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, although every state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Attaining professional certification is not compulsory, but an alternative way for Blue Jay CA HVAC specialists to demonstrate that they are highly qualified and experienced in their area of expertise. There are multiple acknowledged certifications within the industry that are offered. Below are a few of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is earned by passing a proficiency exam 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 as well as passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience along with a passing score on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are provided in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for techs that handle refrigerants. There are three forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing could be required in your area, and you may also intend to earn certification, it’s essential that you enroll in an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the school you decide on prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Courses
There are a variety of alternatives available for HVAC instruction in a technical or vocational school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the lesser period of time, often completed in as little as six months, although some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree programs might provide a competitive edge in the job market and will provide more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short description of each credential offered near Blue Jay CA.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more exhaustive understanding of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically requiring 2 years to finish, a number of degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more towards a career in management or even 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.
Choosing the ideal credential program will be based on what your long term career aspirations are, along with the time and money that you have to commit. One approach is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Blue Jay CA, later returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, be sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Courses Online
Attending an HVAC program online is one alternative in obtaining your education and earning a degree or certificate. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to participate in hands on training. Many also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes may be participated in via the internet, this approach may be a more convenient solution for many Blue Jay CA students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other traditional options. Even driving expenses from Blue Jay and study supplies can be minimized, helping to make schooling more economical. And a large number of 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 easier to accommodate school into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Classes near Blue Jay CA
As soon as you have selected the type of degree or certificate that you desire to obtain, either online or on campus, you can begin to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Blue Jay CA area and across the United States to choose from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of relevant qualifiers when making school evaluations. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the initial 2 variables you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you need to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC trade schools in the Blue Jay CA area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Confirm that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, some states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited for it 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 or portion of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate might suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It might also indicate that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which can mean more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Blue Jay CA HVAC employers to assist students acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC trade programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling businesses or labor unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local Blue Jay CA HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC tech you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Blue Jay CA HVAC company if they can provide some suggestions. Also keep in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Blue Jay CA home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may 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 larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Talk to a few of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with a few of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Blue Jay CA, confirm that the schools you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, 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 Blue Jay CA?
Blue Jay, California
The town started as the homestead of Art and Norma Wixom. They leased a few vacation cabins and opened a store in 1914. Stoney DeMent leased the land and built a market called The Blue Jay Market in 1934. The store was named for the blue colored birds that live in the area, and this later became the name of the town built up around it. The naming of the town is something of a misnomer: the local variety of jay is actually the Steller's jay, not the closely related blue jay. While this is widely known in the area, the name has stuck. Residents began to move to Blue Jay about 10 years later. In 1978 Bluejay was purchased by H.R. "Rick" Kaufman through his company Pioneer Take Out Corporation aka Pioneer Chicken.
Blue Jay Village today is home to 2314 residents. It is considered the entertainment district of the Lake Arrowhead community. It contains a shopping center, a number of restaurants, and many privately owned stores. The village also hosts many events including the Lake Arrowhead celebration of film, The Blue Jay Christmas parade, and the Blue Jay Jazz Festival.
Select the Right HVAC Trade School near Blue Jay CA
Choosing the ideal HVAC training course is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating and cooling industry. As we have addressed in this article, you should select a trade school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC field. Other things to search for are sufficient hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to visit each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to explore the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. In addition, ask about scheduling choices and whether or not evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have outlined in our guidelines for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC contractor in Blue Jay CA.
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