How to Select an HVAC Certification Class near Diamond Bar California
Once you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning professional, the next step is to locate an HVAC technical school near Diamond Bar CA. But with so many to choose from, how do you decide on the best one to obtain the training that you require? Some prospective students will make their selection based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Even though these are necessary concerns, they are not the only ones to take into account. Just some of the other factors that you need to investigate are the graduation 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 within this article. But before we discuss how to pick an HVAC trade school, let’s take a look at what a heating and air conditioning contractor does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Contractor in Diamond Bar CA
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are generally required to be licensed, though each state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Obtaining professional certification is not required, but an optional way for Diamond Bar CA HVAC techs to prove that they are exceptionally qualified and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are multiple respected certifications within the field that are available. Here are some of the significant 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 offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience together with 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 examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for techs that handle refrigerants. There are three forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing may be mandated in your location, and you may also desire to acquire 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 handling refrigerants, make certain that the program you select preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree Courses
There are a number of choices offered for HVAC instruction in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the lesser period of time, usually completed in as little as 6 months, although some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will provide more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short summary of each option offered near Diamond Bar CA.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They provide a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more comprehensive understanding of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Typically taking 2 years to complete, many degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more for a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional four year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Selecting the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your long term career objectives are, as well as the time and money that you have to invest. One approach is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Diamond Bar CA, eventually returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Courses Online
Enrolling in an HVAC school online is one approach to attaining your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in hands on training. A number also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes can be attended on the web, this option may be a more accessible solution for some Diamond Bar CA students that are pressed for time. And some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even travelling expenses from Diamond Bar 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 limited time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it easier to fit school into your hectic lifestyle.
Questions to Ask HVAC Schools near Diamond Bar CA
After you have chosen the type of certificate or degree that you would like to attain, either online or on campus, you can start to narrow down your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous HVAC technical schools in the Diamond Bar CA area and across the Country to select from. That’s why it is essential to have a checklist of key qualifiers when making school comparisons. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the first 2 aspects you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you need to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC trade schools in the Diamond Bar CA area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Make sure that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you acquire an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Additionally, many 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 of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate could signify that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It might also signify that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of graduates, which can produce more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Diamond Bar CA HVAC employers to help students obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC training programs are taught along 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 companies or trade unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with local Diamond Bar CA HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC specialist you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Diamond Bar CA HVAC contractor if they can provide some suggestions. Also keep in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Diamond Bar CA home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger 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 students and teachers. Speak to a few of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with a few 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 schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Diamond Bar CA, verify that the programs you are comparing provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family issues.
Attending HVAC School near Diamond Bar CA?
Diamond Bar, California
Diamond Bar is a city located in eastern Los Angeles County, California, United States. The 2014 population estimate was 56,784, up from 56,287 at the 2000 census. It is named after the "diamond over a bar" branding iron registered in 1918 by ranch owner Frederick E. Lewis. The city features a public Los Angeles County golf course. It is also home to the Diamond Bar Country Estates, a private guarded community.
Located at the junction of the Pomona and Orange freeways, Diamond Bar is primarily residential with shopping centers interspersed throughout the city. It is surrounded by the communities such as Brea, Walnut, Chino Hills, and Rowland Heights, Pomona, and the City of Industry.
Northern Diamond Bar is a part of the Pomona Unified School District. Southern Diamond Bar is a part of the Walnut Valley Unified School District. The city is also served by International Polytechnic High School. It also has the first hydrogen fueling station to be built in Southern California, near the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) building. Moreover, according to the 2010 United States Census – Diamond Bar has a median household income at one of the top earning percentiles in the country at $88,422, with 5.9% of the population living below the federal poverty line.
Enroll in the Right HVAC Training Classes near Diamond Bar CA
Enrolling in the ideal HVAC training course is a critical first step toward a gratifying career in the heating and cooling industry. As we have discussed in this article, you should select a 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 ample practical training and modern facilities. You should go to each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to explore the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. In addition, inquire about scheduling options and whether night or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to ask about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have detailed in our guidelines for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC technician in Diamond Bar CA.
More Fabulous Cities in California
Business Results 1 - 10 of 3000