How to Choose an HVAC Training Class near El Segundo California
Once you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and cooling technician, the next action is to find an HVAC trade school near El Segundo CA. But with so many to select from, how do you choose the best one to receive 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 necessary considerations, they are not the only ones to take into account. Just some of the other details 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. These and additional criteria will be discussed in more detail later within this article. But before we tackle how to choose an HVAC technical school, let’s take a look at what a heating and air conditioning professional does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Technician in El Segundo CA
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, however each state and local municipality has its own criteria. Acquiring professional certification is not compulsory, but an optional way for El Segundo CA HVAC techs to prove that they are exceptionally qualified and experienced in their area of expertise. There are several respected certifications within the industry that are offered. Following are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is earned by passing a competency examination and can be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience together with passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience along with a passing result on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are made available in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for techs that work with refrigerants. There are three types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing could be mandated in your location, and you may also desire to earn certification, it’s important that you pick an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the school you pick preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are a number of choices available for HVAC instruction in a vocational or trade school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the least period of time, typically completed in as little as 6 months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive edge in the job market and will furnish more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a short summary of each option offered near El Segundo CA.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They provide a strong foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more extensive knowledge of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually requiring 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 for a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs require 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 study how to design them.
Choosing the appropriate credential program will be based on what your long term career objectives are, along with the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One approach is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in El Segundo CA, subsequently going back to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, be sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Courses
Choosing an HVAC program online is one approach to getting your training and receiving a certificate or degree. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete practical training. Some also offer 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 approach may be a more practical solution for many El Segundo CA students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even driving expenses from El Segundo and study supplies can be minimized, helping to make schooling more budget-friendly. And numerous online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family commitments have left you with limited time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your busy lifestyle.
Questions For HVAC Certification Classes near El Segundo CA
As soon as you have chosen the type of degree or certificate that you would like to attain, either online or on campus, you can start to decrease your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are many HVAC vocational schools in the El Segundo CA area and throughout the USA to pick from. That’s why it is essential to have a checklist of relevant qualifiers when making school assessments. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the first 2 factors you will take into consideration. Following are some additional ones that you need to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC trade programs in the El Segundo CA area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Verify that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you acquire a superior education, it may assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, some states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are looking at 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 may suggest that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It might also signify that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which can result in more contacts for the school to employ 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 field, but also that it has the network of El Segundo CA HVAC employers to help grads acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC trade programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC businesses or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with local El Segundo CA HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC technician you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local El Segundo CA HVAC company if they can provide some suggestions. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your El Segundo CA residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Speak with some of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near El Segundo CA, check that the schools you are looking at provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending HVAC School near El Segundo CA?
El Segundo, California
El Segundo is a city located in Los Angeles County, California, United States. El Segundo, from Spanish, means "The Second" in English. Located on the Santa Monica Bay, it was incorporated on January 18, 1917, and part of the South Bay Cities Council of Governments. The population was 16,654 at the 2010 census, slightly up from 16,033 at the 2000 census.
The El Segundo and Los Angeles coastal area was first settled by the Tongva (or Gabrieleños)Native American tribes thousands of years ago. The area was once a part of Rancho Sausal Redondo ("Round Willow Patch Ranch"). Rancho Sausal Redondo extended from Playa Del Rey in the North to Redondo Beach in the South. Originally a Mexican land grant owned by Antonio Ygnacio Avila, the rancho was later purchased by a Scottish baronet named Sir Robert Burnett. After his return to Scotland, the property was purchased by then current manager of the rancho, Daniel Freeman. Daniel Freeman sold portions of the rancho to several persons. George H. Peck owned the 840 acres (3.4 km2) of land the Chevron Refinery now sits on. Peck also developed land in neighboring El Porto where a street still bears his name. The city earned its name ("the second" in Spanish) as it was the site of the second Standard Oil refinery on the West Coast (the first was at Richmond in Northern California), when Standard Oil of California purchased the 840 acres (3.4 km2) of farm land in 1911.
The Douglas Aircraft Company plant in El Segundo was one of the major aircraft manufacturing facilities in California during World War II. It was one of the major producers of SBD Dauntless dive bombers, which achieved fame in the Battle of Midway. The facility, now operated by Northrop Grumman, is still an aircraft plant.
Choose the Right HVAC Training Classes near El Segundo CA
Finding the ideal HVAC training course is an important beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating and cooling field. As we have addressed in this article, you should select a school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC profession. Other things to look for are lots of hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should visit each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. In addition, inquire about scheduling options and whether or not evening 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 outlined in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC professional in El Segundo CA.
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