How to Enroll In an HVAC School near Greenfield California
Now that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next step is to locate an HVAC trade school near Greenfield CA. But with so many to select from, how do you choose the ideal one to get the training that you need? A number of potential students will make their selection based entirely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Although these are relevant concerns, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Just some of the other factors 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 additional criteria will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we examine how to pick an HVAC vocational school, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning technician does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Contractor in Greenfield CA
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, though every state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Earning professional certification is not required, but an alternative means for Greenfield CA HVAC techs to prove that they are highly proficient and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are several respected certifications within the field that are available. Following are a few of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. 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. 2 years of field experience in addition to passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience in addition to a passing result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for technicians that work with refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing may be mandated in your location, and you may also wish to acquire certification, it’s essential that you pick an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the program you decide on readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Schools
There are several choices offered for HVAC instruction in a trade or technical school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, usually completed in just 6 months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs may provide a competitive edge in the job market and will deliver more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a short explanation of each credential offered near Greenfield CA.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular 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 detailed background of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically requiring two years to finish, many degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more towards a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional 4 year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Selecting the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your future career goals are, as well as the time and money that you have to commit. One approach is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Greenfield CA, subsequently returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Training
Attending an HVAC school online is one possibility to obtaining your training and earning a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. A number also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be participated in online, this approach may be a more accessible solution for some Greenfield CA students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are more economical than other on campus options. Even travelling expenses from Greenfield and study materials may be lessened, 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 limited time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to fit school into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Classes near Greenfield CA
After you have decided on the type of degree or certificate that you want to acquire, either online or on campus, you can start to narrow down your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are a large number of HVAC technical schools in the Greenfield CA area and across the USA to select from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a list of key qualifiers when making school evaluations. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the first 2 variables you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you will want to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC technical schools in the Greenfield CA area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Confirm that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain an excellent education, it can help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Additionally, many states require that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate may indicate that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It might also indicate that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which may mean more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Greenfield CA HVAC employers to help grads secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC vocational 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 HVAC businesses or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Greenfield CA HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to establish 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 using in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC technician you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Greenfield CA HVAC contractor if they can give you some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Greenfield CA home. Remember that if you decide to attend 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 receive as much individualized instruction 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 big they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Talk to several of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the teachers and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Greenfield CA, verify that the programs you are considering offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Attending HVAC School near Greenfield CA?
Greenfield (formerly, Clarke Colony) is a city in Monterey County, California, United States. Greenfield is located in the Salinas Valley, 33 miles (53 km) southeast of Salinas, at an elevation of 289 feet (88 m). The city was the fastest growing in the county during the 2000s, the population was 12,583 in 2000, increasing to 16,330 in the 2010 census. Its most well-known public event is the annual Harvest Festival. Greenfield is a member of the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments.
John S. Clarke and other promoters may have laid out the town from 1902 to 1905 on part of the Rancho Arroyo Seco Mexican land grant, created by a subdivision of 4,000 acres (1,600 ha). The Clark Colony Water Company, which became the organization for water distribution, filled the city with water from the nearby Arroyo Seco AVA was formed in April 1905. The organized water canal system and ideal growing conditions attracted people of Danish, Swiss and other nationalities from surrounding areas to settle in Greenfield. Today, the Clark Colony Water Company still holds 1916 Prior Rights guaranteeing delivery to its members a certain amount of water from the Arroyo Seco River before any other agencies. In 1906, the district purchased a lot from Edward Greenfield along with two adjacent to the Arroyo Seco Development Company. Clark Colony evolved into Clark City and was eventually renamed Greenfield, in honor of Mr. Greenfield., after the United States Postal Service informed the City that there were too many "Clark Cities" in the state. Greenfield was recognized as a municipality by the State legislature and incorporated on January 7, 1947. Greenfield's first Mayor was Tom Rogers.
The city of Greenfield is located in the heart of the Salinas Valley, formed by the Gabilan Mountains range to the east and the Santa Lucia Mountains range to the west. Greenfield is, approximately 135 miles south of San Francisco, 95 miles south of San Jose and 60 miles north of Paso Robles.
Choose the Right HVAC Certification Training near Greenfield CA
Finding the ideal HVAC training course is an important first step toward a gratifying career in the heating and air conditioning industry. As we have addressed in this post, you should select a trade school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC profession. Other factors to search for are sufficient hands-on training and modern facilities. You should go to 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 options and whether evening 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 outlined in our checklist for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC contractor in Greenfield CA.
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