How to Find the Right HVAC Training Class near Helendale California
Once you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next step is to locate an HVAC trade school near Helendale CA. But with so many to select from, how do you choose the ideal one to receive the training that you need? Some future students will make their decision based exclusively on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Even though these are important factors to consider, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Just some of the other factors that you need to look into 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 tackle how to choose an HVAC trade school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling professional does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Specialist in Helendale CA
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly 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, 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 prerequisites. Acquiring professional certification is not mandatory, but an optional way for Helendale CA HVAC techs to demonstrate that they are highly skilled and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are multiple respected certifications within the industry that are offered. Following are some of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is attained by passing a proficiency examination and can be received in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of professional experience as well as passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience as well as a passing score on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for technicians that work with refrigerants. There are 3 forms 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 intend to acquire certification, it’s essential that you pick an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be handling refrigerants, make certain that the school you select prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Schools
There are several choices available for HVAC training in a vocational or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the minimum amount of time, usually completed in as little as 6 months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree programs may provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will provide more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief summary of each option offered near Helendale CA.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They provide a solid foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more comprehensive knowledge of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Normally taking two years to finish, a number of degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more towards a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a standard four year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Selecting the ideal credential program will be based on what your future career goals are, along with the time and money that you have to invest. One option is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Helendale CA, eventually going back to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make certain to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Schools Online
Choosing an HVAC program online is one option in attaining your training and earning a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. A number also provide 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 participated in via the internet, this approach may be a more practical solution for some Helendale CA students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are more economical than other on campus choices. Even commuting expenses from Helendale and study materials may be reduced, helping to make schooling more economical. And a large number of online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family obligations have left you with little time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to fit school into your hectic lifestyle.
Questions For HVAC Certification Courses near Helendale CA
When you have picked the type of certificate or degree that you wish to attain, either online or on campus, you can begin to limit your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are many HVAC trade schools in the Helendale CA area and throughout the Country to choose from. That’s why it is imperative to have a checklist of relevant qualifications when making school evaluations. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the first two variables you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you need to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC trade programs in the Helendale CA area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Make sure that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you get a quality education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many states require that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate could signify that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It could also indicate that the teachers were not competent to instruct 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 directory of graduates, 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 validate that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Helendale CA HVAC employers to assist graduates acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC vocational programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC companies or trade unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with local Helendale CA HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained 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, consult with the HVAC specialist you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Helendale CA HVAC contracting company if they can provide some suggestions. Also bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Helendale CA residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Speak to some of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Helendale CA, verify that the programs you are comparing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.
Attending HVAC School near Helendale CA?
It is on historic Route 66, west of the Mojave Freeway (I-15), between Barstow and Victorville. The name Helendale is used by the USPS, while Silver Lakes is used by the US Census. The 2010 United States census reported Silver Lakes's population was 5,623.
Several Native American tribes lived in the area, namely the Mojave and Serrano. It is believed that the first White man to travel through was the Franciscan priest Francisco Garcés in 1776. He was exploring a route to the missions on the Coast following the Mojave River.
The original name for Helendale was Point of Rocks. There were several early trails and roadways through this area of the Mojave Desert, including the Mojave Trail, which was used by the Indians and Father Garcés, the Spanish Trail, the Santa Fe Trail, the Mormon Trail, et cetera.
Enroll in the Right HVAC Training Classes near Helendale CA
Selecting the right HVAC training course is a crucial first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating and air conditioning industry. As we have covered in this article, you need to select a school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC field. Other things to search for are sufficient practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should visit each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to explore the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Additionally, inquire about scheduling choices and whether evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the proper questions as we have detailed in our guidelines for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC specialist in Helendale CA.
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