How to Pick an HVAC Training Course near Huntington Park California
Once you have decided on a career as a heating and cooling specialist, the next action is to choose an HVAC vocational school near Huntington Park CA. But with so many to select from, how do you select the best one to get the training that you require? Many prospective students will make their choice based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Although these are important factors to consider, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Some of the other things that you need to investigate are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and other benchmarks will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we tackle how to select an HVAC training program, let’s take a look at what a heating and air conditioning technician does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Contractor in Huntington Park CA
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, however each state and local municipality has its own requirements. Earning professional certification is not compulsory, but a voluntary way for Huntington Park CA HVAC technicians to demonstrate that they are exceptionally skilled and experienced in their area of expertise. There are multiple recognized certifications within the trade that are available. Following are a few of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is attained by passing a proficiency exam and may 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 needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience as well as a passing result on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for techs that work with refrigerants. There are three forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing could be required in your location, and you may also desire 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 handling refrigerants, make certain that the program you decide on readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Courses
There are a number of alternatives available for HVAC training in a vocational or trade school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the minimum period of time, often achieved in just 6 months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify 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 in the job market and will furnish more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a short summary of each credential offered near Huntington Park CA.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They provide a solid foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more extensive background of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically taking 2 years to complete, some degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more for a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional 4 year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.
Choosing the ideal credential program will be dependent on what your future career goals are, together with the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One option is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Huntington Park CA, eventually going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Courses Online
Attending an HVAC school online is one option in obtaining your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. Many also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be participated in online, this alternative may be a more practical solution for many Huntington Park CA students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are more economical than other traditional alternatives. Even commuting expenses from Huntington Park and study materials can 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 work or family commitments have left you with little time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to fit school into your active lifestyle.
Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Courses near Huntington Park CA
When you have picked the type of degree or certificate that you would like to acquire, either on campus or online, you can begin to limit your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are numerous HVAC trade schools in the Huntington Park CA area and all over the USA to select from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a list of key qualifications when making school comparisons. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the initial two factors you will take into consideration. Following are some additional ones that you should research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC vocational schools in the Huntington Park CA area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Make certain that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you receive a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, 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 reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate might indicate that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It may also mean that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which can produce more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Huntington Park CA HVAC employers to help grads acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC training programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship 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. Ask if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local Huntington Park CA HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain 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, consult with the HVAC tech you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Huntington Park CA HVAC company if they can provide some suggestions. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Huntington Park CA home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there might be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much individualized training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Talk to some of the students and get their comments concerning 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 hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Huntington Park CA, confirm that the schools you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.
Attending HVAC School near Huntington Park CA?
Huntington Park, California
Named for prominent industrialist Henry E. Huntington, Huntington Park was incorporated in 1906 as a streetcar suburb for workers in the rapidly expanding industries to the southeast of downtown Los Angeles. To this day, about 30% of its residents work at factories in nearby Vernon and Commerce. The stretch of Pacific Boulevard in downtown Huntington Park was a major commercial district serving the city's largely working-class residents, as well as those of neighboring cities such as Bell, Cudahy, South Gate, and Downey. As with most of the other cities along the corridor stretching along the Los Angeles River to the south and southeast of downtown Los Angeles, Huntington Park was an almost exclusively white community during most of its history; Alameda Street and Slauson Avenue, which were fiercely defended segregation lines in the 1950s, separated it from black areas.
The changes that shaped Los Angeles from the late 1970s onward—the decline of American manufacturing that began in the 1970s; the rapid growth of newer suburbs in Orange County, the eastern San Gabriel, western San Fernando and Conejo valleys; the collapse of the aerospace and defense industry at the end of the Cold War; and the implosion of the Southern California real estate boom in the early 1990s—resulted in the wholesale departure of virtually all of the white population of Huntington Park by the mid-1990s. The vacuum was filled almost entirely by two groups of Latinos: upwardly mobile families eager to leave the barrios of East Los Angeles, and recent Mexican immigrants. Today, Pacific Boulevard is once again a thriving commercial strip, serving as a major retail center for working-class residents of southeastern Los Angeles County—but unlike its previous heyday of the 1930s, the signs along the avenue's storefronts are now primarily in Spanish.
A weekly certified farmers market is now hosted at Salt Lake Park (opposite the Recreation Center on Bissell Street) every Wednesday from 9am-1:30pm. The market includes year round as well as seasonal vendors that provide access to the following products: Bee products, eggs, fruits and fruit products, herbs, nuts, plants, vegetables, granola, nuts, corn, etc.
Enroll in the Right HVAC Certification Training near Huntington Park CA
Selecting the ideal HVAC training course is a crucial beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating and air conditioning industry. As we have covered in this article, you need to select a technical school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC profession. Other factors to search for are sufficient practical 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 current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. In addition, ask about scheduling choices and if night or weekend classes are available 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 checklist for evaluating 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 eventually become a licensed HVAC specialist in Huntington Park CA.
More Fabulous Cities in California
Business Results 1 - 10 of 3300