How to Enroll In an HVAC Training Class near Aiea Hawaii
Now that you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next step is to find an HVAC technical school near Aiea HI. But with so many to choose from, how do you pick the right one to obtain the training that you require? Many prospective students will make their choice based entirely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Although these are relevant considerations, they are not the only ones to investigate. A few of the other things that you need to investigate are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and other criteria will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we discuss how to choose an HVAC training program, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning contractor does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Specialist in Aiea HI
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, although every state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Obtaining professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary way for Aiea HI HVAC specialists to demonstrate that they are highly proficient and experienced in their area of specialization. There are multiple acknowledged certifications within the trade that are offered. Here are a few of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is achieved by passing a competency exam and can be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of professional experience together with passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience in addition to a passing result on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are made available in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for techs that handle refrigerants. There are three forms of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing could be required in your location, and you may also desire to acquire certification, it’s imperative that you pick an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the program you decide on readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are a variety of options offered for HVAC training in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the least amount of time, typically achieved in just six months, although some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree programs might provide a competitive edge 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 Aiea HI.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They provide a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more exhaustive knowledge of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually requiring 2 years to finish, a number of 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 or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional four year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Choosing the right credential program will be dependent on what your long term career goals are, along with the time and money that you have to commit. One possibility is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Aiea HI, later returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Training Online
Enrolling in an HVAC program online is one alternative in attaining your training and earning a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will call for some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. Some also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be attended via the internet, this option may be a more practical solution for some Aiea HI students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other traditional options. Even travelling expenses from Aiea and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family responsibilities have left you with little time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your hectic lifestyle.
Questions to Ask HVAC Schools near Aiea HI
When you have decided on the type of degree or certificate that you wish to earn, either on campus or online, you can begin to decrease your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are numerous HVAC technical schools in the Aiea HI area and all over the United States to choose from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of important qualifiers when making school assessments. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the first two variables you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you will want to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC vocational programs in the Aiea HI area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance HVAC technology. Make sure that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to qualify 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 finish the program. A lower completion rate may indicate that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It could also suggest that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which may result in more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Aiea HI HVAC employers to assist graduates secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC vocational programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC contractors or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with local Aiea HI HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC tech you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Aiea HI HVAC contracting company if they can provide some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Aiea HI home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much individualized instruction 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 teachers and students. Speak with several of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to a few of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Aiea HI, confirm that the schools you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make 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 issues.
Attending HVAC School near Aiea HI?
Aiea is located at 21°23′9″N 157°55′51″W / 21.38583°N 157.93083°W / 21.38583; -157.93083 (21.385900, −157.930927). According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 1.8 square miles (4.7 km2), of which, 1.6 square miles (4.1 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) of it (5.71%) is water.
Kamehameha Highway (Hawaii Route 99) divides most of Aiea from the shore of Pearl Harbor (mostly US government property), and the parallel major thoroughfare, Interstate H-1, further cuts the town's commercial district into two distinct areas. These east-west routes (and other streets, such as Moanalua Road) connect Aiea to Pearl City, immediately adjacent on the west, and Halawa, adjacent on the east. The residential area known as Aiea Heights extends up the ridgeline above the town. The communities of Newtown Estates and Royal Summit are located at the western edge of Aiea near its border with Pearl City at Kaahumanu Street. Residents of the census-designated places (CDP) of Waimalu and Hālawa use Aiea in their postal address.
"ʻAiea" was originally the name of an ahupuaʻa, or Hawaiian land division. The name was derived from a species of plant in the nightshade family, Nothocestrum latifolium. It stretched from ʻAiea Bay (part of Pearl Harbor) into the mountains to the north. At the end of the 19th century, a sugarcane plantation was opened in the district by the Honolulu Plantation Company.
Enroll in the Right HVAC Certification Training near Aiea HI
Finding the ideal HVAC training program is a critical beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating and air conditioning industry. As we have addressed in this post, you need to choose a trade school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC profession. Other features to search for are plenty of hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to check out each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to tour the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Also, inquire about scheduling choices and whether or not night or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options as well. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have laid out in our checklist for assessing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC specialist in Aiea HI.
More Fabulous Cities in Hawaii
Business Results 1 - 10 of 144