How to Choose an HVAC School near Kealakekua Hawaii
Now that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next step is to look for an HVAC trade school near Kealakekua HI. But with so many to choose from, how do you decide on the right one to obtain the training that you need? Some prospective students will make their selection based solely on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Even though these are important considerations, they are not the only ones to take into account. Some of the other things that you need to research 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 discussed in more detail later within this article. But before we explore how to pick an HVAC vocational school, let’s look at what a heating and a/c specialist does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Technician in Kealakekua HI
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are generally mandated to be licensed, though each state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Obtaining professional certification is not compulsory, but an optional means for Kealakekua HI HVAC specialists to prove that they are exceptionally proficient and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are a number of recognized certifications within the field that are available. Here are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is achieved by passing a proficiency 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 field experience in addition to passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience as well as a passing score on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for techs that handle refrigerants. There are three types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing may be required in your area, and you may also wish to acquire certification, it’s imperative that you choose an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be handling refrigerants, make certain that the program you select preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Training Programs
There are a number of alternatives offered for HVAC instruction in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, typically achieved in just 6 months, although some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will furnish more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief description of each credential offered near Kealakekua HI.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They provide a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more comprehensive background of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Normally taking 2 years to complete, a number of degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more for a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional 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.
Selecting the appropriate credential program will be based on what your future career aspirations are, together with the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One approach is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the trade in Kealakekua HI, subsequently returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Training Online
Choosing an HVAC program online is one approach to attaining your training and receiving a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in hands on training. Some also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes may be participated in on the web, this alternative may be a more practical solution for some Kealakekua HI students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are more economical than other on campus choices. Even commuting expenses from Kealakekua and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family obligations have left you with limited time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to fit school into your busy lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Certification Classes near Kealakekua HI
As soon as you have picked the type of certificate or degree that you wish to attain, either on campus or online, you can begin to decrease your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of HVAC technical schools in the Kealakekua HI area and all over the United States to pick from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a list of relevant qualifiers when making school evaluations. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the first 2 variables you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you need to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC trade schools in the Kealakekua HI area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Make certain that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate might suggest that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It could also indicate that the instructors 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 broader directory of graduates, which may result in more contacts for the school to employ 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 field, but additionally that it has the network of Kealakekua HI HVAC employers to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC trade programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling contractors or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with local Kealakekua HI HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC tech you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Kealakekua HI HVAC company if they can give you some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Kealakekua HI residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak with a few of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to a few of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Kealakekua HI, verify that the schools you are comparing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Attending HVAC School near Kealakekua HI?
Kealakekua is located on the west side of the island of Hawaii at 19°31′35″N 155°55′22″W / 19.52639°N 155.92278°W / 19.52639; -155.92278 (19.526436, -155.922891). It is bordered to the north by Honalo and to the south by Captain Cook. Hawaii Route 11 is the main road through the community, leading north 10 miles (16 km) to Kailua-Kona and south 49 miles (79 km) to Naalehu.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,645 people, 639 households, and 423 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 218.1 people per square mile (84.2/km²). There were 692 housing units at an average density of 91.7 per square mile (35.4/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 24.74% White, 0.73% African American, 0.67% Native American, 36.84% Asian, 7.23% Pacific Islander, 2.07% from other races, and 27.72% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.18% of the population.
There were 639 households out of which 25.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.0% were married couples living together, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.8% were non-families. 26.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 3.10.
Select the Right HVAC Training Classes near Kealakekua HI
Enrolling in the right HVAC training program is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating and air conditioning trade. As we have discussed in this article, you should pick a technical school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC community. Other things to look for are sufficient practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to go to 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. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. In addition, ask about scheduling options and whether night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial aid and student loan options too. If you ask the right questions as we have detailed in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options 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 Kealakekua HI.
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