How to Select an HVAC Certification Class near Waukee Iowa
Once you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner specialist, the next action is to look for an HVAC trade school near Waukee IA. But with so many to pick from, how do you decide on the right one to get the training that you require? A number of prospective students will make their selection based exclusively on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Although these are relevant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to take into account. A few of the other factors 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. Those and additional criteria will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we tackle how to select an HVAC technical school, let’s look at what a heating and a/c specialist does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Tech in Waukee IA
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, although each state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Obtaining professional certification is not compulsory, but a voluntary way for Waukee IA HVAC specialists to establish that they are exceptionally proficient and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are a number of recognized certifications within the trade that are available. Below are a few of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is achieved by passing a competency examination and can be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience as well as passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience in addition to a passing result on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing may be mandated in your location, and you may also wish to obtain certification, it’s essential that you pick an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be handling refrigerants, make certain that the program you choose readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are a number of choices available for HVAC training in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the least amount of time, usually completed in as little as 6 months, although some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree training programs might provide a competitive edge in the job market and will furnish more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short summary of each credential offered near Waukee IA.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more comprehensive background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Usually requiring two 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 towards a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional four year program. In addition to learning 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 long term career objectives are, together with the time and money that you have to invest. One possibility is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Waukee IA, subsequently returning to acquire 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 school online is one possibility in obtaining your training and earning a degree or certificate. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. A number also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes can be participated in on the web, this option may be a more practical solution for some Waukee IA students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even commuting expenses from Waukee and study materials may be lessened, helping to make schooling more economical. And numerous online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family commitments have left you with minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your active schedule.
Questions For HVAC Certification Courses near Waukee IA
After you have selected the type of certificate or degree that you desire to obtain, either online or on campus, you can begin to narrow down your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are many HVAC trade schools in the Waukee IA area and throughout the United States to choose from. That’s why it is essential to have a checklist of important qualifications when making school evaluations. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the first 2 variables you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you will want to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Waukee IA area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Make certain that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you get an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Also, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate might suggest that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It may also suggest that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which can result in more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Waukee IA HVAC employers to assist graduates acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC trade programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling companies or labor unions. Check if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with local Waukee IA HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC tech you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Waukee IA HVAC contractor if they can provide some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you can move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Waukee IA residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be difficult 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 teachers and students. Talk with a few of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Waukee IA, verify that the schools you are comparing provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Attending HVAC School near Waukee IA?
Waukee is a city in Dallas County, Iowa, United States. The population was 13,790 at the 2010 U.S. Census; a fast growth has been measured since as it is estimated there were 19,284 people living in Waukee in 2016. It is part of the Des Moines – West Des Moines Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Waukee is located at 41°36′32″N 93°51′55″W / 41.60889°N 93.86528°W / 41.60889; -93.86528 (41.608974, -93.865320). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 12.99 square miles (33.64 km2), of which, 12.97 square miles (33.59 km2) is land and 0.02 square miles (0.05 km2) is water. It is known for its Waukee Stadium.
Humid continental climate is a climatic region typified by large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot (and often humid) summers and cold (sometimes severely cold) winters. The Köppen climate classification subtype for this climate is "Dfa" (Hot summer, continental climate).
Enroll in the Right HVAC Trade School near Waukee IA
Finding the right HVAC training course is a critical beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating and air conditioning field. As we have addressed in this post, you need to choose a school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC field. Other features to search for are plenty of hands-on training and modern facilities. You need to check out each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to explore the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. In addition, ask about scheduling options and whether or not night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the proper questions as we have detailed in our guidelines for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter 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 Waukee IA.
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