How to Choose an HVAC Training Class near Seffner Florida
Now that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner specialist, the next step is to find an HVAC trade school near Seffner FL. But with so many to choose from, how do you decide on the best one to get the training that you need? Many future students will make their choice based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their home. While these are significant concerns, they are not the only ones to investigate. Just some of the other details that you need to research are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and other benchmarks will be addressed in more detail later in this article. But before we tackle how to choose an HVAC technical school, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c contractor does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Pro in Seffner FL
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, although each state and local municipality has its own requirements. Attaining professional certification is not required, but an optional way for Seffner FL HVAC techs to establish that they are highly skilled and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are several respected certifications within the field that are available. Below are a few of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is earned by passing a proficiency examination and can be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience as well as passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience in addition to a passing result on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are made available in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are three types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing might be required in your location, and you may also intend to earn certification, it’s important 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 school you decide on readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Schools
There are several choices offered for HVAC instruction in a technical or trade school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the minimum amount of time, usually accomplished in as little as six months, although some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree programs may provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will furnish more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short description of each credential offered near Seffner FL.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They provide a strong foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more detailed knowledge of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Typically taking two years to complete, a number of degrees feature 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 conventional four year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Picking the ideal credential program will be dependent on what your future career goals are, in addition to the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One possibility is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Seffner FL, subsequently going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make certain to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Courses Online
Enrolling in an HVAC school online is one option in obtaining your education and receiving a certificate or degree. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. A number also offer 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 online, this approach may be a more convenient solution for some Seffner FL students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even travelling expenses from Seffner and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family obligations have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to fit school into your hectic lifestyle.
Questions For HVAC Training Classes near Seffner FL
Once you have selected the type of certificate or degree that you would like 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 Seffner FL area and all over the USA to pick from. That’s why it is essential to have a checklist of relevant qualifications when making school assessments. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the initial 2 factors you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you should explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC vocational programs in the Seffner FL area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as HVAC technology. Confirm that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you acquire a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, many states require that the HVAC training program 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 or portion of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate might indicate that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It could also signify that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s also essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which may result in more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Seffner FL HVAC employers to assist graduates acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC training programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC companies or labor unions. Check if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with local Seffner FL HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form 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 up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC specialist you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Seffner FL HVAC contractor if they can give you some suggestions. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Seffner FL residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak to some of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Seffner FL, verify that the programs you are considering offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.
Attending HVAC School near Seffner FL?
Seffner is a census-designated place (CDP) in Hillsborough County, Florida, United States. The population was 7,579 at the 2010 census, up from 5,467 at the 2000 census. ZIP codes for the Seffner area are 33584 and 33583.
Approximately 13 miles (21 km) east of downtown Tampa, Seffner serves as a suburban haven for commuters. While still characterized by towering live oak trees, strawberry farms and lakes, this small town has been growing rapidly. Housing subdivisions now dot the once rural landscape.
Seffner is located northeast of the center of Hillsborough County and is bordered by Thonotosassa to the north, Mango to the west, and Brandon to the south. Interstate 4 is the northern boundary of the CDP, and the southern boundary follows State Road 574 (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard). Plant City is 10 miles (16 km) to the east.
Select the Right HVAC Training Classes near Seffner FL
Choosing the ideal HVAC training course is an important first step toward a gratifying career in the heating & cooling trade. As we have covered in this article, you need to pick a trade school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC community. Other factors to look for are sufficient practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should check out each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to explore the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. In addition, inquire about scheduling options and whether evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial assistance and student loan options as well. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have laid out in our guidelines for assessing 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 Seffner FL.
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