How to Pick an HVAC Training Class near Wheeler Army Airfield Hawaii
Now that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next action is to find an HVAC technical school near Wheeler Army Airfield HI. But with so many to choose from, how do you choose the best one to obtain the training that you need? Some potential students will make their choice based entirely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their home. While these are significant concerns, they are not the only ones to evaluate. A few of the other factors 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. Those and additional criteria will be covered in more detail later within this article. But before we examine how to select an HVAC training program, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning contractor does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Professional in Wheeler Army Airfield HI
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, however every state and local municipality has its own criteria. Obtaining professional certification is not required, but a voluntary way for Wheeler Army Airfield HI HVAC specialists to establish that they are highly proficient and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are multiple acknowledged certifications within the trade that are available. 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 may be acquired 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 examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience as well as a passing score on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for techs that handle refrigerants. There are three forms of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing might be required in your location, and you may also desire to obtain certification, it’s essential that you select an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be handling refrigerants, make certain that the school you pick readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Classes
There are a number of alternatives offered for HVAC instruction in a technical or vocational school. You can attain 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 6 months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree training programs might provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will provide more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short explanation of each credential offered near Wheeler Army Airfield HI.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They provide a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more exhaustive understanding of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically taking 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 geared more towards a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a standard four year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Picking the right credential program will be dependent on what your long term career goals are, as well as the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One approach is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Wheeler Army Airfield HI, subsequently going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Schools
Choosing an HVAC school online is one approach to getting your training and receiving a certificate or degree. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to complete hands on training. A number also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes may be attended via the internet, this approach may be a more practical solution for some Wheeler Army Airfield HI students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are less expensive than other traditional alternatives. Even driving expenses from Wheeler Army Airfield and study materials can be minimized, helping to make schooling more economical. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family commitments have left you with little time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it less complicated to fit school into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask HVAC Schools near Wheeler Army Airfield HI
Once you have picked the type of certificate or degree that you desire to earn, either online or on campus, you can start to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of HVAC trade schools in the Wheeler Army Airfield HI area and all over the United States to select from. That’s why it is very important to have a checklist of key qualifiers when making school assessments. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the initial two variables you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you need to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC trade programs in the Wheeler Army Airfield HI area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance HVAC technology. Make certain that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain a quality education, it can help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, many states require that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate might indicate that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It may also suggest that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, 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 Wheeler Army Airfield HI HVAC employers to assist grads acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC technical programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling businesses or trade unions. Check if the schools you are considering have working relationships with local Wheeler Army Airfield HI HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC tech you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Wheeler Army Airfield HI HVAC contractor if they can provide some suggestions. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Wheeler Army Airfield HI residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there might be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much personalized instruction 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 big they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Talk to some of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with a few of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Wheeler Army Airfield HI, confirm that the schools you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending HVAC School near Wheeler Army Airfield HI?
Wheeler Army Airfield
Wheeler Army Airfield (IATA: HHI, ICAO: PHHI, FAA LID: HHI), also known as Wheeler Field and formerly as Wheeler Air Force Base, is a United States Army post located in the City & County of Honolulu and in the Wahiawa District of the Island of O'ahu, Hawaii. It is a National Historic Landmark for its role in the 7 December 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
Wheeler AAF comprises approximately 1,389 acres (5.62 km2) of land adjacent to Schofield Barracks and home to a variety of Department of Defense activities including the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), the 169th Aircraft Control & Warning Squadron (169 ACWS) of the Hawaii Air National Guard, the 193rd Aviation Regiment (Medium Lift) and Detachment 55 Operational Support Airlift (Det 55 OSA) of the Hawaii Army National Guard and the Regular Army's 25th Infantry Division's Combat Aviation Brigade.
On 6 February 1922, a detachment of 20 enlisted men from Luke Field, proceeded to Schofield Barracks, under Lieutenant William T. Agee, to clear the flying field on the grounds of the former 17th Cavalry Regiment drill grounds and construct housing for the divisional air service. Two canvas hangars were erected and the field cleared of weeds, guava and algaroba trees. Thus Wheeler Field got its modest start. It was named Wheeler Field on 11 November 1922 in honor of Major Sheldon H. Wheeler, former commander of Luke Field on Ford Island, killed in the crash of DH-4B, AAS Ser. No. 63525 on 13 July 1921.
Pick the Right HVAC Certification Training near Wheeler Army Airfield HI
Enrolling in the right HVAC training course is a crucial first step toward a rewarding career in the heating & cooling trade. As we have addressed in this article, you need to select a school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC field. Other features to search for are lots of practical training and modern facilities. You should visit each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling choices and if night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember 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 filter your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC specialist in Wheeler Army Airfield HI.
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