How to Choose an HVAC Program near Duncan Arizona
Now that you have decided on a career as a heating and cooling specialist, the next step is to find an HVAC trade school near Duncan AZ. But with so many to choose from, how do you decide on the right one to receive the training that you need? Many prospective students will make their decision based entirely on the cost of tuition or how near the heating and cooling school is to their home. Although these are important factors to consider, they are not the only ones to take into account. A few of the other things that you need to investigate are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and additional criteria will be addressed in more detail later in this article. But before we discuss how to pick an HVAC vocational school, let’s look at what a heating and a/c technician does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Tech
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, though every state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Obtaining professional certification is not mandatory, but an alternative way for Duncan AZ HVAC specialists to prove that they are highly qualified and accomplished in their area of specialization. There are multiple recognized certifications within the field that are offered. 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 may 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 examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience as well as a passing score on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for techs that work with refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing may be required in your location, and you may also desire to obtain certification, it’s imperative that you choose an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the Duncan AZ area program you select readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Training Programs
There are a variety of alternatives offered in Duncan AZ for HVAC instruction in a vocational or trade school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, usually completed in as little as six months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will deliver more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief description of each credential.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among Duncan AZ beginning residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more extensive background of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally requiring 2 years to complete, some 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 as well as business ownership. Some programs require 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.
Choosing the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your long term career objectives are, together with the time and money that you have to commit. One approach is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field later going back to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make certain to ask the Duncan AZ HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Classes Online
Attending an HVAC program online is one possibility to obtaining your education and receiving a certificate or degree. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. Many also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes may be participated in online, this approach may be a more accessible solution for many Duncan AZ students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even driving expenses from Duncan and study supplies can be reduced, helping to make schooling more affordable. 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 limited time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to fit school into your hectic lifestyle.
Questions to Ask HVAC Degree Programs
When you have decided on the type of certificate or degree that you wish to obtain, either online or on campus, you can begin to decrease your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are a large number of HVAC technical schools near Duncan AZ and throughout the USA to select from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a checklist of relevant qualifiers when making school evaluations. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the first 2 aspects you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC trade programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Confirm that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you receive a superior education, it can help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited programs near Duncan AZ. Also, a number of states require that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate might indicate that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It could also indicate that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of graduates, which may produce more contacts for the school to use for their Duncan AZ apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to help grads obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC technical programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Duncan AZ HVAC businesses or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with area HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC technician you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local HVAC company if they can give you some tips. Also bear in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Duncan AZ residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much individualized training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Speak with several of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with a few of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is in Arizona and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Duncan AZ, verify that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Heating and Cooling Tech?When preparing to interview for an HVAC position, it's helpful to review questions you might be asked. Among the things that recruiters typically ask HVAC candidates is "What compelled you to select Heating and Air Conditioning as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not merely the private reasons you may have for being a Heating and Cooling Contractor, but additionally what characteristics and talents you possess that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to Heating and Air Conditioning, along with a certain number of general interview questions, so you should ready several ideas about how you want to address them. Given that there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the strengths you have that make you an exceptional Heating and Cooling Tech and the leading candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down some ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
Enroll in the Right HVAC Trade College in Duncan Arizona
Enrolling in the ideal HVAC training program is a crucial first step toward a gratifying career in the heating and cooling trade. As we have covered in this post, you should pick a technical school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC community. Other features to search 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 night or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the proper questions as we have outlined in our guidelines 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 professional in Duncan AZ.
Some Infomation on Duncan Arizona
Duncan is a town in Greenlee County, Arizona, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population of the town was 696. In 2015 the estimated population was 799.
Duncan is in the Gila River valley, 4 miles (6 km) west of the Arizona-New Mexico border. The town limits are on both sides of the Gila, but the primary portion of the town and the entire downtown area lie on the south side of the river. Duncan was founded in the mid 19th century, and the land was added to the United States as a part of the Mexican Cession. The town of Duncan has been destroyed twice by flood and once by fire.
The town and area are primarily populated by ranchers and miners (especially from the Freeport-McMoran copper mines in southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico). Surrounding smaller towns such as Franklin and York in Arizona and Virden, New Mexico, use Duncan public works and public schools. The Duncan area along the Gila River is renowned for Native American artifacts such as arrow heads, pottery, burial sites, cave paintings and other remnants of the Anasazi and other pre-historic cultures, as well as artifacts from garrison camps of the expedition of Francisco Vázquez de Coronado.
Duncan High School (mascot: Wildkats; school colors: red, grey, and white) competes in many sports, but is renowned for their football team.
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