How to Enroll In an HVAC School near Page Arizona
Once you have decided on a career as a heating and cooling technician, the next action is to look for an HVAC trade school near Page AZ. But with so many to pick from, how do you select the best one to get the training that you need? Many future students will make their selection based solely on the cost of tuition or how near the heating and cooling school is to their home. While these are relevant concerns, they are not the only ones to investigate. A few of the other things 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. These and other benchmarks will be covered 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 skilled tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Specialist
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors 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 typically mandated to be licensed, however each state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Attaining professional certification is not required, but an alternative means for Page AZ HVAC techs to prove that they are exceptionally qualified and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are several recognized certifications within the field that are offered. Here are a few of the significant 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 received in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of professional experience together with passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience together with a passing result on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are offered in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for techs that work with refrigerants. There are three forms of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing might be mandated in your location, and you may also intend to earn certification, it’s important that you choose an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be handling refrigerants, make sure that the Page AZ area program you decide on readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Courses
There are a number of alternatives available in Page AZ for HVAC instruction 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, often completed in as little as 6 months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will deliver more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short explanation of each option.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among Page AZ entry level commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more detailed understanding of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Usually taking two years to complete, some 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 as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional four year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Selecting the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your long term career goals are, along with the time and money that you have to invest. One approach is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field later returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make sure to ask the Page AZ HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC School Options Online
Enrolling in an HVAC school online is one option to getting your training and earning a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. A number also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes can be attended via the internet, this approach may be a more practical solution for some Page AZ students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even driving expenses from Page and study materials can be lessened, helping to make schooling more economical. And many online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family obligations have left you with minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to fit school into your hectic lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Certification Courses
As soon as you have decided on the type of certificate or degree that you want to obtain, either online or on campus, you can start to decrease your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are a large number of HVAC trade schools near Page AZ and throughout the United States to select from. That’s why it is very important to have a checklist of important qualifiers when making school assessments. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the initial two aspects you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you should explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC technical programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Verify that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a superior education, it can assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs near Page AZ. Furthermore, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC 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 course. A low completion rate may suggest that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It may also signify that the teachers 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 can produce more contacts for the school to utilize for their Page AZ apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist grads secure 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 within their network of Page AZ Heating and Cooling businesses or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained 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, consult with the HVAC technician you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local HVAC company if they can provide some tips. Also bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Page AZ residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much individualized training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Speak with a few of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with a few of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is in Arizona and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Page AZ, verify that the programs you are looking at provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Decide to Become an HVAC Contractor?When preparing to interview for a Heating and Cooling position, it's advantageous to review questions you might be asked. Among the questions that recruiters often ask HVAC candidates is "What drove you to decide on Heating and Air Conditioning as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not merely the private reasons you may have for being a Heating and Cooling Tech, but also what qualities and skills you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to Heating and Air Conditioning, along with a certain number of routine interview questions, so you must organize some approaches about how you want to respond to them. Since there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the talents you have that make you an exceptional HVAC Contractor and the leading choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down several concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can help you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
Select the Right HVAC Technical College in Page Arizona
Enrolling in the right HVAC training course is a crucial beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating and cooling trade. As we have discussed in this post, you should choose a vocational school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC community. Other things to look for are plenty of hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should go to each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to tour the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Also, inquire about scheduling choices and if night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the right questions as we have outlined in our guidelines for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC technician in Page AZ.
Some Infomation on Page Arizona
Page is a city in Coconino County, Arizona, United States, near the Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 7,247.
Unlike other cities in the area, Page was founded in 1957 as a housing community for workers and their families during the construction of nearby Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River. Its 17-square-mile (44 km2) site was obtained in a land exchange with the Navajo Nation. The city is perched atop Manson Mesa at an elevation of 4,300 feet (1,300 m) above sea level and 600 feet (180 m) above Lake Powell.
The city was originally called Government Camp, but was later named for John C. Page, Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation, 1936-1943.
After the dam was completed in the 1960s, and was officially incorporated (March 1, 1975), the city grew steadily to today's population of over 7,000. Because of the new roads and bridge built for use during construction, it has become the gateway to the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Lake Powell, attracting more than 3 million visitors per year. Page is also the home of two of the largest electrical generation units in the western United States. Glen Canyon Dam has a 1,288,000-kilowatt capacity when fully online. The other power plant to the southeast is the Navajo Generating Station, a coal-fired steam plant with an output capability of 2,250,000 kilowatts.
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