Choosing a HVAC college program
When choosing a HVAC college program, the first thing that you must ascertain is that the college you have selected is an accredited one. This is an extremely important factor, since it means that the training imparted will be at par with the standards specified by HVAC organizations. The most prominent accrediting agencies for HVAC programs are the National Center for Construction Education and Research, the Partnership for Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration, HVAC Excellence, North American Technician Excellence and Research, Environmental Protection Agency, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. HVAC Select a college that has at least one accreditation.
Smaller class sizes are also important, which means you will get personalized attention from the instructors. A good HVAC college will also have an on-campus science lab with professional-grade tools. Visit the campus and get a feel of the place, the classroom, the facilities and talk to the faculty, if possible. Also find out whether they allow any flexibility in scheduling classes for working students, and how you should go about procuring financial aid, if required.
These are just a few of the many HVAC training centers that you will find all over the United States: New England Institute of Technology in Palm Beach, Ferris State University in Michigan, Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, the Refrigeration School in Phoenix, Arizona, Brownson Technical School in Anaheim, California, the Northwest HVAC Training Center in Spokane, Washington, and the National Capital Chapter of the Air Conditioning Contractors of America in Maryland.
You must have a high school diploma or equivalent in order to enroll for a HVAC training program, along with sound math and science skills. College programs usually last from two to four years, and depending on the type of course you select, you will be awarded a certificate, an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree in HVAC.
You will also find a number of community colleges and vocational or technical schools where you can sign up for short-term programs, which last for six months to two years. If you do not have the time to attend college fulltime, you can still get your HVAC training, thanks to online courses. Do make sure that the college is an accredited one.
Once you have successfully completed the HVAC course, the next step is searching for available HVAC jobs in your area. Your college will have campus interviews or will help you with leads for suitable openings in the industry. HVAC employers include HVAC manufacturers, HVAC service companies, HVAC contractors, property management companies, mechanical engineering firms, HVAC wholesale suppliers, building owners and many more.
Good luck with your HVAC career!