How to Find the Right HVAC Program near Chatsworth Georgia
Now that you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioning specialist, the next action is to find an HVAC technical school near Chatsworth GA. But with so many to choose from, how do you pick the ideal one to receive the training that you need? Some potential students will make their choice based entirely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Although these are relevant concerns, they are not the only ones to take into account. Just some of the other factors 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 other benchmarks will be addressed in more detail later within this article. But before we examine how to select an HVAC trade school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling technician does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Tech
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, however every state and local municipality has its own criteria. Earning professional certification is not mandatory, but an alternative means for Chatsworth GA HVAC techs to prove that they are exceptionally skilled and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are multiple recognized certifications within the field that are available. Here are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is achieved by passing a competency exam and can be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience as well as passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience together with a passing score on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are offered in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are three types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing could be required in your location, and you may also intend to obtain certification, it’s essential that you select an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be working with refrigerants, make certain that the program you decide on preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Schools
There are a variety of alternatives offered for HVAC instruction in a technical or vocational school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the least period of time, typically achieved in just six months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will provide more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short summary of each credential offered near Chatsworth GA.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level commercial or residential 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 exhaustive knowledge of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually taking two years to finish, many 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 call for an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional four year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Choosing the right credential program will be based on what your long term career aspirations are, along with the time and money that you have to invest. One possibility is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Chatsworth GA, later returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Classes
Attending an HVAC school online is one possibility in obtaining your training and earning a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete practical training. Some also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes can be attended on the web, this approach may be a more convenient solution for many Chatsworth GA students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are more economical than other on campus options. Even commuting expenses from Chatsworth and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family responsibilities have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your active lifestyle.
Questions to Ask HVAC Training Classes
After you have selected the type of certificate or degree that you wish to obtain, either online or on campus, you can start to decrease your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are many HVAC trade schools in the Chatsworth GA area and throughout the USA to choose from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of key qualifiers when making school evaluations. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the initial 2 factors you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you should explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Chatsworth GA area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Verify that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you get an excellent education, it can assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, many states mandate 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 portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate may suggest that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It might also signify that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, 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 affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Chatsworth GA HVAC employers to assist students acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC technical programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC companies or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with local Chatsworth GA HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC tech you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Chatsworth GA HVAC company if they can provide some suggestions. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Chatsworth GA home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Speak with some of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to a few of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools 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 Chatsworth GA, verify that the programs you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family issues.
Considering an HVAC School near Chatsworth GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Chatsworth Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Chatsworth is a city in Murray County, Georgia, United States. It is part of the Dalton, Georgia Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 3,531 at the 2000 census and 4,299 in 2010. The city is the county seat of Murray County.
According to a popular legend, the town received its name after a road sign with the word "Chatsworth" fell off a passing freight train nearby. Someone put the sign on a post, and the name stuck.
Chatsworth was founded in 1905 as a depot on the Louisville and Nashville Railroad. It was incorporated as a town in 1906 and as a city in 1923. In 1915, the seat of Murray County was transferred to Chatsworth from Spring Place.
Heating and Cooling School Chatsworth GA
Selecting the right HVAC school program is a crucial first step toward a rewarding career in the heating & cooling industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Heating and Cooling School. However, as we have covered in this post, you need to choose an HVAC school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC trade. Other factors to search for are lots of practical training and modern facilities. You should check out each of the schools personally 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 teaching and the interaction between them. Additionally, ask about scheduling choices and whether night or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial aid and student loan options too. If you ask the right questions as we have laid out in our checklist for assessing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC technician in Chatsworth GA.
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