How to Pick the Right Heating and Cooling Certification Class near Clayton Georgia
Now that you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next step is to choose an HVAC vocational school near Clayton GA. But with so many to choose from, how do you pick the best one to receive the training that you require? Many potential students will make their selection based solely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Even though these are relevant considerations, they are not the only ones to investigate. A few 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 discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we discuss how to select an HVAC technical school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling specialist does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Technician
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, though every state and local municipality has its own requirements. Earning professional certification is not compulsory, but an optional means for Clayton GA HVAC specialists to prove that they are exceptionally qualified and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are many respected certifications within the industry that are offered. Below are a few of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is achieved by passing a competency exam and may be received in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience in addition to passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience in addition to a passing score on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are offered in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for technicians 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.
Since licensing might be mandated in your location, and you may also intend to acquire certification, it’s essential that you pick an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the program you choose preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Training Programs
There are several choices available for HVAC instruction in a technical or trade school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, typically accomplished in just six months, although some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree training programs may provide a competitive edge in the job market and will provide more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief description of each credential offered near Clayton GA.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They provide a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more extensive knowledge of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually requiring two years to complete, some degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more for a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional 4 year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Selecting the ideal credential program will be dependent on what your future career aspirations are, along with the time and money that you have to invest. One option is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Clayton GA, eventually returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, be sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Classes Online
Choosing an HVAC program online is one alternative in getting your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. Many also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes may be attended via the internet, this approach may be a more practical solution for some Clayton GA students that are pressed for time. And some online degree programs are less costly than other traditional choices. Even commuting expenses from Clayton and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family obligations have left you with limited time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your busy schedule.
Questions For HVAC Trade Schools
As soon as you have selected the type of certificate or degree that you want to earn, either online or on campus, you can start to decrease your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are many HVAC trade schools in the Clayton GA area and all over the United States to choose from. That’s why it is essential to have a list of key qualifications when making school comparisons. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the initial 2 aspects you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you will want to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC vocational programs in the Clayton GA area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Make sure that the school and program 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 receive an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, some states require that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning 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 lower completion rate may signify that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It might also indicate that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which can produce more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Clayton GA HVAC employers to assist grads obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC technical programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC businesses or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with local Clayton GA HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC technician you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Clayton GA HVAC contractor if they can provide some tips. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Clayton GA home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get 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 see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Speak with some of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Clayton GA, confirm that the programs you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.
Considering an HVAC School near Clayton GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Clayton Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
The area that would eventually become Clayton was called the Dividings because it sat at the intersection of three important Cherokee people trails. Explorer and naturalist William Bartram came through the Dividings in May 1775 while exploring what would later be organized as Rabun County. Much later, after Clayton had grown to include the Dividings, two of the old Cherokee trails were improved as the main roads for Clayton and the county: U.S. 23/441 and U.S. 76.
Claytonsville was founded by European-American settlers in 1821 as the seat of Rabun County. In 1823, the town was incorporated and renamed Clayton. It was named after a prominent jurist and congressman, Judge Augustin S. Clayton, who served in both the Georgia House of Representatives and Georgia Senate before being elected as a US Representative from Georgia, serving two terms from 1831–1835.
In 1904, the Tallulah Falls Railway was completed to Clayton from Cornelia, Georgia; it was extended to Franklin, North Carolina by 1907. Clayton has had public water and sanitary sewer service since the 1920s. Initially, the water supply was two springs on nearby Buzzard Roost Mountain, but today Clayton uses Lake Rabun as its water supply.
HVAC Training Classes Clayton GA
Finding the ideal HVAC training program is a critical beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating & cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Training Classes. However, as we have discussed in this article, you need to pick an HVAC vocational school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC trade. Other things to search for are sufficient practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to go to each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to inspect 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. Additionally, inquire about scheduling options and whether or not 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 appropriate questions as we have laid out in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC specialist in Clayton GA.
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