How to Enroll In the Right HVAC Certification Course near Cobb Georgia
Once you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning specialist, the next action is to look for an HVAC technical school near Cobb GA. But with so many to pick from, how do you pick the right one to get the training that you require? Many future students will make their selection based solely on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Although these are significant concerns, they are not the only ones to investigate. Some of the other things that you need to look into are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and additional benchmarks will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we tackle how to pick an HVAC trade school, let’s look at what a heating and a/c technician does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Professional
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, however every state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Acquiring professional certification is not mandatory, but an optional means for Cobb GA HVAC specialists to establish that they are exceptionally skilled and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are multiple recognized certifications within the trade that are offered. Below are a few of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is earned by passing a competency examination and may be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available 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 examination. As with NATE, certifications are provided in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other 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 pick an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be handling refrigerants, make sure that the school you decide on readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Schools
There are a variety of options available for HVAC training in a vocational or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the minimum period of time, typically achieved in as little as 6 months, though 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 training programs might provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will provide more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief explanation of each option offered near Cobb GA.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They provide a strong foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more detailed background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Usually requiring two years to finish, some degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more for a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional four year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Choosing the ideal credential program will be dependent on what your long term career aspirations are, as well as the time and money that you have to invest. One approach is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Cobb GA, later going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, be sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Training
Choosing an HVAC school online is one possibility to obtaining your training and earning a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. Many also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes can be attended on the web, this alternative may be a more convenient solution for many Cobb GA students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are more economical than other on campus options. Even driving expenses from Cobb and study supplies can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family commitments have left you with minimal time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it easier to fit school into your active schedule.
Questions For HVAC Schools
After you have decided on the type of degree or certificate that you desire to attain, either online or on campus, you can begin to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are many HVAC trade schools in the Cobb GA area and throughout the USA to select from. That’s why it is imperative to have a checklist of key qualifiers when making school comparisons. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the first 2 aspects you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you need to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC trade programs in the Cobb GA area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Make sure that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you obtain a superior education, it may help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, many states require that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate could indicate that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It may also mean that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which may result in more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Cobb GA HVAC employers to assist graduates acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC vocational programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC contractors or trade unions. Check if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with local Cobb GA HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area 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 currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC specialist you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Cobb GA HVAC contracting company if they can provide some pointers. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Cobb GA residence. Take note 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 important that you get as much individualized training as possible, which can be challenging 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 experience the interaction between students and instructors. Talk to several of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Cobb GA, check that the programs you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.
Considering an HVAC School near Cobb GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Cobb Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Cobb County, Georgia
Cobb County is a suburban county in the U.S. state of Georgia. As of 2017, the population was 755,754, making it Georgia's third most-populous county. Its county seat and largest city is Marietta.
Along with several adjoining counties, Cobb County was founded on December 3, 1832, by the Georgia General Assembly from the large Cherokee County territory—land northwest of the Chattahoochee River which the state confiscated from the Cherokee Nation and redistributed to settlers via lottery, following the passage of the federal Indian Removal Act. The county was named for Thomas Willis Cobb, a U.S. representative and senator from Georgia. It is believed that Marietta was named for his wife, Mary.
The U.S. Census Bureau ranks Cobb County as the most-educated in the state of Georgia and 12th among all counties in the US. It has ranked among the Top 100 wealthiest counties in the nation. In October 2017, Cobb was ranked as the "Least Obese County in Georgia"
HVAC Training Cost Cobb GA
Picking the right HVAC training program is an important beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating & cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Training Cost. However, as we have discussed in this post, you should pick an Heating and Cooling school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC trade. Other things to look for are plenty of practical training and modern facilities. You should go to each of the schools in person 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 teaching and the interaction between them. Additionally, inquire about scheduling options and whether night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the right questions as we have outlined 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 proper training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC specialist in Cobb GA.
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