How to Choose the Right Heating and Cooling Training Program near Concord Georgia
Once you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and cooling specialist, the next step is to look for an HVAC technical school near Concord GA. But with so many to select from, how do you decide on the best one to receive the training that you require? Some future students will make their decision based entirely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their home. While these are necessary factors to consider, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Some of the other details 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. Those and other benchmarks will be addressed in more detail later within this article. But before we tackle how to choose an HVAC vocational school, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c contractor does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Contractor
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, though each state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Earning professional certification is not mandatory, but an alternative means for Concord GA HVAC technicians to demonstrate that they are exceptionally skilled and accomplished in their area of specialization. There are multiple recognized certifications within the field that are available. Here are some of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is attained by passing a proficiency examination and may be acquired 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 exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience along with a passing score on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are made available in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for techs that work with refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing might be required in your location, and you may also desire to acquire certification, it’s important that you enroll in an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be handling refrigerants, make certain that the school you choose prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Courses
There are a number of alternatives offered for HVAC instruction in a trade or technical school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the minimum amount of time, usually accomplished in as little as six months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will provide more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a short summary of each credential offered near Concord GA.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They provide a strong foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more exhaustive background of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically taking two years to finish, a number of 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 traditional 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.
Selecting the ideal 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 option is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Concord GA, eventually going back to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Courses Online
Enrolling in an HVAC program online is one approach to obtaining your training and earning a certificate or degree. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. Some also sponsor 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 participated in via the internet, this option may be a more practical solution for some Concord GA students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are less costly than other traditional choices. Even driving expenses from Concord and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many 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, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask HVAC Trade Schools
As soon as you have picked the type of degree or certificate that you desire to attain, either on campus or online, you can start to limit your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of HVAC technical schools in the Concord GA area and across the Country to choose from. That’s why it is essential to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school assessments. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the first 2 variables you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you should explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC trade programs in the Concord GA area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance HVAC technology. Make certain that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you get a superior education, it can assist in acquiring financial assistance 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 qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate may indicate that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It might also suggest that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which may mean 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 trade, but additionally that it has the network of Concord GA HVAC employers to help graduates secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC trade programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC companies or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Concord GA HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are presently 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 Concord GA HVAC contractor if they can provide some suggestions. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Concord GA home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much individualized training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Speak to several of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Concord GA, confirm that the schools you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, 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 due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering an HVAC School near Concord GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Concord Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
The Georgia General Assembly incorporated the place in 1887 as the "Town of Concord". The community took its name from the Concord Primitive Baptist Church, which stood at the site since the early 1840s.
As of the census of 2000, there were 336 people, 118 households, and 92 families residing in the town. The population density was 403.5 people per square mile (156.3/km²). There were 128 housing units at an average density of 153.7 per square mile (59.5/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 73.81% White, 24.70% African American, and 1.49% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.60% of the population.
There were 118 households out of which 38.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.2% were married couples living together, 15.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.0% were non-families. 20.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.85 and the average family size was 3.26.
Train HVAC Concord GA
Enrolling in the ideal HVAC training course is an important first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating & cooling trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Train HVAC. However, as we have addressed in this post, you should choose an HVAC training program and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC field. Other things to search for are ample practical training and modern facilities. You should visit each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to tour the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Additionally, ask about scheduling options and if evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial aid and student loan options too. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have detailed in our checklist for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC technician in Concord GA.
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