How to Pick the Right HVAC Certificate Program near Dearing Georgia
Now that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next step is to choose an HVAC trade school near Dearing GA. But with so many to pick from, how do you decide on the right one to obtain the training that you need? Many potential students will make their decision based entirely on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. Although these are necessary concerns, they are not the only ones to take into account. 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 other benchmarks will be addressed in more detail later in this article. But before we examine how to choose an HVAC trade school, let’s look at what a heating and cooling technician does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Pro
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are generally required to be licensed, though every state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Attaining professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary way for Dearing GA HVAC specialists to demonstrate that they are highly skilled and experienced in their area of expertise. There are several acknowledged certifications within the industry that are available. Below are some of the significant 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 offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience as well as passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience along with a passing result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing may be mandated in your area, and you may also wish to acquire certification, it’s imperative that you choose an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the program you pick prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Training Programs
There are several options available for HVAC instruction in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the minimum amount of time, usually achieved in just six months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree training programs might provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will provide more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short explanation of each option offered near Dearing GA.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more comprehensive knowledge of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Typically taking 2 years to finish, many degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more towards a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional 4 year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.
Choosing the right credential program will be dependent on what your long term career aspirations are, in addition to 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 trade in Dearing GA, eventually going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, be sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Classes Online
Choosing an HVAC school online is one alternative to attaining your education and earning a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. A number also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes may be participated in online, this option may be a more accessible solution for many Dearing GA students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are less expensive than other traditional alternatives. Even commuting expenses from Dearing and study supplies may be reduced, helping to make schooling 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 less complicated to fit school into your busy lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Trade Schools
Once you have decided on the type of degree or certificate that you desire to attain, either online or on campus, you can start to narrow down your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are numerous HVAC technical schools in the Dearing GA area and throughout the USA to pick from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school evaluations. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the first 2 aspects you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC vocational schools in the Dearing GA area have earned 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 pertains to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Confirm that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you receive an excellent education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Also, some states mandate 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 looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate may suggest that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It might also suggest that the teachers were not competent 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 graduates, which can mean more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Dearing GA HVAC employers to assist grads acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC training programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling contractors or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with local Dearing GA HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area 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 already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC tech you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Dearing GA HVAC contractor if they can provide some tips. Additionally keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Dearing GA residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may 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 challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Talk to several of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to a few of the teachers and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Dearing GA, verify that the programs you are comparing provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering an HVAC School near Dearing GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Dearing Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
An early variant name was "Lombardy". A post office called Lombardy was established in 1823, and the name was changed to Dearing in 1893. The Georgia General Assembly incorporated the place in 1910 as the "Town of Dearing". The present name is after William Dearing, a railroad official.
As of the census of 2000, there were 441 people, 178 households, and 126 families residing in the town. The population density was 528.9 people per square mile (205.1/km²). There were 206 housing units at an average density of 247.0 per square mile (95.8/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 95.01% White, 4.54% African American, 0.23% from other races, and 0.23% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.91% of the population.
There were 178 households out of which 31.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.4% were married couples living together, 9.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.7% were non-families. 24.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 2.98.
Best HVAC Schools Dearing GA
Choosing the ideal HVAC training program is an important first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating and cooling industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Best HVAC Schools. However, as we have covered in this article, you need to pick an Heating and Cooling technical school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC community. Other factors to search for are lots of hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should visit each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to explore the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Additionally, ask about scheduling choices and whether or not evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options as well. If you ask the proper questions as we have laid out in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC technician in Dearing GA.
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