How to Select the Right Heating and Cooling Certification Course near Dexter Georgia
Now that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and cooling specialist, the next action is to choose an HVAC technical school near Dexter GA. But with so many to choose from, how do you select the ideal one to get the training that you need? Many potential students will make their decision based entirely on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Even though these are necessary factors to consider, they are not the only ones to take into account. Just some of the other factors that you need to research are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and additional criteria will be discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we discuss how to pick 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 Professional
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are generally mandated to be licensed, however each state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Acquiring professional certification is not mandatory, but an optional way for Dexter GA HVAC specialists to establish that they are exceptionally skilled and experienced in their area of expertise. There are several respected certifications within the field that are available. Here are some of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is earned by passing a proficiency exam and may be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of professional experience in addition to passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience together with a passing score on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for techs that handle refrigerants. There are three forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing may be mandated in your location, and you may also intend to acquire certification, it’s important that you select an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the school you decide on prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Schools
There are a variety of alternatives available for HVAC instruction in a technical or trade school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the least amount of time, typically completed 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 relevant to the position. The degree programs may provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will furnish more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief description of each option offered near Dexter GA.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more comprehensive knowledge of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically taking 2 years to complete, 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 standard four 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.
Picking the ideal credential program will be based on what your future career objectives are, as well as the time and money that you have to commit. One option is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the trade in Dexter GA, later going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make certain to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Schools Online
Choosing an HVAC program online is one alternative in getting your education and earning a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. Many also sponsor 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 via the internet, this option may be a more accessible solution for many Dexter GA students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are more economical than other traditional alternatives. Even driving expenses from Dexter and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And many online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family obligations have left you with minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to fit school into your busy lifestyle.
Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Courses
After you have picked the type of degree or certificate that you would like to earn, either online or on campus, you can start to decrease your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of HVAC technical schools in the Dexter GA area and throughout the Country to pick from. That’s why it is essential to have a list of key qualifiers when making school evaluations. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the first two variables you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you should explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC vocational schools in the Dexter GA area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Confirm that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, a number of states require that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate could signify that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It could also signify that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which can produce more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Dexter GA HVAC employers to help graduates obtain apprenticeships or employment.
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 within their network of HVAC companies or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with local Dexter GA HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC tech you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Dexter GA HVAC company if they can give you some tips. Also keep in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Dexter GA home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to 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 observe how large they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Speak to some of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with a few of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Dexter GA, confirm that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering an HVAC School near Dexter GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Dexter Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
The first permanent settlement at Dexter was made in 1889. A post office has been in operation at Dexter since 1890. The Georgia General Assembly incorporated the place in 1891 as the "Town of Dexter".
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 0.8 square miles (2.1 km2), of which 0.8 square miles (2.1 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) (2.60%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 509 people, 207 households, and 143 families residing in the town. The population density was 670.4 people per square mile (258.6/km²). There were 231 housing units at an average density of 304.2 per square mile (117.4/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 77.41% White and 22.59% African American. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.20% of the population.
How To Become a HVAC Tech Dexter GA
Picking the ideal HVAC school program is a crucial beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating and air conditioning industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding How To Become a HVAC Tech. However, as we have covered in this post, you should select an Heating and Cooling vocational school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC profession. Other factors to look for are ample practical training and modern facilities. You should check out each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to tour the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. In addition, ask about scheduling choices and if night or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to ask about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the right questions as we have outlined in our guidelines for assessing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC contractor in Dexter GA.
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