How to Select the Right Heating and Cooling College near Dublin Georgia
Now that you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next step is to choose an HVAC trade school near Dublin GA. But with so many to choose from, how do you choose the right one to obtain the training that you need? Many prospective students will make their selection based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Even though these are significant considerations, they are not the only ones to take into account. Just some of the other details 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. Those and additional benchmarks will be covered in more detail later within this article. But before we examine how to select an HVAC training program, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning specialist does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Contractor
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, however every state and local municipality has its own criteria. Obtaining professional certification is not compulsory, but a voluntary way for Dublin GA HVAC techs to demonstrate that they are exceptionally qualified and accomplished in their area of specialization. There are a number of recognized certifications within the trade that are offered. Here are a few of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is earned 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. 2 years of field experience in addition to passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience along with a passing score on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for techs that work with refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing may be required in your area, and you may also intend to acquire certification, it’s essential that you enroll in an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be handling refrigerants, make sure that the school you decide on preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are a variety of choices offered for HVAC training in a vocational or trade school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the minimum amount of time, usually achieved in as little as six months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will provide more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a short description of each credential offered near Dublin GA.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more comprehensive background of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Normally taking two years to complete, a number of degrees feature 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 standard 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.
Picking the ideal credential program will be based on what your future career aspirations are, together with the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One approach is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Dublin GA, eventually returning 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 Schools
Choosing an HVAC program online is one approach to attaining your training and earning a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will call for 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 balance of the classes can be attended on the web, this alternative may be a more accessible solution for many Dublin GA students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even travelling expenses from Dublin and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And many online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family responsibilities have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it easier to fit school into your active lifestyle.
Questions to Ask HVAC Training Programs
When you have chosen the type of certificate or degree that you want to attain, either online or on campus, you can start to narrow down your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are a large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Dublin GA area and throughout the USA to choose from. That’s why it is essential to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school evaluations. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the initial 2 factors you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC technical schools in the Dublin GA area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Make sure that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you acquire an excellent education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many states require that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to qualify 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 program. A lower completion rate might indicate that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It could also indicate that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which may produce more contacts for the school to utilize 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 Dublin GA HVAC employers to assist grads obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC vocational programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling contractors or trade unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with local Dublin GA HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained 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, consult with the HVAC specialist you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Dublin GA HVAC company if they can provide some pointers. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Dublin GA residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Talk with a few of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to a few of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Dublin GA, confirm that the programs you are comparing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Considering an HVAC School near Dublin GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Dublin Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Dublin, according to a historical marker at the town's main Oconee bridge, was one of the last encampments at which Confederate President Jefferson Davis and his family stayed before being captured by Union forces in May 1865.
Dublin is located at 32°32′15″N 82°55′6″W / 32.53750°N 82.91833°W / 32.53750; -82.91833 (32.537463, -82.918358). The town, named such because the Middle Georgia piedmont reminded Irish settlers of terrain in their native country, was founded on the Oconee River, which starts in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in northern Georgia before combining with the Ocmulgee River to form the Altamaha, a river which then proceeds to its mouth on the Atlantic Ocean.
Dublin has two historic districts designated by the National Register of Historic Places: the Dublin Commercial Historic District and the Stubbs Park-Stonewall Street Historic District. The Dublin Commercial Historic District consists of the original downtown commercial core, including the earliest extant building in the district the Hicks Building, dating to 1893. The historic district contains 78 contributing properties, including the Dublin Carnegie LibraryFirst National Bank Building (Dublin, Georgia), and the former United States Post Office building. Structures within the district represent a wide range of architectural styles, including Colonial Revival, Neoclassical, Commercial, and Art Deco.
Heating and Air School Dublin GA
Choosing the ideal HVAC school program is a critical beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating & cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Heating and Air School. However, as we have discussed in this article, you need to select an HVAC trade school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC trade. Other things to search for are ample practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should check out 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 training and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling choices and if evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to inquire about financial aid and student loan options also. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have detailed in our guidelines for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC specialist in Dublin GA.
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