How to Pick the Right Heating and Cooling School near Duluth Georgia
Now that you have decided on a career as a heating and cooling professional, the next step is to find an HVAC technical school near Duluth GA. But with so many to select from, how do you choose the ideal one to obtain the training that you require? A number of future students will make their decision based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Even though these are important considerations, they are not the only ones to take into account. A few 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 other criteria will be addressed in more detail later within this article. But before we discuss how to select an HVAC training program, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c specialist does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Specialist
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, however every state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Earning professional certification is not compulsory, but an alternative means for Duluth GA HVAC techs to establish that they are exceptionally proficient and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are multiple acknowledged certifications within the field that are offered. Following are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is achieved by passing a proficiency examination and may be received 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 examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience as well as a passing result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing could be required in your area, and you may also intend to acquire certification, it’s essential that you choose an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be handling refrigerants, make certain that the program you choose readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are several alternatives available for HVAC training 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 period of time, typically completed in as little as six months, although some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree training programs may provide a competitive edge in the job market and will deliver more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a short explanation of each option offered near Duluth GA.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more exhaustive understanding of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically requiring two years to complete, a number of degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more towards 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 mastering how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Choosing the ideal credential program will be based on what your future career goals are, in addition to the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One option is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Duluth GA, subsequently returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Classes
Enrolling in an HVAC program online is one alternative to obtaining your education and receiving a certificate or degree. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in hands on training. Some also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be participated in via the internet, this option may be a more accessible solution for some Duluth GA students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even travelling expenses from Duluth and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family obligations have left you with minimal time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to fit school into your busy schedule.
Questions For HVAC Trade Schools
After you have picked the type of degree or certificate that you desire to acquire, either on campus or online, you can begin to decrease your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are many HVAC trade schools in the Duluth GA area and throughout the United States to choose from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a list of important qualifiers when making school evaluations. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the first two variables you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you should explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Duluth GA area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as HVAC technology. Verify that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you acquire an excellent education, it can help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, some states require that the HVAC training program 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 indicate that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It could also signify that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which can result in more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Duluth GA HVAC employers to assist graduates acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC trade programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with local Duluth GA HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school 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 already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC technician you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Duluth GA HVAC company if they can give you some pointers. Also bear in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Duluth GA home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much personalized training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Talk with some of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with a few of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Duluth GA, confirm that the programs you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.
Considering an HVAC School near Duluth GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Duluth Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Duluth is a city in Gwinnett County, Georgia, United States. It is a suburb of Atlanta. As of the 2010 census, Duluth had a population of 26,600, and the U.S. Census Bureau estimated the population to be 29,331 as of 2016.
Duluth is located north of Interstate 85. It is home to Gwinnett Place Mall, the Gwinnett Civic and Cultural Center, Infinite Energy Arena, Hudgens Center for the Arts, and the Red Clay Theater. It is also home to Gwinnett Medical Center–Duluth, an 81-bed hospital constructed in 2006, as well as GMC's Glancy Campus, a 30-bed facility located near downtown. The agricultural manufacturer AGCO is based in Duluth.
Duluth was originally Cherokee territory. When Duluth was established in the early 19th century, it was primarily forest land occupied by tribespeople. An Indian trail, called Old Peachtree Road by the settlers, was extended through the area during the War of 1812 to connect Fort Peachtree in present-day Atlanta with Fort Daniel near present-day Dacula. When Gwinnett County was established in 1818, white settlement of the area accelerated.
Heating and Cooling Classes Duluth GA
Selecting the ideal HVAC training course is a critical beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating and air conditioning trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Heating and Cooling Classes. However, as we have covered in this post, you need to select an HVAC vocational 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 ample practical training and modern facilities. You need to check out each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to inspect 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. Also, ask about scheduling options and whether or not evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial aid and student loan options also. If you ask the proper questions as we have detailed in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC contractor in Duluth GA.
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