How to Find the Right Heating and Cooling Degree Program near Eatonton Georgia
Now that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next action is to find an HVAC trade school near Eatonton GA. But with so many to pick from, how do you choose the best one to get the training that you require? A number of future students will make their choice based entirely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Although these are important considerations, they are not the only ones to evaluate. A few of the other details 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. These and additional benchmarks will be discussed in more detail later within this article. But before we examine how to choose an HVAC training program, let’s look at what a heating and cooling professional does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Tech
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, though each state and local municipality has its own requirements. Obtaining professional certification is not compulsory, but an alternative way for Eatonton GA HVAC specialists to establish that they are exceptionally qualified and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are a number of recognized certifications within the trade that are available. Here are a few of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is attained by passing a competency exam and may be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience together with passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience in addition to a passing result on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are offered in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing might be mandated in your area, and you may also desire to obtain certification, it’s imperative that you pick an HVAC vocational school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the school you select prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are several options available for HVAC training in a technical or trade school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the least period of time, often accomplished in as little as six months, although some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree training programs might provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will furnish more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief explanation of each option offered near Eatonton GA.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They provide a strong foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more comprehensive background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Typically requiring 2 years to complete, some degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more towards a career in management as well as 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 cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Picking the ideal credential program will be based on what your long term career objectives are, together with the time and money that you have to commit. One approach is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Eatonton GA, later returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, be sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Schools Online
Attending an HVAC program online is one alternative in getting your training and receiving a certificate or degree. Most 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 in place of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes may be participated in online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution for some Eatonton GA students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even commuting expenses from Eatonton and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family commitments have left you with minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to fit school into your busy lifestyle.
Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Classes
Once you have chosen the type of certificate or degree that you would like to earn, either on campus or online, you can begin to limit your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many HVAC technical schools in the Eatonton GA area and all over the Country to select from. That’s why it is imperative to have a checklist of important qualifications when making school comparisons. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the initial 2 aspects you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you need to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC trade schools in the Eatonton GA area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance HVAC technology. Verify that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure 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 schools. Additionally, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to be approved 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 finish the course. A lower completion rate may indicate that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It may also mean that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It’s also important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory 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 affirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Eatonton GA HVAC employers to help graduates secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC technical programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling companies or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with local Eatonton GA HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC tech you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Eatonton GA HVAC contracting company if they can provide some tips. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Eatonton GA residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be higher 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 larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Talk with a few of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Eatonton GA, confirm that the schools you are comparing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.
Considering an HVAC School near Eatonton GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Eatonton Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Eatonton is a city in and county seat of Putnam County, Georgia, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 6,480. It was named after William Eaton, an officer and diplomat involved in the First Barbary War. The name consists of his surname with the English suffix "ton," meaning "town".
The Rock Eagle Effigy Mound, a Native American archaeological site, is located north of the city. It is one of two such sites east of the Mississippi River; both are in Putnam County. The mound and related earthwork constructions were made by Woodland culture peoples, perhaps as long ago as 1,000 to 3,000 years. The site within a 1500-acre park administered by the University of Georgia, which also maintains a 4-H camp nearby. The Mound has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Following the American Revolutionary War, Eatonton was founded in 1807 as the seat of newly formed Putnam County. After the war, settlers were moving west and settling in the upland Piedmont region to develop cotton plantations. Eatonton was incorporated as a town in 1809 and as a city in 1879.
HVAC Bachelor Degree Eatonton GA
Choosing the right HVAC school program is a crucial beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating and air conditioning trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Bachelor Degree. However, as we have discussed in this article, you need to pick an Heating and Cooling school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC field. Other things to look for are lots of hands-on training and modern facilities. You should check out each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to explore the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. In addition, inquire about scheduling options and whether night or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the proper questions as we have outlined in our checklist for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC specialist in Eatonton GA.
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