How to Pick the Right HVAC Program near Evans Georgia
Once you have decided on a career as a heating and cooling professional, the next step is to look for an HVAC trade school near Evans GA. But with so many to pick from, how do you select the ideal one to receive the training that you require? A number of future students will make their choice based solely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Although 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 investigate are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and other criteria will be covered in more detail later within this article. But before we discuss how to pick an HVAC training program, let’s look at what a heating and cooling contractor does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Technician
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, although every state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Earning professional certification is not compulsory, but an optional means for Evans GA HVAC techs to demonstrate that they are exceptionally qualified 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 techs. The certification is earned by passing a competency exam and may be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of professional experience together with passing a comprehensive examination are required 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 made available in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are three forms of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing could be mandated in your area, and you may also intend to obtain 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 working with refrigerants, make sure that the school you decide on readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are a variety of alternatives available for HVAC instruction in a trade or technical school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, typically accomplished in as little as six months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will train 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 in the job market and will deliver more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief summary of each option offered near Evans GA.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level residential or commercial HVAC specialists. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more comprehensive understanding of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally requiring two years to finish, many degrees incorporate 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 require an Associate Degree, while others are a standard 4 year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Choosing the appropriate credential program will be based on what your long term career goals are, as well as the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One possibility is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Evans GA, eventually 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 Online Classes
Attending an HVAC program online is one option in getting your education and receiving a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will call for some attendance on campus to participate 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 may be participated in on the web, this alternative may be a more convenient solution for many Evans GA students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are less costly than other traditional choices. Even driving expenses from Evans and study supplies may be reduced, helping to make schooling more affordable. And many online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family responsibilities have left you with minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it easier to accommodate school into your hectic lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Training Programs
After you have picked the type of degree or certificate that you desire to obtain, either online or on campus, you can start to narrow down your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Evans GA area and all over the USA to pick from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a checklist of relevant qualifications when making school comparisons. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the first two aspects you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you will want to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC vocational programs in the Evans GA area have earned 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 a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Confirm that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you get a quality education, it can help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, many states require that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning schools you are reviewing 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 could signify that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It might also indicate that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which may 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 also that it has the network of Evans GA HVAC employers to assist grads acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC technical programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC companies or labor unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with local Evans GA HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC tech you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Evans GA HVAC contractor if they can provide some tips. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Evans 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 desirable that you receive 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 see how large they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Speak with some of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with some of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs 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 Evans GA, check that the schools you are comparing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select allows 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 Evans GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Evans Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Evans is a census-designated place (CDP) in Columbia County, Georgia, United States. It is a suburb of Augusta and is part of the Augusta metropolitan area. The population was 29,011 at the 2010 census, up from 17,727 at the 2000 census.
Evans, possibly named after Confederate General Clement A. Evans, is the de facto county seat of Columbia County, although Appling still holds the de jure designation. The Columbia County Government Center, the Government Complex Addition, and the Columbia County Courthouse Annex are all located in Evans.
Evans is located in eastern Columbia County, bordered to the northeast by the Savannah River, which forms the South Carolina state line. To the southeast is the town of Martinez. Downtown Augusta is 11 miles (18 km) to the southeast.
HVAC Associates Degree Evans GA
Selecting the ideal HVAC school program is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating and cooling industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Associates Degree. However, as we have covered in this post, you need to pick an Heating and Cooling school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC profession. Other factors to search for are sufficient practical training and modern facilities. You need to go to each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to tour the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Additionally, ask about scheduling options and whether night or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial aid and student loan options too. If you ask the proper questions as we have laid out in our guidelines for assessing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down 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 Evans GA.
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