How to Find the Right HVAC Program near Farmington Georgia
Once you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner professional, the next step is to find an HVAC trade school near Farmington GA. But with so many to pick from, how do you decide on the ideal one to obtain the training that you require? A number of prospective students will make their decision based solely on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their home. While these are significant concerns, they are not the only ones to investigate. Some of the other factors that you need to research are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and other criteria will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we discuss how to pick an HVAC training program, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling contractor does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Pro
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, however every state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Obtaining professional certification is not required, but a voluntary means for Farmington GA HVAC specialists to prove that they are highly proficient and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are several respected certifications within the trade that are offered. Here are some of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is achieved by passing a proficiency examination and can be earned 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 three years of experience in addition to a passing score on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are provided in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are three types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing could be required in your location, and you may also desire to acquire certification, it’s imperative that you choose an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be handling refrigerants, make certain that the program you select prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Schools
There are several alternatives offered for HVAC training in a vocational or trade school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the least amount of time, usually accomplished in as little as six months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will deliver more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short description of each credential offered near Farmington GA.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more extensive understanding of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Usually requiring two years to complete, some degrees include 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 call for an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional four year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.
Picking the right credential program will be dependent on what your long term career goals are, in addition to the time and money that you have to invest. One approach is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Farmington GA, eventually going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Courses Online
Attending an HVAC school online is one possibility to getting your training and receiving a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will require 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 rest of the classes can be attended via the internet, this option may be a more convenient solution for some Farmington GA students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are less expensive than other traditional alternatives. Even commuting expenses from Farmington and study supplies can be reduced, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family obligations have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to fit school into your hectic lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Schools
As soon as you have selected the type of certificate or degree that you want to earn, either on campus or online, you can begin to decrease your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are many HVAC trade schools in the Farmington GA area and all over the Country to pick from. That’s why it is essential to have a checklist of important qualifications when making school comparisons. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the first two factors you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you need to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC trade programs in the Farmington GA area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Confirm that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, some states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate may indicate that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It might also indicate that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which can result in more contacts for the school to employ 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 industry, but also that it has the network of Farmington GA HVAC employers to help grads obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC trade programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling contractors or labor unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with local Farmington GA HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure 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, check with the HVAC specialist you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Farmington GA HVAC company if they can provide some suggestions. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Farmington GA home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Speak with some of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Farmington GA, verify that the schools you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering an HVAC School near Farmington GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Farmington Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Farmington is an unincorporated community in Oconee County, Georgia, United States. The community is located along U.S. Routes 129/441, 3.1 miles (5.0 km) south-southeast of Bishop. Farmington has a post office with ZIP code 30638.
The Georgia General Assembly incorporated the place in 1919 as the "Town of Farmington". The community was so named on account of its location within a farming district. The town's municipal charter was repealed in 1995.
Heating and Cooling Training Farmington GA
Enrolling in the right HVAC school program is a critical first step toward a gratifying career in the heating and air conditioning trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Heating and Cooling Training. However, as we have covered in this post, you should select an HVAC training program and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC profession. Other things to search for are lots of hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should check out each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to inspect 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. Additionally, ask about scheduling choices and whether night or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the proper questions as we have outlined in our guidelines for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC professional in Farmington GA.
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