How to Select the Right HVAC School near Fayetteville Georgia
Now that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and cooling professional, the next action is to find an HVAC technical school near Fayetteville 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 potential students will make their choice based entirely on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. Even though these are necessary factors to consider, they are not the only ones to take into account. Some of the other details that you need to look into are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and other benchmarks will be discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we tackle how to select an HVAC technical school, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning specialist does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Technician
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, although each state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Earning professional certification is not required, but an optional way for Fayetteville GA HVAC techs to establish that they are exceptionally skilled and experienced in their area of specialization. There are a number of acknowledged certifications within the industry that are offered. Here are a few of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is attained by passing a competency examination and may be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience as well as passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience as well as a passing score on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional 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 essential that you pick an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be handling refrigerants, make certain that the school you decide on prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Schools
There are several alternatives offered for HVAC instruction in a trade or technical school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the least period of time, typically achieved in just six months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree programs might provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will provide more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief summary of each option offered near Fayetteville GA.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They provide a solid foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more extensive knowledge of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Generally taking two years to complete, many degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more towards a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional 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.
Choosing the right credential program will be dependent on what your future career aspirations are, along with the time and money 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 field in Fayetteville GA, subsequently returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Courses Online
Attending an HVAC school online is one option in obtaining your training and earning a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. A number also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes may be attended on the web, this approach may be a more practical solution for some Fayetteville GA students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even driving expenses from Fayetteville and study supplies can be minimized, helping to make schooling more budget-friendly. And numerous online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family responsibilities have left you with limited time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it easier to accommodate school into your busy lifestyle.
Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Classes
As soon as you have picked the type of certificate or degree that you wish to attain, either on campus or online, you can start to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are numerous HVAC trade schools in the Fayetteville GA area and across the Country to choose from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school comparisons. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the first two variables you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you should research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC technical schools in the Fayetteville GA area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance HVAC technology. Make sure that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Also, some states require 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 percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate might suggest that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It could also mean that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have high 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 use 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 Fayetteville GA HVAC employers to help students secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC training 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 Heating and Cooling contractors or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local Fayetteville GA HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable 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 instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC technician you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Fayetteville GA HVAC company if they can provide some tips. Also bear in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Fayetteville GA residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Speak with a few of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to a few of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Fayetteville GA, check that the programs you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering an HVAC School near Fayetteville GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Fayetteville Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Fayetteville is a city in Fayette County, Georgia, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 15,945, up from 11,148 at the 2000 census. The city is the county seat of Fayette County. Fayetteville is located 22 miles (35 km) south of downtown Atlanta.
In 2015 the small majority-white city elected its first African-American mayor, Edward Johnson, a retired US navy commander and pastor. In 2011 he was elected as the first black city council member. He was a three-term president of the NAACP.
Fayetteville was founded in 1822 as the seat of the newly formed Fayette County, organized by European Americans from territory ceded by force the Creek people under a treaty with the United States during the early period of Indian removal from the Southeast. Both city and county were named in honor of the Revolutionary War hero the French Marquis de Lafayette. Fayetteville was incorporated as a town in 1823 and as a city in 1909.
HVAC Trade Schools Fayetteville GA
Enrolling in the right HVAC school program is an important first step toward a rewarding career in the heating & cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Trade Schools. However, as we have covered in this post, you should choose an Heating and Cooling vocational school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC profession. Other features to look for are sufficient hands-on training and modern facilities. You should visit each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to explore 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. In addition, inquire about scheduling options and if evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the proper questions as we have outlined in our guidelines 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 eventually become a licensed HVAC professional in Fayetteville GA.
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