How to Pick the Right HVAC Training Program near Grantville Georgia
Now that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next step is to choose an HVAC technical school near Grantville GA. But with so many to choose from, how do you select the best one to get the training that you need? Some potential students will make their decision based solely 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 take into account. A few of the other details that you need to investigate are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and additional criteria will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we tackle how to select an HVAC training program, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning professional does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Specialist
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are generally mandated to be licensed, although every state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Acquiring professional certification is not compulsory, but an optional means for Grantville GA HVAC specialists to prove that they are highly proficient and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are a number of respected certifications within the industry that are available. Below are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is achieved by passing a competency exam and can 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 exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience together with a passing result on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are made available in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing may be required in your location, and you may also intend to acquire certification, it’s imperative that you enroll in an HVAC technical school that will prepare 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 Classes
There are a variety of choices offered for HVAC training in a technical or vocational school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the lesser period of time, usually accomplished in just six months, although some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will provide more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief summary of each option offered near Grantville GA.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more comprehensive background of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Normally requiring two years to complete, a number of degrees include 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 traditional 4 year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Selecting the ideal credential program will be dependent on what your long term career aspirations are, along with the time and money that you have to invest. One approach is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Grantville GA, later going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, be sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Courses Online
Choosing an HVAC school online is one possibility to obtaining your training and receiving a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. Some 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 via the internet, this alternative may be a more practical solution for some Grantville GA students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other traditional alternatives. Even travelling expenses from Grantville and study supplies may be lessened, helping to make schooling more affordable. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family responsibilities have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to fit school into your active lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Training Programs
Once you have chosen the type of degree or certificate that you desire to earn, either online or on campus, you can start to limit your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are numerous HVAC technical schools in the Grantville GA area and all over the USA to select from. That’s why it is essential to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school comparisons. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the initial two factors you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you need to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC technical programs in the Grantville GA area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Verify that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you get an excellent education, it may help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, a number of states require that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning 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 could signify that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It may also mean that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which can produce more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Grantville GA HVAC employers to help students secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC vocational programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling companies or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Grantville GA HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure 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, check with the HVAC tech you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Grantville GA HVAC company if they can provide some suggestions. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Grantville GA home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there might be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak with several of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Grantville GA, verify that the schools you are comparing offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering an HVAC School near Grantville GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Grantville Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Grantville is located along the southern border of Coweta County at 33°14′14″N 84°49′37″W / 33.23722°N 84.82694°W / 33.23722; -84.82694 (33.237252, -84.827059).U.S. Route 29 runs through the city, passing south of the center, while Interstate 85 passes through the eastern part of the city, crossing US 29 at Exit 35. I-85 leads northeast 46 miles (74 km) to Atlanta and southwest 114 miles (183 km) to Montgomery, Alabama, while US 29, a more local road, leads north 12 miles (19 km) to Newnan, the Coweta County seat, and southwest 20 miles (32 km) to LaGrange.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,309 people, 516 households, and 359 families residing in the city. The population density was 252.0 people per square mile (97.4/km²). There were 569 housing units at an average density of 109.6 per square mile (42.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 69.29% White, 28.50% African American, 0.31% Native American, 0.53% Asian, 1.15% from other races, and 0.23% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.45% of the population.
There were 516 households out of which 32.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.7% were married couples living together, 17.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.4% were non-families. 26.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 3.03.
Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Schools Grantville GA
Enrolling in the ideal HVAC training program is a critical first step toward a rewarding career in the heating & cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Schools. However, as we have addressed in this post, you need to select an Heating and Cooling training program and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC community. Other things to search for are sufficient practical 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 faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling options and whether evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to ask about financial aid and student loan options also. If you ask the right questions as we have laid out in our guidelines for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC professional in Grantville GA.
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