How to Select the Right Heating and Cooling Certificate Program near Greensboro Georgia
Once you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next step is to choose an HVAC vocational school near Greensboro GA. But with so many to choose from, how do you select the right one to obtain the training that you require? Some potential students will make their choice based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their home. While these are significant concerns, they are not the only ones to investigate. Just some of the other details 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 benchmarks will be addressed in more detail later within this article. But before we tackle how to select an HVAC training program, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling contractor does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Pro
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, however each state and local municipality has its own requirements. Acquiring professional certification is not compulsory, but an optional means for Greensboro GA HVAC techs to demonstrate that they are highly proficient and accomplished in their area of specialization. There are many acknowledged certifications within the industry that are offered. 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 proficiency exam and can be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of professional experience as well as passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience as well as a passing result on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are provided in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for techs that handle refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification offered, 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 intend to obtain certification, it’s essential that you pick an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be handling refrigerants, make sure that the program you decide on prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Schools
There are a number of choices offered for HVAC instruction in a trade or technical school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the minimum period of time, typically achieved in just six months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree programs may provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will provide more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief summary of each option offered near Greensboro GA.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They provide a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more comprehensive background of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Normally requiring 2 years to complete, many degrees incorporate 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 four year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Picking the ideal credential program will be dependent on what your future career goals are, along 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 gaining some experience in the field in Greensboro GA, later returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Schools
Attending an HVAC school online is one option in getting your education and earning a certificate or degree. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to complete hands on training. Some also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be attended via the internet, this alternative may be a more accessible solution for some Greensboro GA students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are more economical than other on campus alternatives. Even travelling expenses from Greensboro and study supplies may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family commitments have left you with minimal time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to fit school into your hectic lifestyle.
Questions For HVAC Schools
After you have decided on the type of certificate or degree that you wish to acquire, either online or on campus, you can begin to narrow down your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are numerous HVAC technical schools in the Greensboro GA area and all over the United States to select from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school evaluations. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the initial two factors you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you need to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC trade schools in the Greensboro GA area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Verify that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, it can help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, a number of states require that the HVAC training course be accredited for it 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 or portion of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate might signify that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It could also indicate that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s also essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which can 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 a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Greensboro GA HVAC employers to assist graduates secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC training programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC businesses or labor unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local Greensboro GA HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC tech you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Greensboro GA HVAC company if they can give you some pointers. Also bear in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Greensboro GA home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in 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 challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Speak with several of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Greensboro GA, verify that the programs you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family issues.
Considering an HVAC School near Greensboro GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Greensboro Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Greensboro was founded circa 1780; in 1787, it was designated seat of the newly formed Greene County. It was incorporated as a town in 1803 and as a city in 1855. The city was named for Major General Nathanael Greene, commander of the rebel American forces at the Battle of Guilford Court House on March 15, 1781.
Greensboro is located at the center of Greene County at 33°34′18″N 83°10′51″W / 33.57167°N 83.18083°W / 33.57167; -83.18083 (33.571528, -83.180921).U.S. Route 278 passes through the city center as Broad Street, leading east 7 miles (11 km) to Union Point and west 19 miles (31 km) to Madison. Georgia State Route 44 leads southwest from Greensboro 22 miles (35 km) to Eatonton. State Route 15 leads north 34 miles (55 km) to Athens and southeast 27 miles (43 km) to Sparta. The city limits extend southwest along SR 44 for 4 miles (6 km) so as to include Exit 130 on Interstate 20. I-20 leads east 70 miles (110 km) to Augusta and west 73 miles (117 km) to Atlanta.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Greensboro has a total area of 6.8 square miles (17.6 km2), of which 6.7 square miles (17.4 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km2), or 0.99%, is water. The city is in the Oconee River watershed and is located 5 miles (8 km) east of Lake Oconee and 2 miles (3 km) southeast of Oconee National Forest.
School for Air Conditioning and Heating Greensboro GA
Enrolling in the right HVAC training program is a crucial first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating and cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding School for Air Conditioning and Heating. However, as we have discussed in this article, you need to pick an HVAC trade school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC profession. Other things to search for are lots of practical training and modern facilities. You should check out each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Also, inquire about scheduling options and if evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have laid out in our checklist for assessing 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 commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC contractor in Greensboro GA.
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