How to Pick the Right Heating and Cooling Program near Griffin Georgia
Now that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning professional, the next action is to find an HVAC vocational school near Griffin GA. But with so many to choose from, how do you choose the right one to get the training that you need? A number of prospective students will make their choice based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. While these are important concerns, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Just 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 criteria will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we examine how to select an HVAC technical school, let’s take a look at what a heating and air conditioning professional does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Professional
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, although each state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Obtaining professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary means for Griffin GA HVAC technicians to prove that they are highly qualified and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are several respected certifications within the industry that are available. Below are some of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is attained by passing a competency examination and may be received in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience together with passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience as well as a passing score on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are made available in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for techs that handle refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing may be mandated in your location, and you may also desire to acquire certification, it’s important that you enroll in an HVAC vocational school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be working with refrigerants, make sure that the program you choose prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Schools
There are a number of options available for HVAC training in a vocational or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the minimum period of time, typically completed in just six months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree training programs may provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will provide more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a short description of each credential offered near Griffin GA.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They provide a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more comprehensive knowledge of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Normally taking 2 years to finish, a number of 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 require 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 learn how to design them.
Picking the ideal credential program will be based on what your long term career objectives are, together with the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One option is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Griffin GA, subsequently returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Classes
Attending an HVAC program online is one possibility in attaining your training and earning a degree or certificate. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. Some also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes can be attended online, this option may be a more accessible solution for some Griffin GA students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are less expensive than other traditional choices. Even driving expenses from Griffin and study materials can be reduced, helping to make schooling more affordable. And many online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family obligations have left you with limited time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your hectic lifestyle.
Questions For HVAC Certification Courses
When you have picked the type of certificate or degree that you would like to acquire, either on campus or online, you can start to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many HVAC vocational schools in the Griffin GA area and all over the Country to select from. That’s why it is essential to have a list of key qualifications when making school comparisons. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the first two factors you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you need to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC trade programs in the Griffin GA area have acquired 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 relates to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Make certain that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you obtain an excellent education, it can help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Also, a number of states require that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning 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 course. A low completion rate might signify that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It may also signify that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which can mean more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Griffin GA HVAC employers to assist graduates secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC vocational programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling contractors or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local Griffin GA HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC specialist you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Griffin GA HVAC company if they can provide some tips. Also bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Griffin GA home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Speak with a few of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with some of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
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 Griffin GA, check that the schools you are looking at provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.
Considering an HVAC School near Griffin GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Griffin Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Griffin Technical College was located in Griffin from 1963 and a branch of Southern Crescent Technical College is in Griffin. The Griffin Synodical Female College was established by Presbyterians but closed. The University of Georgia maintains a branch campus in Griffin.
In 1938, Alma Lovell had been distributing religious Bible tracts as a Jehovah's Witness but was arrested for violating a city ordinance requiring prior permission for distributing literature. In Lovell v. City of Griffin, the U.S. Supreme Court found that the city had violated her First Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment rights.
The Griffin Commercial Historic District (among the National Register of Historic Places listings in Spalding County, Georgia) is generally bounded by Central Alley, Sixth Street, Taylor Street and Eighth Street. The district includes the Griffin Grocery Company Building, now the Griffin Regional Welcome Center.
Air Conditioner Repair School Griffin GA
Selecting the ideal HVAC training course is an important beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating and cooling trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Air Conditioner Repair School. However, as we have discussed in this post, you should pick an HVAC vocational school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC community. Other features to look for are plenty of practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to check out each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. In addition, ask about scheduling choices and if night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have detailed in our guidelines for assessing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC technician in Griffin GA.
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