How to Choose the Right HVAC Program near Grovetown Georgia
Now that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next step is to locate an HVAC vocational school near Grovetown GA. But with so many to pick from, how do you pick the ideal one to obtain the training that you require? Some future students will make their choice based exclusively on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Even though these are relevant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Just some of the other things that you need to investigate 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 discussed in more detail later within this article. But before we explore how to choose an HVAC trade school, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning contractor does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Specialist
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 professional tradesmen, they are generally required to be licensed, however every state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Obtaining professional certification is not mandatory, but an optional means for Grovetown GA HVAC technicians to establish that they are highly skilled and accomplished in their area of specialization. There are a number of respected certifications within the industry that are available. Here are a few of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is achieved by passing a competency exam and can be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of professional experience as well as passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience along with 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 obtainable, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing could be mandated in your location, and you may also wish to acquire certification, it’s imperative that you pick an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the program you select prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Courses
There are a variety of choices available for HVAC training in a technical or vocational school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the minimum period of time, often completed in as little as six months, although some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree training programs may provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will furnish more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief explanation of each credential offered near Grovetown GA.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They provide a solid foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more comprehensive background of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically requiring 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 suited more for a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a standard 4 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 right credential program will be based on what your long term career objectives are, in addition to the time and money that you have to invest. One approach is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the trade in Grovetown GA, subsequently going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Classes
Choosing an HVAC school online is one alternative to obtaining your training and earning a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. A number also sponsor 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 approach may be a more convenient solution for some Grovetown GA students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are more economical than other traditional alternatives. Even travelling expenses from Grovetown and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family obligations have left you with minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it easier to fit school into your active lifestyle.
Questions For HVAC Certification Courses
As soon as you have decided on the type of certificate or degree that you would like to acquire, either online or on campus, you can begin to decrease your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Grovetown GA area and all over the United States to pick from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a list of important qualifiers when making school evaluations. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the first 2 factors you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC vocational programs in the Grovetown GA area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as HVAC technology. Verify that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate may signify that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It may also indicate 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 directory of alumni, which can result in more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Grovetown GA HVAC employers to help students acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC training programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling companies or trade unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with local Grovetown GA HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local 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 working with on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC tech you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Grovetown GA HVAC contracting company if they can give you some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Grovetown GA residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much one-on-one training 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 experience the interaction between students and instructors. Talk to some of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Grovetown GA, confirm that the schools you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select permits 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 Grovetown GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Grovetown Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Grovetown is a city in Columbia County, Georgia, United States. It is part of the Augusta metropolitan area and the Central Savannah River Area. In the 2013 United States Census estimates, it had a population of 12,389. The mayor is Gary Jones.
Grovetown is located in southern Columbia County at 33°26′58″N 82°11′49″W / 33.44944°N 82.19694°W / 33.44944; -82.19694 (33.449324, -82.196972). Downtown Augusta is 15 miles (24 km) east. The northern boundary of Fort Gordon is 2 miles (3 km) south.
Grovetown is mainly served by Georgia State Route 223 (SR 223), known as Robinson Avenue from just northwest of Fort Gordon's Gate 2 to the intersection with Harlem–Grovetown Road, and SR 388, known as Wrightsboro Road past this point. At this intersection, SR 388 takes on the Wrightsboro Road name until it meets Katherine Street. At this intersection, the highway turns left onto Horizon South Parkway, while Wrightsboro Road continues toward Augusta. Harlem–Grovetown Road connects the city with Harlem.
Air Conditioner Training Grovetown GA
Choosing the ideal HVAC school program is a critical first step toward a rewarding career in the heating and cooling trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Air Conditioner Training. However, as we have addressed in this post, you should choose an Heating and Cooling training program and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC trade. Other features to look for are ample practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should go to each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Additionally, inquire about scheduling options and whether or not evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to ask about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have outlined in our guidelines for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC professional in Grovetown GA.
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