How to Choose the Right Heating and Cooling Program near Harlem Georgia
Now that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and cooling technician, the next action is to choose an HVAC vocational school near Harlem GA. But with so many to select from, how do you pick the right one to obtain the training that you need? Some potential students will make their selection based entirely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. While these are significant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to take into account. A few of the other details that you need to research are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and other criteria will be covered in more detail later within this article. But before we explore how to choose an HVAC technical school, let’s look at what a heating and cooling specialist does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Technician
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, however every state and local municipality has its own criteria. Earning professional certification is not compulsory, but an optional way for Harlem GA HVAC technicians to demonstrate that they are highly qualified and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are multiple recognized certifications within the field that are offered. Here 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 can be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience together with passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience together with a passing score on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are provided in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are three forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing could be mandated in your area, and you may also desire to acquire certification, it’s essential that you select an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the program you choose readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are a number of options available for HVAC instruction in a technical or vocational school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the lesser period of time, often completed in as little as 6 months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will furnish more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief summary of each option offered near Harlem GA.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more exhaustive knowledge of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally taking two years to finish, some degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more for a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional 4 year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Choosing the right credential program will be based on what your long term career aspirations are, as well as the time and financial resources 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 field in Harlem GA, subsequently going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Courses Online
Enrolling in an HVAC school online is one option in getting your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete hands on training. Many also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes can be attended online, this option may be a more practical solution for many Harlem GA students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are less costly than other traditional options. Even commuting expenses from Harlem and study supplies can be minimized, helping to make schooling more economical. And a large number of online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family responsibilities have left you with minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your active lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Certification Courses
As soon as you have decided on the type of degree or certificate that you would like to attain, either on campus or online, you can start to decrease your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of HVAC technical schools in the Harlem GA area and all over the USA to pick from. That’s why it is essential to have a list of important qualifications when making school comparisons. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the initial 2 variables you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you will want to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC vocational programs in the Harlem GA area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Make sure that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you obtain a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, 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 reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate may suggest that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It could also indicate that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which can mean more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Harlem GA HVAC employers to help graduates secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC technical programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with local Harlem GA HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC tech you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Harlem GA HVAC company if they can give you some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Harlem GA residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be increased tuition charges 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 couple of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Talk to several of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to some of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify 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 Harlem GA, verify that the schools you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.
Considering an HVAC School near Harlem GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Harlem Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Harlem is a city in Columbia County, Georgia, United States. It is part of the Augusta, Georgia metropolitan area. The population was 2,666 at the 2010 census, up from 1,814 in 2000. The city was named after Harlem, New York. Harlem is the birthplace of comedian Oliver Hardy; the annual Harlem Oliver Hardy Festival is held on the first Saturday each October on Main Street in his honor.
From the building of the Georgia Railroad which passes through town until at least the 1860s, Harlem was known as Saw Dust. The town is twinned with Ulverston in England, the birthplace of Stan Laurel, the partner of Oliver Hardy.
Harlem is located in southern Columbia County at 33°25′1″N 82°18′50″W / 33.41694°N 82.31389°W / 33.41694; -82.31389 (33.416822, -82.313762), with its western boundary following the McDuffie County line. U.S. Routes 78 and 278 pass through the center of town, leading east 23 miles (37 km) to downtown Augusta and west 12 miles (19 km) to Thomson. U.S. Route 221 crosses US 78/278 in the center of town, leading north 5 miles (8 km) to Interstate 20 and 21 miles (34 km) to the South Carolina border, and south 16 miles (26 km) to Wrens.
HVAC Certificate Programs Harlem GA
Selecting the ideal HVAC training course is a crucial beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating and air conditioning industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Certificate Programs. However, as we have covered in this post, you need to select an HVAC trade school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC trade. Other factors to search for are lots of practical training and modern facilities. You need to check out each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to tour the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. 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 offered if needed. And remember to ask about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the proper questions as we have laid out in our checklist 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 ultimately become a licensed HVAC technician in Harlem GA.
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