How to Enroll In the Right Heating and Cooling School near Hartwell Georgia
Once 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 Hartwell GA. But with so many to pick from, how do you decide on the right one to get the training that you need? Many prospective students will make their decision based solely on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their home. While these are significant considerations, they are not the only ones to investigate. Some of the other factors 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 tackle how to select an HVAC technical school, let’s take a look at what a heating and air conditioning contractor does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Specialist
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, however each state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Attaining professional certification is not compulsory, but an alternative way for Hartwell GA HVAC specialists to prove that they are highly qualified and experienced in their area of specialization. There are many acknowledged certifications within the field that are available. Here 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 may be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of professional experience in addition to passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience along with a passing result on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are offered in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for technicians 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 could be required in your area, and you may also intend to obtain certification, it’s essential that you enroll in an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be working with refrigerants, make certain that the school you pick prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Courses
There are a variety of alternatives offered for HVAC instruction in a vocational or trade school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the least period of time, typically completed in as little as six months, although some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will furnish more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a short description of each option offered near Hartwell GA.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more exhaustive understanding of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually taking two years to complete, some degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more towards a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a standard four year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Selecting the ideal credential program will be based on what your long term career goals are, in addition to the time and money that you have to commit. One option is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Hartwell GA, later returning to obtain 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 Classes Online
Choosing an HVAC program online is one possibility in getting your education and receiving a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will call for 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 balance of the classes may be attended on the web, this option may be a more accessible solution for many Hartwell GA students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are less costly than other traditional options. Even travelling expenses from Hartwell and study materials may be lessened, helping to make schooling more economical. And numerous online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family commitments have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to fit school into your active lifestyle.
Questions to Ask HVAC Training Programs
As soon as you have selected the type of degree or certificate that you want to earn, either on campus or online, you can start to limit your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are numerous HVAC technical schools in the Hartwell GA area and throughout the Country to select from. That’s why it is essential to have a checklist of relevant qualifiers when making school assessments. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the initial 2 variables you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC vocational programs in the Hartwell GA area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Verify that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Additionally, 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 considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate could signify that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It might also indicate that the instructors were not qualified 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 graduates, which can produce more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Hartwell GA HVAC employers to assist graduates obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC vocational programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling businesses or trade unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local Hartwell GA HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school 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 already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC technician you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Hartwell GA HVAC contracting company if they can provide some suggestions. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Hartwell GA home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Speak with a few of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with a few of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Hartwell GA, verify that the schools you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering an HVAC School near Hartwell GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Hartwell Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Hartwell was founded in 1854 as seat of the newly formed Hart County. It was incorporated as a town in 1856 and as a city in 1904. The town was named for Revolutionary War figure Nancy Morgan Hart.
Hartwell is located in central Hart County at 34°21′10″N 82°55′52″W / 34.35278°N 82.93111°W / 34.35278; -82.93111 (34.352738, -82.931161). It sits 4 miles (6 km) southwest of Lake Hartwell, which acquired its name from the city. Hartwell is in the Piedmont region of Georgia, or the Upland South, and lies 30 miles (48 km) southeast of the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains at Toccoa.
U.S. Route 29 passes through the center of Hartwell, leading east 7 miles (11 km) to the South Carolina border at Hartwell Dam on the Savannah River, and southwest 12 miles (19 km) to Royston. Anderson, South Carolina, is 23 miles (37 km) to the northeast via US 29, and Athens, Georgia, is 43 miles (69 km) to the southwest. Georgia State Route 51 also passes through Hartwell, leading north 7 miles (11 km) to Reed Creek and west 9 miles (14 km) to Bowersville.
HVAC Tech Training Hartwell GA
Enrolling in the right HVAC school program is a crucial first step toward a rewarding career in the heating & cooling trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Tech Training. However, as we have addressed in this article, you need to choose an HVAC trade school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC trade. Other features to search for are lots of hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to go to each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to tour the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Additionally, ask about scheduling choices and whether or not evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have laid out in our guidelines 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 professional in Hartwell GA.
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