How to Pick the Right Heating and Cooling Program near Kingsland Georgia
Now that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner specialist, the next step is to look for an HVAC trade school near Kingsland GA. But with so many to pick from, how do you select the right one to get the training that you require? A number of potential students will make their decision based entirely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their home. While these are relevant concerns, they are not the only ones to investigate. A few of the other things 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 benchmarks will be addressed in more detail later in this article. But before we discuss how to select an HVAC technical school, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c professional does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Specialist
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, however each state and local municipality has its own requirements. Obtaining professional certification is not mandatory, but an alternative means for Kingsland GA HVAC techs to prove that they are exceptionally skilled and experienced in their area of expertise. There are many acknowledged certifications within the industry that are available. Following are a few of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is earned by passing a competency exam and may be received in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience as well as passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience in addition to a passing result on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are made available in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing could be required in your area, and you may also desire to acquire certification, it’s essential that you enroll in an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be handling refrigerants, make certain that the program you choose readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree Schools
There are several choices offered for HVAC instruction in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the minimum amount of time, often achieved in just six months, however some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs may provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will deliver more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short description of each option offered near Kingsland GA.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more comprehensive knowledge of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally requiring two years to finish, many degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared 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 air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.
Choosing the ideal credential program will be dependent on what your long term career aspirations are, together with the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One possibility is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Kingsland GA, eventually going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Courses Online
Choosing an HVAC program online is one approach in obtaining your education and earning a degree or certificate. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. Some also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be attended via the internet, this alternative may be a more practical solution for many Kingsland GA students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are less expensive than other traditional alternatives. Even commuting expenses from Kingsland and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family commitments have left you with minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to fit school into your busy lifestyle.
Questions For HVAC Training Programs
Once you have chosen the type of certificate or degree that you wish to obtain, either online or on campus, you can start to limit your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of HVAC trade schools in the Kingsland GA area and throughout the USA to select from. That’s why it is essential to have a list of relevant qualifiers when making school evaluations. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the first two factors you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC trade programs in the Kingsland GA area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Make certain that the school and program are 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 receive an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, many states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to qualify 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 finish the course. A low completion rate may indicate that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It might also mean that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which can produce more contacts for the school to utilize 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 field, but also that it has the network of Kingsland GA HVAC employers to help students acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC training programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC contractors or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Kingsland GA HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC specialist you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Kingsland GA HVAC contracting company if they can give you some pointers. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Kingsland GA residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be higher 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 difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Talk with some of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with a few of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Kingsland GA, confirm that the programs you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family issues.
Considering an HVAC School near Kingsland GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Kingsland Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
The Kingsland Commercial Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places March 17, 1994. It includes the area surrounding South Lee Street between King Street and William Street.
Kingsland is located in southwestern Camden County at 30°47′41″N 81°40′18″W / 30.79472°N 81.67167°W / 30.79472; -81.67167 (30.794612, -81.671720), just north of the Florida line. It is bordered by St. Marys to the east. Interstate 95 runs through the eastern part of the city, with access from three exits. U.S. Route 17, an older highway running parallel to I-95, passes through the center of Kingsland. Jacksonville, Florida, is 36 miles (58 km) to the south, and Brunswick is 34 miles (55 km) to the north.
According to the United States Census Bureau, recent annexations by the city of large tracts of land have resulted in a total area of 45.0 square miles (116.5 km2), of which 42.7 square miles (110.7 km2) is land and 2.2 square miles (5.8 km2), or 4.99%, is water. This recent growth makes Kingsland the twelfth largest city in the state of Georgia by land mass.
Associates Degree in HVAC Kingsland GA
Finding the ideal HVAC school program is a critical beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating & cooling industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Associates Degree in HVAC. However, as we have addressed in this post, you need to choose an HVAC school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC community. Other things to look 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 talk with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling options and if evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to ask about financial aid and student loan options also. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have laid out in our guidelines for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC professional in Kingsland GA.
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