How to Enroll In the Right HVAC Training Class near Kingston Georgia
Once you have decided on a career as a heating and cooling technician, the next step is to locate an HVAC vocational school near Kingston GA. But with so many to choose from, how do you select the right one to get the training that you need? A number of prospective students will make their choice based exclusively on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. While these are significant considerations, they are not the only ones to take into account. Some of the other factors 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 benchmarks will be addressed in more detail later within this article. But before we discuss how to choose an HVAC training program, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling contractor does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Tech
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 central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are generally required to be licensed, although every state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Attaining professional certification is not required, but an alternative way for Kingston GA HVAC technicians to establish that they are highly skilled and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are a number of respected certifications within the trade that are available. Here are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is earned by passing a competency examination and may be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience in addition to passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience as well as a passing score on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are three types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing may be mandated in your location, and you may also desire to earn certification, it’s imperative that you enroll in an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the school you decide on readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree Schools
There are a variety of choices available for HVAC instruction in a technical or vocational school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the minimum amount of time, often achieved in just 6 months, although some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree programs may provide a competitive edge in the job market and will deliver more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief description of each credential offered near Kingston GA.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning residential or commercial HVAC specialists. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more detailed understanding of heating & cooling 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 suited more towards a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a standard four year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Selecting the right credential program will be dependent on what your long term career goals are, in addition to the time and money that you have to invest. One approach is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Kingston GA, eventually 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 Training
Enrolling in an HVAC program online is one option in obtaining your education and earning a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will call for some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. A number also sponsor 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 online, this alternative may be a more accessible solution for many Kingston GA students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even travelling expenses from Kingston and study materials 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 work or family obligations have left you with minimal time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it easier to accommodate school into your busy schedule.
Questions For HVAC Certification Classes
Once you have decided on the type of certificate or degree that you wish to attain, either online or on campus, you can start to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Kingston GA area and all over the USA to select from. That’s why it is imperative to have a checklist of important qualifications when making school assessments. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the first two factors you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Kingston GA area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on 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 acknowledged accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you receive a superior education, it can assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to qualify 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 complete the course. A low completion rate may indicate that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It might also mean that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which may 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 industry, but also that it has the network of Kingston GA HVAC employers to help grads secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC training programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC contractors or labor unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with local Kingston GA HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC specialist you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Kingston GA HVAC company if they can give you some pointers. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Kingston GA residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Talk with a few of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to a few of the teachers and find out what their level of experience 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 go to classes at night or on weekends near Kingston GA, check that the programs you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.
Considering an HVAC School near Kingston GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Kingston Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Georgia State Route 293 (Kingston Highway) passes through the center of town, leading southeast 11 miles (18 km) to Cartersville and west 13 miles (21 km) to Rome. U.S. Route 411 is a four-lane highway that passes 1 mile (2 km) south of Kingston, connecting the same two larger communities.
Native American tribes once inhabited the area. People of the Mississippian culture were in the vicinity until about 1500 AD. Cherokee removal occurred locally by 1838. White settlers were moved in as early as 1832, after a land lottery. The city was named for John Pendleton King, a United States Senator from Georgia.
On April 12, 1862, James J. Andrews with 18 Union soldiers in disguise, and 1 civilian, having seized the locomotive The General at Big Shanty (now Kennesaw) intending to wreck the Western and Atlantic Railroad, were forced to side-track here and wait for the southbound freights to pass. After a long delay The General continued north. Pursuing from Big Shanty, William Allen Fuller (conductor) led a crew which used a push-car and other means and eventually caught the highjackers.
HVAC Degree Programs Kingston GA
Choosing the right HVAC school course is a crucial beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating and cooling industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Degree Programs. However, as we have discussed in this post, you need to choose an HVAC school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC trade. Other factors to look for are sufficient practical training and modern facilities. You need to check out each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to tour the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. In addition, inquire about scheduling choices and if evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to ask about financial assistance and student loan options as well. If you ask the right questions as we have outlined in our guidelines for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC technician in Kingston GA.
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