How to Select the Right HVAC Certification Course near Lincolnton Georgia
Now that you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next step is to look for an HVAC technical school near Lincolnton GA. But with so many to select from, how do you decide on the right one to get the training that you need? Some potential students will make their selection based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Even though these are necessary considerations, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Some of the other factors that you need to research are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and additional criteria will be discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we explore how to select an HVAC trade school, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c specialist does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Tech
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, however every state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Obtaining professional certification is not required, but an alternative way for Lincolnton GA HVAC specialists to demonstrate that they are exceptionally proficient and experienced in their area of expertise. There are a number of recognized certifications within the trade that are available. Following are a few of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is earned by passing a proficiency examination and may be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of professional experience together with passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience along with a passing score on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for techs that handle refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing may be required in your area, and you may also desire to earn certification, it’s important that you pick an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the program you pick readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Classes
There are a variety of choices available for HVAC training in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the least amount of time, typically accomplished in just six months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs might provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will furnish more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief description of each credential offered near Lincolnton GA.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more exhaustive understanding of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Generally taking two years to finish, many 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 traditional 4 year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Selecting the ideal credential program will be based on what your future career goals are, as well as the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One approach is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Lincolnton GA, subsequently returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Classes Online
Enrolling in an HVAC program online is one alternative to getting your education and earning a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to complete practical training. Many also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes can be participated in on the web, this approach may be a more accessible solution for many Lincolnton GA students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are less costly than other traditional alternatives. Even commuting expenses from Lincolnton and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family obligations have left you with minimal time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to fit school into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask HVAC Trade Schools
Once you have picked the type of degree or certificate that you desire to obtain, either on campus or online, you can begin to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are a large number of HVAC technical schools in the Lincolnton GA area and all over the USA to pick from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of important qualifiers when making school assessments. As formerly mentioned 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 should explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC trade schools in the Lincolnton GA area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Make sure that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Additionally, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC schools you are looking at 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 could signify that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It might also suggest that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which may mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Lincolnton GA HVAC employers to help graduates secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC vocational programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC companies or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local Lincolnton GA HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained 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 specialist you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Lincolnton GA HVAC company if they can provide some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Lincolnton GA home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Speak with some of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with a few of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Lincolnton GA, check that the programs you are comparing offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering an HVAC School near Lincolnton GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Lincolnton Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
The city of Lincolnton is the county seat of Lincoln County, Georgia, United States. The population was 1,566 at the 2010 census. It is the location for the historical site, Elijah Clark State Park, and contains numerous houses and historic districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Both the city and the county were named for General Benjamin Lincoln, who served in the Continental Army during the American Revolution.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,595 people, 657 households, and 428 families residing in the city. The population density was 498.6 people per square mile (192.4/km²). There were 657 housing units at an average density of 205.4 per square mile (79.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 56.80% White, 42.19% Black, 0.06% American Indian, 0.38% Asian, 0.13% from other races, and 0.44% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.13% of the population.
There were 610 households out of which 32.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.8% were married couples living together, 22.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.8% were non-families. 27.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 3.05.
Schools That Offer HVAC Training Lincolnton GA
Finding the ideal HVAC training course is a crucial first step toward a gratifying career in the heating and air conditioning field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Schools That Offer HVAC Training. However, as we have covered in this article, you should select an HVAC training program and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC community. Other factors to search for are plenty of practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to go to each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to tour 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. Also, ask about scheduling options and whether or not night or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options as well. If you ask the proper questions as we have detailed in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC contractor in Lincolnton GA.
More Hot and Cool Locations in Georgia
Business Results 1 - 10 of 24