How to Find the Right Heating and Cooling College near Louisville Georgia
Once you have made a decision on a career as a heating and cooling specialist, the next step is to find an HVAC technical school near Louisville GA. But with so many to select from, how do you choose the best one to receive the training that you require? A number of prospective students will make their decision based exclusively on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. While these are necessary factors to consider, they are not the only ones to take into account. Some of the other details that you need to look into are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and other criteria will be addressed in more detail later in this article. But before we explore how to pick an HVAC technical school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling professional does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Professional
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are generally mandated to be licensed, though each state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Earning professional certification is not required, but an optional way for Louisville GA HVAC specialists to prove that they are highly qualified and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are multiple respected certifications within the trade that are offered. Below are a few of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is attained by passing a proficiency exam and may be received 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 exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience in addition to a passing score on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are made available in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for techs that handle refrigerants. There are three forms of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing might be mandated in your location, and you may also wish to acquire certification, it’s essential that you choose an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be handling refrigerants, make sure that the school you decide on preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Courses
There are a variety of choices available for HVAC training in a trade or technical school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the minimum period of time, typically completed in just 6 months, although some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree programs might provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will provide more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief explanation of each credential offered near Louisville GA.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They provide a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities 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. Typically taking two years to finish, many degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more towards a career in management or even 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 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, along with 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 acquiring some experience in the field in Louisville GA, subsequently returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Training
Choosing an HVAC school online is one option to obtaining your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. Some also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes may be participated in on the web, this approach may be a more convenient solution for some Louisville GA students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are more economical than other on campus alternatives. Even driving expenses from Louisville and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family responsibilities have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to fit school into your active lifestyle.
Questions to Ask HVAC Training Programs
Once you have decided on the type of certificate or degree that you want to acquire, either online or on campus, you can start to limit your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are a large number of HVAC trade schools in the Louisville GA area and across the USA to select from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a checklist of important qualifiers when making school comparisons. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the first two variables you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you should research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Louisville GA area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Make sure that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it can assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, many states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Cooling 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 course. A lower completion rate could signify that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It could also mean that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It’s also important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which can result in more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Louisville GA HVAC employers to assist graduates acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC trade programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling contractors or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Louisville GA HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm 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 already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC tech you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Louisville GA HVAC company if they can give you some suggestions. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Louisville GA residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe 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. Last, talk to some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Louisville GA, confirm that the schools you are considering provide those choices. 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 policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.
Considering an HVAC School near Louisville GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Louisville Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Louisville is a city in Jefferson County, Georgia, United States. It is a former state capital of Georgia and is the county seat of Jefferson County. It is located southwest of Augusta on the Ogeechee River, and its population was 2,493 at the 2010 census, down from 2,712 at the 2000 census. The name is of French origin, but is pronounced "Lewis-ville".
Louisville was incorporated on January 26, 1786, as the prospective state capital. Savannah had served as the colonial capital, but was considered too far from the center of population in the growing state. Louisville was named for Louis XVI, who was still the King of France and had aided the Continentals during the successful American Revolutionary War. Development of the city began later, and its state government buildings were completed in 1795. An old Revolutionary War Soldiers Cemetery is located on the western side of town.
The city of Louisville served as the state capital of Georgia from 1796 to 1806. It was a center of trade, legislators and political influence. The Jefferson County courthouse, built in 1904, stands on the site of Georgia's first permanent capitol building.
HVAC Certification Courses Louisville GA
Choosing the ideal HVAC school program is a crucial beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating & cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Certification Courses. However, as we have addressed in this post, you should pick an HVAC technical school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC community. Other things to search for are plenty of practical training and modern facilities. You need to visit each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to explore 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. Additionally, inquire about scheduling choices and if night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to ask about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the proper questions as we have outlined in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC specialist in Louisville GA.
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