How to Pick the Right Heating and Cooling Certification Training near Menlo Georgia
Once you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and cooling technician, the next step is to choose an HVAC trade school near Menlo GA. But with so many to select from, how do you decide on the best one to receive the training that you require? A number of prospective students will make their selection based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their home. While these are important considerations, they are not the only ones to investigate. A few of the other factors 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. Those and additional benchmarks will be addressed in more detail later within this article. But before we discuss how to select an HVAC technical school, let’s look at what a heating and cooling contractor does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, though every state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Attaining professional certification is not compulsory, but an optional means for Menlo GA HVAC techs to demonstrate that they are highly skilled and experienced in their area of specialization. There are multiple acknowledged certifications within the trade that are available. Here are a few of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. 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. 2 years of professional experience together with passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience as well as a passing score on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for technicians that work with refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing may be mandated in your location, and you may also desire to acquire certification, it’s important that you pick an HVAC vocational school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be working with refrigerants, make sure that the school you decide on prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Classes
There are several options offered for HVAC training in a technical or vocational school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the least period of time, typically accomplished in as little as 6 months, however some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive edge in the job market and will deliver more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short explanation of each credential offered near Menlo GA.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level residential or commercial HVAC specialists. They provide a strong foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more exhaustive background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Normally taking 2 years to complete, many degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more for a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional 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 appropriate credential program will be based on what your future career goals are, as well as the time and money that you have to commit. One possibility is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Menlo GA, subsequently returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Classes
Enrolling in an HVAC program online is one option in getting your education and earning a degree or certificate. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. Many also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes may be attended online, this option may be a more accessible solution for some Menlo GA students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even driving expenses from Menlo and study supplies may be lessened, helping to make schooling more affordable. And a large number of online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family responsibilities 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 hectic lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Schools
Once you have decided on the type of certificate or degree that you desire to attain, either online or on campus, you can begin to limit your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are numerous HVAC technical schools in the Menlo GA area and all over the United States to choose from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of important qualifications when making school comparisons. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the initial two factors you will take into consideration. Following are some additional ones that you will want to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC vocational programs in the Menlo GA area have earned 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, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you receive an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to be approved 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 program. A low completion rate might signify that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It may also signify that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which can result in more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Menlo GA HVAC employers to assist grads acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC training programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC companies or trade unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with local Menlo GA HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed 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, talk to the HVAC technician you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Menlo GA HVAC contracting company if they can provide some suggestions. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Menlo GA home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much personalized training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Speak to a few of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Menlo GA, verify that the schools you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure 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, sickness or family responsibilities.
Considering an HVAC School near Menlo GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Menlo Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
A post office called Menlo has been in operation since 1886. The city was established in the early 1880s, and incorporated in 1903. The city's founder, Captain Andrew Lawrence, named it after Menlo Park, New Jersey, in honor of inventor Thomas Edison.
Menlo is located at the base of the Cumberland Plateau in western Chattooga County. It lies just over a mile east of the Alabama border. Georgia State Route 48 runs through the center of town, leading east 8 miles (13 km) to Summerville, the Chattooga County seat, and northwest 3 miles (5 km) to Cloudland atop Lookout Mountain. SR 337 leads northeast through the Broomtown Valley 20 miles (32 km) to LaFayette.
As of the census of 2000, there were 485 people, 229 households, and 141 families residing in the city. The population density was 622.5 people per square mile (240.1/km²). There were 251 housing units at an average density of 322.2 per square mile (124.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.49% White, 3.30% African American, and 0.21% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.41% of the population.
Air Conditioning and Heating School Menlo GA
Enrolling in the ideal HVAC training program is a crucial first step toward a gratifying career in the heating and air conditioning trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Air Conditioning and Heating School. However, as we have covered in this post, you need to choose an Heating and Cooling vocational school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC trade. Other things to search for are ample practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should visit each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to explore the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the instruction 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 detailed in our guidelines for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC specialist in Menlo GA.
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