How to Select the Right Heating and Cooling Training Class near Midland Georgia
Now that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next step is to choose an HVAC trade school near Midland GA. But with so many to choose from, how do you select the ideal one to get the training that you require? Many potential students will make their selection based exclusively on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Although these are important considerations, they are not the only ones to take into account. A few 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 examine how to pick an HVAC technical school, let’s look at what a heating and cooling contractor does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Pro
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, though each state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Attaining professional certification is not compulsory, but an alternative way for Midland GA HVAC techs to prove that they are exceptionally qualified and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are a number of respected certifications within the field that are available. Below are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is achieved by passing a proficiency examination and can be received 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 exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience as well as a passing result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are three forms of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing could be mandated in your area, and you may also wish to earn certification, it’s essential that you pick an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the program you choose readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Courses
There are a number of alternatives offered for HVAC instruction in a technical or vocational school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the minimum period of time, often achieved in as little as six 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 related to the position. The degree training programs may provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will provide more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief explanation of each option offered near Midland GA.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They provide a strong foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more comprehensive background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Usually taking two 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 for a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional 4 year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Selecting the right 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 possibility is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the trade in Midland GA, eventually returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make certain to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Courses Online
Choosing an HVAC program online is one approach to obtaining your education and receiving a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. A number also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes can be attended on the web, this option may be a more convenient solution for many Midland GA students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are less expensive than other traditional choices. Even commuting expenses from Midland and study supplies may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family commitments have left you with little time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to accommodate school into your busy schedule.
Questions For HVAC Training Programs
As soon as you have decided on the type of degree or certificate that you wish to obtain, either on campus or online, you can start to limit your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are numerous HVAC trade schools in the Midland GA area and throughout the Country to pick from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a list of relevant qualifiers when making school evaluations. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the initial 2 variables you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you will want to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC vocational programs in the Midland GA area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Confirm that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you acquire a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, some states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate could indicate that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It may also indicate that the teachers were not qualified 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 more extensive list of graduates, which may mean more contacts for the school to utilize 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 industry, but additionally that it has the network of Midland GA HVAC employers to help students secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC vocational programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC businesses or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with local Midland GA HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional 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 in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC technician you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Midland GA HVAC contractor if they can provide some tips. Also keep in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Midland GA residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much individualized instruction 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 big they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Talk with a few of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some 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 schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Midland GA, verify that the programs you are considering offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.
Considering an HVAC School near Midland GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Midland Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Columbus is a consolidated city-county located on the west central border of the U.S. state of Georgia. Located on the Chattahoochee River directly across from Phenix City, Alabama, Columbus is the county seat of Muscogee County, with which it officially merged in 1970. Columbus is the third-largest city in Georgia and the fourth-largest metropolitan area. According to the 2017 estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, Columbus has a population of 194,058 residents, with 303,811 in the Columbus metropolitan area. The metro area joins the nearby Alabama cities of Auburn and Opelika to form the Columbus–Auburn–Opelika Combined Statistical Area, which has a 2017 estimated population of 499,128.
Columbus lies 100 miles (160 km) southwest of Atlanta. Fort Benning, the United States Army's Maneuver Center of Excellence and a major employer, is located south of the city in Chattahoochee County. Columbus is home to museums and tourism sites, including the National Infantry Museum, dedicated to the United States Army's Infantry Branch. It has the longest urban whitewater rafting course in the world constructed on the Chattahoochee River.
This was for centuries and more the traditional territory of the Creek Indians, who became known as one of the Five Civilized Tribes of the Southeast after European contact. Those who lived closest to white-occupied areas conducted considerable trading and adopted some European-American ways.
Hands On HVAC Training Midland GA
Selecting the right HVAC training course is a crucial first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating & cooling industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Hands On HVAC Training. However, as we have discussed 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 profession. Other factors to look for are sufficient practical training and modern facilities. You need to visit each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to explore the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. In addition, ask about scheduling options and whether or not night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial aid and student loan options too. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have outlined in our guidelines for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC specialist in Midland GA.
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