How to Select the Right HVAC Program near Monroe Georgia
Once you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and cooling technician, the next action is to choose an HVAC vocational school near Monroe GA. But with so many to select from, how do you decide on the ideal one to receive the training that you need? A number of future students will make their selection based solely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Although these are relevant considerations, they are not the only ones to evaluate. A few of the other factors that you need to investigate are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and other criteria will be addressed in more detail later in this article. But before we discuss how to pick an HVAC training program, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling technician does to become a licensed skilled 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 techs specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are generally required to be licensed, although each state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Obtaining professional certification is not required, but an optional way for Monroe GA HVAC techs to establish that they are exceptionally qualified and experienced in their area of expertise. There are many respected certifications within the industry that are offered. Below are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is achieved by passing a competency examination and may be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience in addition to passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience together with a passing result on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are three forms of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing might be required in your location, and you may also desire to earn certification, it’s essential that you select an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be handling refrigerants, make certain that the school you pick readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Schools
There are a variety 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. Acquiring a certificate will take the lesser period of time, typically accomplished in as little as six months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will furnish more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief explanation of each credential offered near Monroe GA.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more extensive understanding of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally taking two years to complete, some degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more for a career in management as well as 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 dependent on what your long term career aspirations are, along with the time and money that you have to commit. One approach is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Monroe GA, eventually returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Training Online
Choosing an HVAC program online is one approach to attaining your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. A number 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 attended on the web, this approach may be a more accessible solution for many Monroe GA students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are more economical than other traditional options. Even travelling expenses from Monroe and study materials can be minimized, helping to make schooling more budget-friendly. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family commitments have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your hectic lifestyle.
Questions to Ask HVAC Trade Schools
When you have selected the type of certificate or degree that you want to attain, either online or on campus, you can start to decrease your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are many HVAC trade schools in the Monroe GA area and across the Country to pick from. That’s why it is essential to have a checklist of relevant qualifications when making school assessments. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the first 2 aspects you will take into consideration. Following are some additional ones that you will want to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC technical programs in the Monroe GA area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Make sure that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it can help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of states require that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate might suggest that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It could also indicate that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which can mean more contacts for the school to utilize 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 trade, but additionally that it has the network of Monroe GA HVAC employers to help graduates obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC trade 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 labor unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Monroe GA HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools 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, check with the HVAC technician you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Monroe GA HVAC company if they can provide some pointers. Additionally keep in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Monroe GA home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Talk with a few of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with some of the teachers and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Monroe GA, confirm that the programs you are reviewing provide those options. 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 due to work, sickness or family issues.
Considering an HVAC School near Monroe GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Monroe Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Monroe is a city in Walton County, Georgia, United States. It is located 35 minutes east of Atlanta via US-78 and GA-138 to I-20 westbound and 45 minutes east of Hartsfield Jackson Int'l Airport and is part of the suburban cities in the Atlanta metropolitan area. Monroe is also a city known for its accessibility to Conyers just 20 minutes away and Lawrenceville 35 minutes away. The population was 13,234 at the 2010 census and 13,858 at the 2016 census.
Monroe was the premier cotton producer in the state of Georgia during the 1900s. The two main cotton mills in Monroe used to be the driving economic force in the region. Now the mills no longer produce for the cotton industry, but rather serve as economic engines for the region by showcasing premiere antique markets, event space, and other unique retail.
Monroe is in western Walton County. U.S. Route 78 (Atlanta/Monroe Bypass) passes north of the city, leading east 5 miles (8.0 km) to Loganville, and west 35 miles (51 km) to downtown Atlanta, and east 25 miles to Athens. GA Bus. 10 runs through the city of Monroe. Georgia State Route 11 leads northwest from Monroe 10 miles (16 km) to Winder, the Barrow County seat, and southwest 15 miles (24 km) to Covington. Georgia State Route 138 leads south 18 miles (29 km) to Conyers.
Online Heating and Air Conditioning Schools Monroe 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 Online Heating and Air Conditioning Schools. However, as we have addressed in this article, you should pick an Heating and Cooling training program and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC community. Other factors to look for are plenty of practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should go to each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to tour 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. Also, inquire about scheduling choices and if 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 detailed in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC contractor in Monroe GA.
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