How to Enroll In the Right Heating and Cooling Degree Program near Moultrie Georgia
Now that you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioner specialist, the next action is to choose an HVAC technical school near Moultrie GA. But with so many to choose from, how do you decide on the best one to receive the training that you require? Some future students will make their choice based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Although these are necessary factors to consider, they are not the only ones to take into account. Some of the other things that you need to investigate are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and other criteria will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we examine how to pick an HVAC trade school, let’s look at what a heating and a/c contractor does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Technician
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, although every state and local municipality has its own criteria. Earning professional certification is not compulsory, but an optional means for Moultrie GA HVAC techs to demonstrate that they are highly qualified and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are a number of respected certifications within the trade that are available. Here are some 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 competency exam and may be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience in addition to passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience together with a passing result on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are offered in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing might be mandated in your area, and you may also desire to acquire certification, it’s essential that you pick an HVAC vocational school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be working with refrigerants, make certain that the school you decide on readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Courses
There are a number of alternatives available for HVAC instruction in a technical or trade school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the lesser period of time, usually completed in just 6 months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will furnish more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short description of each option offered near Moultrie GA.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They provide a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more comprehensive background of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Normally taking 2 years to complete, many degrees include 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 require an Associate Degree, while others are a standard four year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Selecting the ideal credential program will be based on what your future career goals are, together with the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One approach is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Moultrie GA, later returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Courses
Enrolling in an HVAC school online is one possibility to getting your training and earning a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. A number also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes can be attended on the web, this option may be a more convenient solution for some Moultrie GA students that are pressed for time. And some online degree programs are less expensive than other traditional alternatives. Even driving expenses from Moultrie and study materials may 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 responsibilities have left you with limited time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to fit school into your busy lifestyle.
Questions to Ask HVAC Schools
After you have selected the type of degree or certificate that you wish to obtain, either online or on campus, you can start to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Moultrie GA area and across the USA to pick from. That’s why it is essential to have a checklist of key qualifications when making school evaluations. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the first two variables you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you will want to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC vocational programs in the Moultrie GA area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance HVAC technology. Confirm that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you acquire an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate may signify that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It may also suggest that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which can mean more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Moultrie GA HVAC employers to help students obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC training programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC contractors or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local Moultrie GA HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC tech you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Moultrie GA HVAC contracting company if they can provide some suggestions. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Moultrie GA home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much personalized training 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 see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak to some of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Moultrie 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, sickness or family issues.
Considering an HVAC School near Moultrie GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Moultrie Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Moultrie is the county seat and largest city of Colquitt County, Georgia, United States. It is the third largest city in Southwest Georgia, behind Thomasville and Albany. As of the 2010 census, Moultrie's population was 14,268. It was originally known as Ochlockoney until it was incorporated by the Georgia General Assembly in 1859.
Moultrie is an agricultural community set in the Southern Rivers part of Georgia. It is well known for its antique shops and has been styled "The Antique Capital of South Georgia". Moultrie is the home of Former US Senator Saxby Chambliss.
Located in southwest Georgia, Moultrie is in the center of Colquitt County, 24 miles (39 km) west of Interstate 75, and about 200 miles (300 km) south of Atlanta and 60 miles (100 km) northeast of Tallahassee, Florida. The city is located between Albany to the northwest, Tifton to the northeast, Thomasville to the southwest, and Valdosta to the southeast.
HVAC Associates Degree Online Moultrie GA
Picking the right HVAC school program is an important first step toward a gratifying career in the heating & cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Associates Degree Online. However, as we have addressed in this article, you need to select an HVAC training program and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC field. Other features to search for are sufficient hands-on training and modern facilities. You should check out each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to tour 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. Also, ask about scheduling options and whether evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have detailed in our checklist for comparing schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC professional in Moultrie GA.
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