How to Pick the Right Heating and Cooling Certification Training near Nashville Georgia
Now that you have decided on a career as a heating and cooling technician, the next step is to choose an HVAC technical school near Nashville GA. But with so many to pick from, how do you decide on the right one to receive the training that you require? Many potential students will make their selection based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their home. While these are significant considerations, they are not the only ones to investigate. Some of the other things 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 benchmarks will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we tackle how to choose an HVAC technical school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling specialist does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Tech
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, although each state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Acquiring professional certification is not mandatory, but an alternative means for Nashville GA HVAC techs to demonstrate that they are exceptionally skilled and experienced in their area of expertise. There are several recognized certifications within the trade that are available. Following are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is achieved by passing a proficiency exam and may be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience as well as passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 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 mandatory for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing might be mandated in your location, and you may also desire to obtain certification, it’s important that you select an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be handling refrigerants, make sure that the program you pick prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Training Programs
There are a number of alternatives available for HVAC instruction in a vocational or trade school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the lesser period of time, usually accomplished in just six months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree training programs may provide a competitive edge in the job market and will furnish more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short summary of each credential offered near Nashville GA.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They provide a strong foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more comprehensive background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Normally taking 2 years to complete, some 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 require an Associate Degree, while others are a standard four year program. In addition to learning 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 dependent on what your long term career aspirations are, together with 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 field in Nashville GA, subsequently returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, be sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Training
Attending an HVAC school online is one possibility in attaining your education and receiving a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. A number also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be attended via the internet, this alternative may be a more practical solution for some Nashville GA students that are pressed for time. And some online degree programs are less costly than other traditional choices. Even travelling expenses from Nashville and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family obligations have left you with limited time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your active lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Training Classes
When you have selected the type of degree or certificate that you would like to obtain, either online or on campus, you can begin to decrease your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Nashville GA area and across the United States to choose from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a checklist of key qualifications when making school evaluations. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the initial two variables you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you will want to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC trade programs in the Nashville GA area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance HVAC technology. Verify that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you receive a superior education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, a number of states require that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate might suggest that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It could also mean that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which can mean more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Nashville GA HVAC employers to assist graduates obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC vocational programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC contractors or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with local Nashville GA HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC specialist you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Nashville GA HVAC contracting company if they can provide some suggestions. Also bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Nashville GA residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive 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 large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Talk with several of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with a few of the teachers and find out 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 attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Nashville GA, confirm that the schools you are considering offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Considering an HVAC School near Nashville GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Nashville Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Nashville is a city in Berrien County, Georgia, United States. The population was 4,939 at the 2010 census. The city is the county seat of Berrien County. It is called the "City of Dogwoods", as the tree grows in large numbers around the area.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.7 square miles (12.2 km2), of which 4.6 square miles (12.0 km2) is land and 0.039 square miles (0.1 km2), or 1.13%, is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 4,697 people, 1,864 households, and 1,213 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,012.2 people per square mile (390.8/km²). There were 2,098 housing units at an average density of 452.1 per square mile (174.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 75.94% White, 21.57% African American, 0.28% Native American, 0.45% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.92% from other races, and 0.83% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.58% of the population.
Degree In HVAC Nashville GA
Picking the right HVAC school program is a critical first step toward a gratifying career in the heating & cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Degree In HVAC. 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 exceptional reputations within the HVAC community. Other factors to search for are sufficient practical training and modern facilities. You need to check out each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. In addition, ask about scheduling choices and whether or not night or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have outlined in our checklist for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC technician in Nashville GA.
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