How to Find the Right HVAC School near Newton Georgia
Now that you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioner professional, the next action is to locate an HVAC technical school near Newton GA. But with so many to choose from, how do you decide on the right one to get the training that you need? A number of prospective students will make their decision based entirely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Although these are necessary concerns, they are not the only ones to investigate. A few of the other details that you need to research are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and additional criteria will be addressed in more detail later within this article. But before we tackle how to select an HVAC vocational school, let’s look at what a heating and a/c professional does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Tech
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, although each state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Earning professional certification is not mandatory, but an alternative means for Newton GA HVAC specialists to establish that they are highly skilled and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are multiple acknowledged certifications within the field that are offered. Below are a few of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is earned by passing a competency exam and may be received in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of professional experience as well as passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience in addition to a passing result on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are made available in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for techs that work with refrigerants. There are three types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing might be mandated in your location, and you may also intend to obtain certification, it’s important that you pick an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be working with refrigerants, make sure that the program you choose preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Schools
There are a number of options offered for HVAC training in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the lesser period of time, typically completed in just 6 months, however some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree training programs may provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will provide more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short summary of each option offered near Newton GA.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more detailed understanding of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Generally requiring 2 years to finish, some degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more for a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a standard four year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Selecting the appropriate credential program will be based on what your future career aspirations are, as well as the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One possibility is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Newton GA, eventually returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Training Online
Enrolling in an HVAC school online is one approach in obtaining your training and receiving a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. Many also provide 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 via the internet, this alternative may be a more convenient solution for some Newton GA students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are less expensive than other traditional alternatives. Even commuting expenses from Newton and study materials may be reduced, 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 commitments have left you with limited time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your hectic lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Trade Schools
Once you have picked the type of certificate or degree that you want to obtain, either on campus or online, you can start to narrow down your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are a large number of HVAC trade schools in the Newton GA area and across the United States to select from. That’s why it is imperative to have a checklist of relevant qualifiers when making school assessments. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the first two factors you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you should research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC vocational schools in the Newton GA area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Verify that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you acquire a superior education, it may help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate may indicate that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It may also indicate that the instructors 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 broader directory of graduates, which may mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Newton GA HVAC employers to assist grads secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC technical programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC businesses or trade unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Newton GA HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus 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 already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC tech you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Newton GA HVAC company if they can give you some suggestions. Additionally keep in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Newton GA home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Talk to several of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to some of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Newton GA, verify that the programs you are considering offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family issues.
Considering an HVAC School near Newton GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Newton Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.0 square miles (7.8 km2), of which 2.9 square miles (7.5 km2) is land and 0.12 square miles (0.3 km2), or 3.50%, is water.
According to the census of 2000, there were 851 people, 320 households, and 228 families residing in the city. The population density was 292.7 people per square mile (112.9/km²). There were 346 housing units at an average density of 119.0 per square mile (45.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 43.60% White, 53.94% African American, 0.12% Native American, 0.94% from other races, and 1.41% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.00% of the population.
There were 320 households out of which 38.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.1% were married couples living together, 28.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.8% were non-families. 25.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.66 and the average family size was 3.17.
Associate Degree in HVAC Newton GA
Picking the right HVAC school program is a critical beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating & cooling trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Associate Degree in HVAC. However, as we have discussed in this article, you should select an HVAC technical school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC field. Other features to search for are lots of hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should go to each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to inspect 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 options and whether or not night or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options as well. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have outlined in our checklist for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC contractor in Newton GA.
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