How to Enroll In the Right Heating and Cooling Certification Class near Oglethorpe Georgia
Once you have decided on a career as a heating and cooling specialist, the next action is to locate an HVAC technical school near Oglethorpe GA. But with so many to pick from, how do you select the best one to get the training that you need? Some potential students will make their selection based entirely on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their home. While these are important considerations, they are not the only ones to take into account. Some 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 additional criteria will be addressed in more detail later in this article. But before we discuss how to choose an HVAC technical school, let’s take a look at what a heating and air conditioning professional does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, however each state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Obtaining professional certification is not required, but a voluntary means for Oglethorpe GA HVAC technicians to demonstrate that they are highly skilled and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are several respected certifications within the industry that are available. Following are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is achieved by passing a proficiency 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 3 years of experience along with a passing score on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing might be mandated in your location, and you may also wish to earn certification, it’s important that you choose an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be handling refrigerants, make sure that the school you choose readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree Classes
There are a number of alternatives offered for HVAC instruction in a technical or vocational school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, usually accomplished in as little as six months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree programs may provide a competitive edge in the job market and will deliver more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief description of each option offered near Oglethorpe GA.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They provide a solid foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more exhaustive background of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally taking 2 years to finish, a number of degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more towards a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional four year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Picking the appropriate credential program will be based on what your future career goals are, in addition to the time and money that you have to commit. One approach is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Oglethorpe GA, later going back to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Schools Online
Enrolling in an HVAC program online is one approach in attaining your education and receiving a degree or certificate. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete practical training. Some also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be participated in on the web, this alternative may be a more practical solution for some Oglethorpe GA students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even travelling expenses from Oglethorpe and study supplies may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family responsibilities have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to fit school into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask HVAC Training Programs
After you have chosen the type of certificate or degree that you wish to attain, either on campus or online, you can start to decrease your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are many HVAC vocational schools in the Oglethorpe GA area and across the Country to pick from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of key qualifiers when making school comparisons. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the initial 2 variables you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you need to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC trade schools in the Oglethorpe GA area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Make sure that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you obtain a quality education, it can assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, some states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate may signify that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It might also signify that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which can produce more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Oglethorpe GA HVAC employers to assist grads obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC training programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling companies or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with local Oglethorpe GA HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to establish 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 using on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC tech you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Oglethorpe GA HVAC company if they can give you some tips. Additionally keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Oglethorpe GA home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in 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 individualized training 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 instructors. Speak with a few of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the instructors and learn 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 evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Oglethorpe GA, verify that the programs you are considering offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering an HVAC School near Oglethorpe GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Oglethorpe Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia
Fort Oglethorpe is a city predominantly in Catoosa County with some portions in Walker County in the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 9,263. It is part of the Chattanooga, TN–GA Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is home to Lakeview – Fort Oglethorpe High School.
The United States Army established a cavalry post at the site of Hargrave, Georgia, an unincorporated town situated next to the Chickamauga National Battlefield. The existing settlement was named for a Confederate soldier, William Hamilton Hargrave, who along with his wife Amelia Cecilia Strange-Hargrave owned most of the land in the area. The couple was well known in the 19th century to travellers heading to Ross's Landing on the Tennessee River from LaFayette, Georgia. William Hargrave and other landowners in the area were forced to sell their property to the Army to be used as a base for the 6th Cavalry. The Chickamauga Post established in 1902 by the U.S. Army was later named Fort Oglethorpe after James Oglethorpe, the founder of the Colony of Georgia. During World War I and World War II, the area served as a war-time induction and processing center, and also housed German prisoners of war. Fort Oglethorpe was a major training center for the Women's Army Corps during World War II. The post was declared surplus in 1947 and sold to civilians, forming the nucleus for a city that was incorporated in 1949.
Fort Oglethorpe is located in western Catoosa County and northeastern Walker County at 34°56′44″N 85°14′44″W / 34.94556°N 85.24556°W / 34.94556; -85.24556 (34.945683, -85.245653). It is 9 miles (14 km) south of Chattanooga, Tennessee, by U.S. Route 27, which also leads south 18 miles (29 km) to LaFayette, Georgia. The Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park takes up the southern two-thirds of the city's area.
HVAC Technician Training Cost Oglethorpe GA
Picking the ideal HVAC school course is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating and air conditioning trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Technician Training Cost. However, as we have covered in this post, you need to pick an Heating and Cooling technical school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC community. Other features to search for are lots of practical training and modern facilities. You should check out each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to explore the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. In addition, inquire about scheduling options and if evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to ask about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the proper questions as we have laid out in our guidelines for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC contractor in Oglethorpe GA.
More Hot and Cool Locations in Georgia
Business Results 1 - 10 of 13