How to Select the Right Heating and Cooling College near Perry Georgia
Once you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and cooling professional, the next step is to find an HVAC technical school near Perry GA. But with so many to pick from, how do you select the ideal one to obtain the training that you need? Some prospective students will make their choice based solely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Even though these are necessary concerns, they are not the only ones to investigate. Some of the other things that you need to research are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and other benchmarks will be covered in more detail later within this article. But before we tackle how to pick an HVAC trade school, let’s 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 technicians specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are generally mandated to be licensed, although each state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Obtaining professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary means for Perry GA HVAC techs to establish that they are highly qualified and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are multiple respected certifications within the trade that are available. Below are a few of the important 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 together with passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience in addition to a passing result on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are provided in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for techs that work with refrigerants. There are three types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing could be required in your location, and you may also intend to acquire certification, it’s imperative that you select an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be working with refrigerants, make sure that the program you choose prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are a number of choices offered for HVAC training in a trade or technical school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the minimum period of time, typically completed in as little as 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 related to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive edge in the job market and will deliver more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief description of each credential offered near Perry GA.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more exhaustive understanding of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally taking 2 years to complete, some degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more for 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 study how to design them.
Picking the right credential program will be dependent on what your long term career objectives are, in addition to the time and money that you have to invest. One approach is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Perry GA, subsequently going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Classes
Choosing an HVAC school online is one option to getting your training and earning a certificate or degree. Most schools will require 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 may be attended online, this option may be a more practical solution for many Perry GA students that are pressed for time. And some online degree programs are more economical than other on campus choices. Even driving expenses from Perry and study supplies can be minimized, helping to make schooling more budget-friendly. And numerous online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family commitments have left you with limited time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it easier to fit school into your busy schedule.
Questions For HVAC Schools
Once you have selected the type of degree or certificate that you want to earn, either on campus or online, you can begin to decrease your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are many HVAC vocational schools in the Perry GA area and throughout the Country to choose from. That’s why it is imperative to have a checklist of relevant qualifiers when making school evaluations. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the initial 2 aspects you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC trade schools in the Perry GA area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Confirm that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it can help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, a number of states mandate 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 of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate may suggest that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It might also signify that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which may produce more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Perry GA HVAC employers to assist grads acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous 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 trade unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with local Perry GA HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art 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 under regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Perry GA HVAC company if they can provide some pointers. Additionally keep in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Perry GA residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much individualized training as possible, which can be challenging in larger 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 instructors and students. Talk to some of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with a few of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Perry GA, confirm that the programs you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.
Considering an HVAC School near Perry GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Perry Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Perry is a city in Houston and Peach counties in the U.S. state of Georgia. It is the county seat of Houston County. The population was 13,839 at the 2010 census, up from 9,602 at the 2000 census. As of 2015 the estimated population was 15,457. It is part of the Warner Robins, Georgia Metropolitan Statistical Area, within the Macon–Bibb County–Warner Robins Combined Statistical Area.
Founded in 1823 as "Wattsville", the town was located near the center of Houston County and served as its courthouse. The name was soon changed to honor Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, a hero of the War of 1812. The Georgia General Assembly incorporated the town on December 9, 1824. The original city limit was a circle, one mile in diameter, except where bounded on the north by Big Indian Creek.
Antebellum industry in Perry included gristmills, sawmills, and cotton gins. The Houston Home Journal (now the Houston Times-Journal) began publishing in 1870. Cotton was the most significant commodity crop into the 20th century.
Classes for HVAC Certificate Perry GA
Finding the ideal HVAC school program is a crucial beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating and air conditioning trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Classes for HVAC Certificate. However, as we have addressed in this post, you need to choose an Heating and Cooling school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC community. Other factors to look for are ample practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should check out each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to tour the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling options and if evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to ask about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the right 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 proper training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC professional in Perry GA.
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