How to Select the Right Heating and Cooling Certification Course near Pine Lake Georgia
Once you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning professional, the next step is to choose an HVAC vocational school near Pine Lake GA. But with so many to pick from, how do you select the right one to obtain the training that you need? A number of prospective students will make their choice based solely on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. Even though these are relevant concerns, they are not the only ones to investigate. A few of the other details 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 additional criteria will be covered in more detail later within this article. But before we discuss how to pick an HVAC training program, let’s look at what a heating and a/c professional does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Contractor
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors 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 mandated to be licensed, however every state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Obtaining professional certification is not compulsory, but a voluntary way for Pine Lake GA HVAC specialists to establish that they are highly proficient and accomplished in their area of specialization. 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 techs. The certification is attained by passing a competency examination and may be received in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 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 along with a passing result on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are offered in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for techs that handle refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing may be required in your area, and you may also wish to acquire certification, it’s imperative that you choose an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be working with refrigerants, make sure that the program you decide on prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are several options available for HVAC training in a vocational or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the least amount of time, usually accomplished in as little as six months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will deliver more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief summary of each credential offered near Pine Lake GA.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more extensive background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Normally requiring two years to finish, many 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 as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional 4 year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Choosing the right credential program will be dependent on what your future career aspirations are, as well as the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One possibility is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Pine Lake GA, eventually returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Training Online
Attending an HVAC program online is one possibility to getting your education and earning a certificate or degree. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to complete practical training. Some also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes can be attended via the internet, this alternative may be a more accessible solution for many Pine Lake GA students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are less costly than other traditional options. Even commuting expenses from Pine Lake and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family obligations have left you with limited time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it easier to fit school into your busy schedule.
What to Ask HVAC Training Programs
After you have selected the type of degree or certificate that you desire to acquire, either on campus or online, you can begin to limit your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are many HVAC vocational schools in the Pine Lake GA area and throughout the United States to pick from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school assessments. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the initial two aspects you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you should research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC trade schools in the Pine Lake GA area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Make certain that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain a superior education, it can help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many states require that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are considering 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 dissatisfied with the program and quit. It could also mean that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which may result in more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Pine Lake GA HVAC employers to assist graduates secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC technical programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC contractors or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with local Pine Lake GA HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure 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 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 Pine Lake GA HVAC company if they can give you some suggestions. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Pine Lake GA home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get 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 big they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Speak to a few of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with a few of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Pine Lake GA, verify that the programs you are comparing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, 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 Pine Lake GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Pine Lake Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Pine Lake, Georgia
Pine Lake was established as a city in December 1937, after a short life as a summer retreat run by the Pine Woods Corporation. The corporation sold lots around a small fishing lake to Atlantans who lived in (then) faraway areas like Buckhead for use as a weekend retreat. The 20' x 100' lots sold for $69, and the advertisement for lots directed people "from Decatur down the [unpaved] Rockbridge Road East." Many homeowners continued to use their property as a weekend getaway long after the city incorporated. Prior to development, Pine Lake was a portion of a farm. The lake was formerly a widened region of Snapfinger Creek, and the valley that encompasses much of the town was where corn was grown. The lake was dammed by the Army Corp of Engineers as erosion and flood control, prior to the official FDR lake projects.
As of the census of 2000, there were 621 people, 321 households, and 139 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,293.0 people per square mile (1,261.9/km²). There were 349 housing units at an average density of 1,850.7 per square mile (709.2/km²). The population data was challenged in 2002 and the Census agreed that the housing units were under surveyed. The insufficient survey was due to the lack of postal delivery in the city (as with cities with fewer than 750 individual units). The Tax digest listed 690 houses. Since no official survey was done on all households, the Census did not change the population. The racial makeup of the city was 74.72% White, 17.55% African American, 0.16% Native American, 0.16% Pacific Islander, 3.54% from other races, and 3.86% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.76% of the population.
There were 321 households out of which 18.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 26.5% were married couples living together, 12.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 56.4% were non-families. 39.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 2.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.93 and the average family size was 2.58.
Heating and Air Conditioning Degree Pine Lake GA
Choosing the right HVAC school program is a crucial beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating and air conditioning field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Heating and Air Conditioning Degree. However, as we have discussed in this article, you should select an Heating and Cooling training program and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC trade. Other things to search for are lots of hands-on training and modern facilities. You should visit each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to explore the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. In addition, ask about scheduling choices and if 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 laid out in our guidelines for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to filter your options 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 Pine Lake GA.
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