How to Select the Right Heating and Cooling Degree Program near Pooler Georgia
Now that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner specialist, the next step is to find an HVAC technical school near Pooler GA. But with so many to choose from, how do you choose the right one to receive the training that you require? Some prospective students will make their decision based exclusively on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. While these are relevant concerns, they are not the only ones to investigate. Just 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. Those and other criteria will be discussed in more detail later within this article. But before we discuss how to choose an HVAC trade school, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning technician does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Pro
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, however each state and local municipality has its own requirements. Attaining professional certification is not required, but a voluntary way for Pooler GA HVAC techs to establish that they are highly skilled and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are multiple acknowledged certifications within the trade that are available. Below 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 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 required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience in addition to a passing score on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are made available in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing may be required in your location, and you may also intend to obtain certification, it’s essential that you select an HVAC vocational school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the school you decide on prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Classes
There are a number of options offered for HVAC instruction in a vocational or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the minimum amount of time, often completed in as little as six months, although some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will provide more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a short explanation of each credential offered near Pooler GA.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level residential or commercial 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 exhaustive background of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Normally taking two years to finish, a number of 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 require an Associate Degree, while others are a standard four year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Selecting the right credential program will be based on what your long term career goals are, along with the time and money that you have to commit. One option is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Pooler GA, subsequently returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Classes
Attending an HVAC program online is one possibility in getting your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in hands on training. Some also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes may be participated in on the web, this option may be a more convenient solution for many Pooler GA students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other traditional options. Even travelling expenses from Pooler and study supplies can be reduced, helping to make schooling more economical. And numerous online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family commitments have left you with minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to fit school into your busy schedule.
What to Ask HVAC Training Classes
After you have picked the type of degree or certificate that you want to acquire, either online or on campus, you can begin to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are a large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Pooler GA area and across the United States to pick from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a list of key qualifications when making school comparisons. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the first two aspects you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you need to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC trade programs in the Pooler GA area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance HVAC technology. Verify that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you obtain an excellent education, it can assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Also, many states require that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate could indicate that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It may also indicate that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s also important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of graduates, which can mean 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 an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Pooler GA HVAC employers to assist graduates secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC trade programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC contractors or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with local Pooler GA HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using 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. Otherwise, ask a local Pooler GA HVAC company if they can provide some pointers. Also bear in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Pooler GA home. Remember 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 one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Speak with several of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Pooler GA, verify that the programs you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.
Considering an HVAC School near Pooler GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Pooler Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Pooler is a city in Chatham County, Georgia, United States. According to the official 2010 U.S. Census, the population was 19,140, a threefold increase over the 2000 count of 6,239. The 2017 population estimate was 23,816. Pooler is located northwest of Savannah along I-95 and Interstate 16 and is part of the Savannah metropolitan area.
During the Civil War, Pooler was a railway stop called Pooler's Station—the last stop before Savannah on the Central of Georgia Railway. In December 1864, Pooler was a meeting place for Union officers led by William Tecumseh Sherman, who negotiated with Savannah authorities for the strategic port city's peaceful surrender.
Today, Pooler is the center for commercial development in west Chatham County. Godley Station, the center for business development, has been successful in attracting large companies such as construction equipment manufacturer JCB to the area. Newer shopping centers such as The Shops at Godley Station are bringing new revenue to the area. Low crime and a small-town community atmosphere have all been factors in its explosive growth. Pooler is now one of Georgia's fastest-growing cities.
HVAC Course Outline Pooler GA
Enrolling in the right HVAC training program is an important beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating & cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Course Outline. However, as we have addressed in this article, you should pick an HVAC vocational school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC profession. Other factors to look for are lots of practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should go to each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. In addition, inquire about scheduling choices and whether night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to inquire about financial aid and student loan options too. If you ask the right questions as we have detailed in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC technician in Pooler GA.
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