How to Choose the Right Heating and Cooling Training Class near Sharon Georgia
Once you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and cooling specialist, the next step is to choose an HVAC vocational school near Sharon GA. But with so many to pick from, how do you pick the ideal one to obtain the training that you require? Many potential students will make their choice based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. Although these are relevant considerations, they are not the only ones to investigate. Just some of the other details that you need to look into 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 discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we explore how to pick an HVAC trade school, let’s look at what a heating and cooling technician does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Pro
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are generally required to be licensed, however every state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Earning professional certification is not compulsory, but an optional way for Sharon GA HVAC techs to establish that they are highly proficient and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are many respected certifications within the field that are available. Below 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 examination and can be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available 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 score on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are provided in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for techs that handle refrigerants. There are three types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing might be required in your location, and you may also wish to earn certification, it’s important that you enroll in an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be handling refrigerants, make certain that the program you choose preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Classes
There are a variety of choices available for HVAC instruction in a technical or vocational school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, usually achieved in as little as 6 months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree training programs may provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will furnish more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief summary of each credential offered near Sharon GA.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more exhaustive knowledge of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually taking 2 years to complete, some degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more towards a career in management as well as 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 air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Selecting the right credential program will be dependent on what your long term career objectives are, along with the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One approach is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Sharon GA, subsequently returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make certain to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Schools Online
Attending an HVAC program online is one approach in attaining your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. A number also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes may be attended on the web, this alternative may be a more practical solution for some Sharon GA students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are more economical than other on campus choices. Even driving expenses from Sharon and study supplies may be reduced, helping to make schooling more economical. And a large number of online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family responsibilities have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your active lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Training Programs
As soon as you have decided on the type of certificate or degree that you would like to obtain, either online or on campus, you can begin to decrease your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous HVAC technical schools in the Sharon GA area and throughout the USA to select from. That’s why it is essential to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school comparisons. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the initial two variables you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you will want to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC technical programs in the Sharon GA area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as HVAC technology. Make sure that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, many states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate might indicate that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It might also suggest that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It’s also essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, 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 an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Sharon GA HVAC employers to assist grads acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC vocational programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC companies or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with local Sharon GA HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC technician you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Sharon GA HVAC company if they can provide some pointers. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Sharon GA home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Talk with several of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with a few of the teachers and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Sharon GA, check that the schools you are reviewing provide 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 due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering an HVAC School near Sharon GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Sharon Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
The community of Sharon is visible on maps as early as 1865. Its residents incorporated as a city in 1884. Around that time and into the 1890s, Sharon was bustling with thousands of travelers who came there for the reputed healing powers of the nearby Electric Health Resort, where it was said that exposure to bedrock in a subterranean chamber provided electrical healing powers. The resort, which included a hotel, lake, and post office, eventually burned down.
As of the census of 2000, there were 105 people, 46 households, and 28 families residing in the city. The population density was 134.2 people per square mile (52.0/km²). There were 53 housing units at an average density of 67.7 per square mile (26.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 27.62% White, 71.43% African American and 0.95% Asian.
There were 46 households out of which 17.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.5% were married couples living together, 15.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.0% were non-families. 32.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 2.86.
School for Air Conditioning Sharon GA
Enrolling in the right HVAC training program is a crucial beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating & cooling trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding School for Air Conditioning. However, as we have discussed in this post, you need to select an HVAC technical school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC field. Other things to look for are sufficient hands-on training and modern facilities. You need to check out each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to tour the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. In addition, ask about scheduling options and if night or weekend classes are offered 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 checklist for assessing 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 contractor in Sharon GA.
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