How to Pick the Right Heating and Cooling College near Springfield Georgia
Now that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner specialist, the next step is to locate an HVAC technical school near Springfield GA. But with so many to select from, how do you choose the ideal one to receive the training that you need? Some prospective students will make their choice based entirely on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their home. While these are important factors to consider, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Some of the other details that you need to look into are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and additional benchmarks will be discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we examine how to select an HVAC technical school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling contractor does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, though each state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Obtaining professional certification is not mandatory, but an optional means for Springfield GA HVAC specialists to prove that they are exceptionally qualified and accomplished in their area of specialization. There are many respected certifications within the industry that are offered. Below are a few of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is attained by passing a competency examination and can be received 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 in addition to a passing score on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are made available in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for techs that work with refrigerants. There are three forms of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing could be mandated in your location, and you may also intend to earn certification, it’s imperative that you choose an HVAC vocational school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the program you select prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are a variety of choices available for HVAC instruction in a trade or technical school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, often completed in as little as 6 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 relevant to the position. The degree training programs might provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will provide more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a short explanation of each credential offered near Springfield GA.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They provide a strong foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more extensive background of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally requiring two years to complete, many degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more towards a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional 4 year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Picking the right credential program will be based on what your future career aspirations are, as well as the time and money that you have to commit. One approach is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Springfield GA, subsequently going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Training Online
Attending an HVAC program online is one approach to getting your education and receiving a degree or certificate. Nearly all 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 instead of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes may be participated in via the internet, this approach may be a more practical solution for some Springfield GA students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are less expensive than other traditional choices. Even driving expenses from Springfield and study supplies may be lessened, helping to make schooling more budget-friendly. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family obligations have left you with minimal time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to accommodate school into your hectic lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Certification Classes
Once you have picked the type of certificate or degree that you wish to acquire, either on campus or online, you can begin to limit your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous HVAC trade schools in the Springfield GA area and across the Country to choose from. That’s why it is essential to have a checklist of relevant qualifications when making school evaluations. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the initial 2 factors you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC technical programs in the Springfield GA area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Make certain that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you acquire a superior education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of 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 considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate might indicate that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It may also indicate that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which may result in more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Springfield GA HVAC employers to help graduates acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC trade programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC companies or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with local Springfield GA HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure 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 currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC specialist you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Springfield GA HVAC contractor if they can give you some pointers. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Springfield GA residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Speak with some of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Springfield GA, verify that the schools you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering an HVAC School near Springfield GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Springfield Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Springfield is a city in Effingham County, Georgia, United States. The population was 2,852 at the 2010 census, up from 1,821 in 2000. The city is the county seat of Effingham County. Springfield is part of the Savannah Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Springfield is the seat of government for Effingham County.Ebenezer was the county seat from 1797 to 1799. In 1799, Effingham County had three different county seats. The state legislature appointed a commission to select a new centrally located site for the permanent county seat. A location five miles from the center of the county was chosen and named Springfield, for the plantation of General David Blackshear.
The county government surveyed the new town, and designated streets, lots, and the public squares that were to be used for the courthouse and the jail. The lots were sold to finance the construction of these public buildings. A map drawn in 1821 shows four north–south streets and nine east–west streets. Development of the new county seat was slow, as it was isolated from customary routes of trade. At the turn of the 20th century, it was listed as having only about twelve houses.
Air Conditioning Online Courses Springfield GA
Choosing the right HVAC training program is a crucial beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating and cooling trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Air Conditioning Online Courses. However, as we have covered in this post, you should pick an Heating and Cooling school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC field. Other things to search for are plenty of practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to visit each of the schools in person 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 training and the interaction between them. Additionally, inquire about scheduling options and if evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to inquire about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the proper questions as we have outlined in our checklist for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC specialist in Springfield GA.
More Hot and Cool Locations in Georgia
Business Results 1 - 10 of 54