How to Select the Right HVAC Training Class near Swainsboro Georgia
Now that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next action is to look for an HVAC trade school near Swainsboro GA. But with so many to select from, how do you decide on the right one to receive the training that you require? Some future students will make their choice based solely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. While these are relevant concerns, they are not the only ones to investigate. Some of the other factors 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. Those and other benchmarks will be discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we explore how to select an HVAC trade school, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning contractor does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Tech
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, though every state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Attaining professional certification is not compulsory, but a voluntary way for Swainsboro GA HVAC specialists to prove that they are exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are several recognized certifications within the field that are available. Here are a few of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is earned by passing a proficiency exam and can 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 examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience as well as a passing score on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for techs that work with refrigerants. There are three types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing could be mandated in your area, and you may also intend to earn certification, it’s imperative that you enroll in an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be working with refrigerants, make certain that the program you select readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree Schools
There are a variety of options available for HVAC instruction in a vocational or trade school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, typically achieved in just 6 months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree training programs might provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will provide more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief explanation of each option offered near Swainsboro GA.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They provide a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more exhaustive background of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically requiring 2 years to finish, many degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more towards a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional four year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.
Selecting the right credential program will be based on what your future career objectives are, in addition to 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 gaining some experience in the trade in Swainsboro GA, eventually going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Classes
Choosing an HVAC school online is one approach to getting your education and receiving a certificate or degree. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. A number also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes can be attended online, this alternative may be a more accessible solution for some Swainsboro GA students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are less costly than other traditional options. Even travelling expenses from Swainsboro and study materials may be reduced, helping to make schooling more budget-friendly. And a large number of online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family commitments have left you with limited time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your busy schedule.
What to Ask HVAC Schools
Once you have picked the type of degree or certificate that you wish to acquire, either on campus or online, you can begin to decrease your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Swainsboro GA area and all over the USA to choose from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of key qualifications when making school evaluations. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the first two variables you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you should research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC trade schools in the Swainsboro GA area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Make certain that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you acquire an excellent education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, many states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited for it 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 portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate could suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It might also signify 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 directory of graduates, which may mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Swainsboro GA HVAC employers to assist graduates secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC training 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 within their network of Heating and Cooling companies or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have working relationships with local Swainsboro GA HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained 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, check with the HVAC tech you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Swainsboro GA HVAC contractor if they can provide some tips. Also keep in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Swainsboro GA residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may 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 couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Speak to some of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to a few of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Swainsboro GA, verify that the programs you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.
Considering an HVAC School near Swainsboro GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Swainsboro Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Swainsboro is located near the center of Emanuel County at 32°35'37" North, 82°19'56" West (32.593743, -82.332146).U.S. Route 80 passes through the center of the city, and U.S. Route 1 bypasses it to the west. US 80 leads east 36 miles (58 km) to Statesboro and west 36 miles (58 km) to Dublin, while US 1 leads north 62 miles (100 km) to Augusta and south 106 miles (171 km) to Waycross. Interstate 16 is 14 miles (23 km) south of Swainsboro via US 1.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 12.9 square miles (33.5 km2), of which 12.6 square miles (32.6 km2) is land and 0.35 square miles (0.9 km2), or 2.81%, is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 6,943 people, 2,685 households, and 1,836 families residing in the city. The population density was 560.5 people per square mile (216.4/km²). There were 3,051 housing units at an average density of 246.3 per square mile (95.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 48.06% White, 49.68% African American, 0.14% Native American, 0.35% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 1.22% from other races, and 0.53% from two or more races. 2.03% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
HVAC Certification Classes Near Me Swainsboro GA
Picking the ideal HVAC training program is an important beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating and air conditioning trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Certification Classes Near Me. However, as we have discussed in this article, you should select an HVAC training program and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC community. Other features to look for are ample hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to visit each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. In addition, inquire about scheduling options and whether evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial aid and student loan options too. If you ask the right 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 educated decision. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC professional in Swainsboro GA.
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