How to Enroll In the Right HVAC College near Thomaston Georgia
Once you have decided on a career as a heating and cooling technician, the next action is to locate an HVAC technical school near Thomaston GA. But with so many to select from, how do you select the ideal one to receive the training that you require? A number of potential students will make their choice based exclusively on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Although these are necessary considerations, they are not the only ones to investigate. Just some of the other factors 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 other criteria will be covered in more detail later within this article. But before we tackle how to select an HVAC technical school, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning specialist does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Tech
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, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are generally required to be licensed, though each state and local municipality has its own requirements. Attaining professional certification is not required, but an alternative means for Thomaston GA HVAC techs to prove that they are exceptionally proficient and accomplished in their area of specialization. There are several acknowledged certifications within the field that are available. Below are a few of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is earned by passing a competency exam and can be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of professional experience as well as passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience in addition to a passing score on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are provided in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are three forms of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing might be mandated in your location, and you may also wish to acquire certification, it’s important that you enroll in an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be handling refrigerants, make certain that the school you choose preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Classes
There are a number of choices offered for HVAC training in a technical or vocational 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 just six months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of 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 provide more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief description of each option offered near Thomaston GA.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more comprehensive background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Generally requiring 2 years to finish, some degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more for a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a standard 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 long term career goals are, together with the time and money that you have to invest. One possibility is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Thomaston GA, eventually going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Courses
Attending an HVAC school online is one alternative to obtaining your education and receiving a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. Many also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes may be participated in via the internet, this alternative may be a more practical solution for many Thomaston GA students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are less costly than other traditional options. Even commuting expenses from Thomaston and study materials can be lessened, helping to make schooling more affordable. And numerous online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family obligations have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask HVAC Training Classes
As soon as you have picked the type of certificate or degree that you wish to acquire, either on campus or online, you can begin to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are many HVAC vocational schools in the Thomaston GA area and throughout the Country to pick from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a list of important qualifiers when making school evaluations. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the initial 2 aspects you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you need to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC vocational schools in the Thomaston GA area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Make certain that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you acquire a quality education, it can help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Additionally, a number of 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 reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate could signify that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It could also mean that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which may produce 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 an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Thomaston GA HVAC employers to assist grads obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC training programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC businesses or trade unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with local Thomaston GA HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also provides employment 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 up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC tech you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Thomaston GA HVAC contractor if they can provide some pointers. Additionally keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Thomaston GA residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be increased 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 bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Speak with a few of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to a few of the teachers and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Thomaston GA, check that the schools you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering an HVAC School near Thomaston GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Thomaston Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Thomaston is a city in and the county seat of Upson County,Georgia, United States. The population was 9,638 at the 2006 census. It is the principal city of and is included in the Thomaston, Georgia Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Atlanta - Sandy Springs (GA) - Gainesville (GA) - Alabama (partial) Combined Statistical Area.
Thomaston was incorporated on January 1, 1825, and designated as the seat of Upson County. The town was named for General Jett Thomas, an Indian fighter in the War of 1812. Jett is also credited with assisting in the construction of the state capitol at Milledgeville in 1805-7 and Franklin College on the campus of the University of Georgia in 1806.
The judges of the inferior court had the authority to sell lots to individuals on a one-third cash basis with two years to complete the payment. This money was used to build the first courthouse, which was completed in 1828. The second courthouse was completed in 1852, and the present courthouse was erected in 1908. In the southeast corner of the square is a cannonball mounted on a marble base, said to be the first fired at Fort Sumter, off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina. P. W. Alexander, a noted correspondent during the Civil War (1861–65) and a citizen of Upson County, retrieved it.
How Long is HVAC Training Thomaston GA
Picking the right HVAC school course is a critical beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating and air conditioning trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding How Long is HVAC Training. However, as we have covered in this article, you should choose an Heating and Cooling technical school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC community. Other factors to search for are lots of practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to go to each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to tour the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. In addition, inquire about scheduling choices and if night or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to inquire about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the right questions as we have outlined in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to narrow down 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 specialist in Thomaston GA.
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