How to Choose the Right HVAC Certification Course near Union Point Georgia
Once you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next step is to choose an HVAC vocational school near Union Point GA. But with so many to choose from, how do you pick the ideal one to receive the training that you require? A number of prospective students will make their selection based entirely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their home. While these are relevant concerns, they are not the only ones to investigate. A few of the other things that you need to investigate are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and other benchmarks will be covered in more detail later within this article. But before we examine how to select an HVAC technical school, let’s look at what a heating and cooling contractor 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, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, though every state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Acquiring professional certification is not required, but an optional way for Union Point GA HVAC technicians to establish that they are highly qualified and experienced 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 makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience in addition to passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience together with 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 technicians that handle refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing may be mandated in your location, and you may also wish to acquire certification, it’s important 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 sure that the school you decide on readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Schools
There are a number of choices offered for HVAC instruction in a trade or technical school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the minimum amount of time, usually accomplished in just six months, however 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 programs may 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 Union Point GA.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They provide a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more extensive knowledge of heating & 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 tailored more towards 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 mastering how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Selecting the appropriate credential program will be based on what your long term career aspirations are, together with the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One approach is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Union Point GA, later going back to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, be sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Training Online
Choosing an HVAC program online is one approach in obtaining your training and receiving a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. Many also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes may be attended online, this alternative may be a more accessible solution for many Union Point GA students that are pressed for time. And some online degree programs are less expensive than other traditional alternatives. Even commuting expenses from Union Point and study supplies can be minimized, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And many online schools 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 HVAC online training program will make it easier to fit school into your busy schedule.
What to Ask HVAC Schools
Once you have decided on the type of degree or certificate that you would like to obtain, either online or on campus, you can start to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Union Point GA area and all over the Country to choose from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a list of important qualifications when making school evaluations. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the initial 2 factors you will take into consideration. Following are some additional ones that you need to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC technical programs in the Union Point GA area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Make certain that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you get an excellent education, it can assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many states require that the HVAC training course be accredited for it 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 may suggest that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It might also indicate that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which may mean 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 a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Union Point GA HVAC employers to assist grads secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC technical programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling contractors or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with local Union Point GA HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC specialist you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Union Point GA HVAC contracting company if they can provide some tips. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Union Point GA home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much personalized training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Talk with some of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Union Point GA, check that the schools you are looking at provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering an HVAC School near Union Point GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Union Point Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Union Point, Georgia
Union Point is located in eastern Greene County at 33°36′59″N 83°4′26″W / 33.61639°N 83.07389°W / 33.61639; -83.07389 (33.616263, -83.073905).U.S. Route 278 passes through the city as Lamb Avenue, leading east 11 miles (18 km) to Crawfordville and west 7 miles (11 km) to Greensboro, the Greene County seat. Georgia State Route 77 leads north 23 miles (37 km) to Lexington and south 5 miles (8 km) to Interstate 20 at Siloam, and State Route 44 leads northeast 22 miles (35 km) to Washington.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,669 people, 651 households, and 421 families residing in the city. The population density was 811.4 people per square mile (312.8/km²). There were 744 housing units at an average density of 361.7 per square mile (139.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 51.47% White, 46.38% African American, 0.66% Asian, 0.84% from other races, and 0.66% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.10% of the population.
There were 651 households out of which 32.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.3% were married couples living together, 24.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.3% were non-families. 31.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 3.08.
How to Choose HVAC Trade Schools Union Point GA
Picking the ideal HVAC training program is a critical beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating and air conditioning industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding How to Choose HVAC Trade Schools. However, as we have covered in this post, you should pick an Heating and Cooling trade school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC field. Other factors to search for are sufficient 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 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. Additionally, ask about scheduling options and whether night 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 appropriate questions as we have laid out in our checklist for comparing schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC professional in Union Point GA.
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