How to Choose the Right Heating and Cooling Certification Course near Warm Springs Georgia
Once you have decided on a career as a heating and cooling professional, the next step is to look for an HVAC trade school near Warm Springs GA. But with so many to select from, how do you select the best one to obtain the training that you require? Some future students will make their selection based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Even though these are necessary factors to consider, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Just some of the other things 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 in this article. But before we tackle how to pick an HVAC training program, let’s take a look at what a heating and air conditioning professional does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, however each state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Earning professional certification is not required, but an optional way for Warm Springs GA HVAC technicians to demonstrate that they are exceptionally qualified and accomplished in their area of specialization. There are a number of recognized certifications within the industry 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 examination and may be earned 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 exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience together with a passing score on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for techs that handle refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing may be mandated in your location, and you may also desire to earn certification, it’s essential that you enroll in an HVAC trade school that will train 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 several options available for HVAC instruction in a trade or technical school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the least period of time, often completed in just 6 months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially 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 deliver more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short description of each option offered near Warm Springs GA.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They provide a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more extensive background of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Normally taking two years to complete, a number of degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more for a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional 4 year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Picking the right credential program will be dependent on what your future career objectives are, in addition to the time and money that you have to invest. One option is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Warm Springs GA, later returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, be sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Training Online
Attending an HVAC program online is one option in attaining your education and earning a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. Many also provide 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 attended via the internet, this alternative may be a more accessible solution for some Warm Springs GA students that are pressed for time. And some online degree programs are less costly than other traditional options. Even driving expenses from Warm Springs and study supplies may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of 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, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to fit school into your busy schedule.
What to Ask HVAC Schools
When you have chosen the type of degree or certificate that you desire to earn, either on campus or online, you can start to decrease your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of HVAC technical schools in the Warm Springs GA area and across the Country to pick from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a checklist of key qualifiers when making school evaluations. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the initial 2 aspects you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you should research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC vocational programs in the Warm Springs GA area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Confirm that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you obtain a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, some states require that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate might signify that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It could also suggest that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of graduates, which can mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Warm Springs GA HVAC employers to help grads secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC technical programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling companies or labor unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with local Warm Springs GA HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC tech you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Warm Springs GA HVAC company if they can give you some tips. Also bear in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Warm Springs GA home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Talk with some of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with a few of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Warm Springs GA, check that the programs you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family issues.
Considering an HVAC School near Warm Springs GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Warm Springs Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Warm Springs, Georgia
Warm Springs, originally named Bullochville (after the Bulloch family, the family of Martha Bulloch Roosevelt), first came to prominence in the 19th century as a spa town, because of its mineral springs which flow constantly at nearly 90 °F (32 °C). Residents of Georgia, particularly Savannah, began spending vacations at Bullochville in the late 18th century as a way to escape yellow fever, finding the number of warm springs in the vicinity of Bullochville very attractive. In the late 19th century traveling to the warm springs was attractive as a way to get away from Atlanta.[clarification needed] Traveling by railroad to Durand, they would then go to Bullochville. One of the places benefiting from this was the Meriwether Inn. Once the automobile became popular in the early 20th century, the tourists began going elsewhere, starting the decline of the Meriwether Inn.
In 1921, Franklin Roosevelt contracted a paralytic illness, diagnosed at the time as polio, now thought[by whom?] to be Guillain–Barré syndrome. He tried to regain strength in his legs by bathing and exercising in the warm water. His first time in Warm Springs was October 1924. He went to a resort in the town whose attraction was a permanent 88-degree natural spring, but whose main house was described as "ramshackle". It became famous as the Little White House, where Roosevelt lived while president, because of his paralytic illness. He died there in 1945 and it is now a public museum. Roosevelt first came in the 1920s in hopes that the warm water would improve his paraplegia. He was a constant visitor for two decades, and renamed the town from Bullochville to Warm Springs. The town is still home to the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation (Roosevelt's former polio hospital) which remains a world-renowned comprehensive rehabilitation center including a physical rehabilitation hospital and vocational rehabilitation unit. The springs are not available for public use as a bath/spa resort, but they are used by the Roosevelt Institute for therapeutic purposes.
As of the census of 2010, there were 485 people, 172 households, and 107 families residing in the city. The population density was 409.7 people per square mile (158.7/km²). There were 208 housing units at an average density of 175.7 per square mile (68.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 67.22% White, 31.75% African American, and 1.03% from two or more races.
How to Choose HVAC Degree Programs Warm Springs GA
Enrolling in the right HVAC school course is a crucial first step toward a gratifying career in the heating and cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding How to Choose HVAC Degree Programs. However, as we have covered in this post, you need to pick an HVAC school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC trade. Other factors to look for are plenty of practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should check out each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Also, inquire about scheduling choices and whether or not evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial assistance and student loan options as well. If you ask the proper questions as we have detailed in our guidelines for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices 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 Warm Springs GA.
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