How to Choose HVAC Certificate Programs Warner Robins GA

How to Enroll In the Right HVAC Certificate Program near Warner Robins Georgia

air conditioner condensers in Warner Robins GAOnce you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next step is to look for an HVAC vocational school near Warner Robins GA. But with so many to choose from, how do you select the best one to receive the training that you require? Many future students will make their decision based entirely on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their home. While these are significant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Some of the other details that you need to investigate are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and additional benchmarks will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we examine how to choose an HVAC vocational school, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c professional does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Professional

Warner Robins GA HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, although each state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Obtaining professional certification is not required, but a voluntary way for Warner Robins GA HVAC technicians to prove that they are highly proficient and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are many respected certifications within the industry that are offered. Here are some of the important ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is achieved by passing a proficiency exam and may be received in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of professional experience as well as passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience along with a passing result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in multiple specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is required for techs that handle refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Considering that licensing may be required in your area, and you may also wish to earn certification, it’s imperative that you pick an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the school you choose readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.

HVAC Certificate and Degree Schools

radiator heater in Warner Robins GA homeThere are several options available for HVAC training in a trade or technical school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the minimum period of time, often completed in as little as 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 edge for securing employment and will deliver more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short description of each option offered near Warner Robins GA.

  • Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They provide a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more extensive understanding of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually 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 towards 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 mastering how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.

Picking the ideal credential program will be dependent on what your future career goals are, in addition to the time and money that you have to invest. One possibility is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Warner Robins GA, subsequently returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Courses Online

Warner Robins GA student attending HVAC school onlineAttending an HVAC program online is one alternative to obtaining your education and earning 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 balance of the classes can be attended online, this approach may be a more convenient solution for some Warner Robins GA students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are less expensive than other traditional options. Even commuting expenses from Warner Robins and study supplies can be minimized, 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, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it easier to fit school into your hectic schedule.

Questions For HVAC Training Programs

Questions to ask Warner Robins GA HVAC training schoolsOnce you have picked the type of certificate or degree that you want to acquire, either on campus or online, you can begin to decrease your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous HVAC technical schools in the Warner Robins GA area and throughout the USA to select from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school evaluations. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the initial two factors you will take into consideration. Following are some additional ones that you need to research before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Numerous HVAC technical programs in the Warner Robins GA area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Confirm that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you acquire an excellent education, it may help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate may suggest that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It may also indicate that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s also essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, 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 an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Warner Robins GA HVAC employers to assist grads acquire apprenticeships or employment.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Most HVAC trade programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with local Warner Robins GA HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC technician you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Warner Robins GA HVAC contractor if they can provide some suggestions. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Warner Robins GA home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s important that you get as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Talk with some of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to some of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.

Flexible Scheduling.  Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Warner Robins GA, confirm that the programs you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.

Considering an HVAC School near Warner Robins GA?

Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Warner Robins Georgia area.  If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.

Warner Robins, Georgia

Warner Robins is a city in the U.S. state of Georgia, located in Houston County in the central part of the state. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 66,588. From 2000 to 2010, the Warner Robins city population grew by 36.4% (from 48,804 people to 66,588).

Warner Robins is a part of the larger Macon-Warner Robins Combined Statistical Area, with an estimated 2017 population of 420,693. Warner Robins Air Depot was built in 1942 just outside the city limits. Its expansion has attracted more residents.

Warner Robins was founded in 1942 from the community of Wellston. It was named for General Augustine Warner Robins (1882-1940) of the United States Air Force. It was incorporated as a town in 1943 and as a city in 1956.[4]

How to Choose HVAC Certificate Programs Warner Robins GA

Selecting the ideal HVAC school program is a crucial beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating and cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding How to Choose HVAC Certificate Programs. However, as we have discussed in this article, you should choose an Heating and Cooling trade school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC profession. Other things to search for are lots of hands-on training and modern facilities. You should go to each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to explore the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. In addition, ask about scheduling choices and whether night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to ask about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the proper questions as we have detailed in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC contractor in Warner Robins GA.

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