How to Choose the Right Heating and Cooling School near Woodstock Georgia
Now that you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioner specialist, the next action is to locate an HVAC trade school near Woodstock GA. But with so many to choose from, how do you pick the right one to obtain the training that you require? Many potential students will make their choice based entirely on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Even though these are relevant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Just some of the other details that you need to research are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and other criteria will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we tackle how to select an HVAC vocational school, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning contractor does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Professional
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the industry 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 required to be licensed, although every state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Earning professional certification is not compulsory, but a voluntary way for Woodstock GA HVAC techs to prove that they are exceptionally skilled and experienced in their area of expertise. There are multiple respected certifications within the field that are available. Below are some of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is earned by passing a proficiency examination and may be earned 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 needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience along with a passing result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for techs that work with refrigerants. There are three types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing may be required in your location, and you may also desire to acquire certification, it’s important that you select an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the school you pick preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree Training Programs
There are a number 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 minimum period of time, often accomplished in as little as 6 months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree training programs may provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will deliver more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief summary of each credential offered near Woodstock GA.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning residential or commercial HVAC specialists. They provide a solid foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more extensive background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Normally requiring two years to complete, some degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more towards a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a standard four year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Picking the ideal credential program will be based on what your long term career goals are, in addition to the time and money that you have to invest. One approach is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Woodstock GA, eventually going back to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, be sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Schools Online
Choosing an HVAC program online is one option in getting your education and receiving a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. Some also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes may be attended on the web, this approach may be a more practical solution for some Woodstock GA students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are more economical than other traditional options. Even travelling expenses from Woodstock and study supplies may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family commitments have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Courses
When you have chosen the type of certificate or degree that you wish to obtain, either online or on campus, you can begin to decrease your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of HVAC technical schools in the Woodstock GA area and all over the Country to pick from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of key qualifications when making school comparisons. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the first 2 variables you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you need to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC trade schools in the Woodstock GA area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Verify 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 guarantee that you receive a superior education, it may help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, many states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate may signify that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It could also signify that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which may result in more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Woodstock GA HVAC employers to assist graduates secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC vocational programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling contractors or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Woodstock GA HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC technician you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Woodstock GA HVAC contractor if they can give you some pointers. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Woodstock GA home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Talk to a few of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Woodstock GA, verify that the programs you are comparing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be 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, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering an HVAC School near Woodstock GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Woodstock Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Woodstock is a city in Cherokee County, Georgia, United States. The population was 23,896 at the 2010 census. Originally a stop on the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, Woodstock is part of the Atlanta metropolitan area. In 2007 it was the tenth fastest-growing suburb in the United States.
Woodstock is located in southern Cherokee County at 34°6′5″N 84°31′10″W / 34.10139°N 84.51944°W / 34.10139; -84.51944 (34.100731, -84.518972).Interstate 575 passes through the western side of the city, with access from exits 7, 8, and 9. Downtown Atlanta is 30 miles (48 km) to the south, and Canton, the Cherokee County seat, is 11 miles (18 km) north.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Woodstock has a total area of 11.3 square miles (29.2 km2), of which 11.2 square miles (28.9 km2) is land and 0.12 square miles (0.3 km2), or 0.92%, is water.
HVAC Schools Near Me Woodstock GA
Choosing the right HVAC school course is an important first step toward a gratifying career in the heating and cooling trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Schools Near Me. However, as we have addressed in this article, you should select an Heating and Cooling school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC trade. Other things to search for are plenty of practical training and modern facilities. You should 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 training and the interaction between them. Additionally, ask about scheduling choices and whether or not evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to inquire about financial assistance 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 appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC specialist in Woodstock GA.
More Hot and Cool Locations in Georgia
Business Results 1 - 10 of 527