How to Select the Right HVAC Training Program near Roebuck South Carolina
Now that you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioning professional, the next step is to find an HVAC technical school near Roebuck SC. But with so many to choose from, how do you choose the right one to get the training that you require? Some potential students will make their selection based solely on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Although these are relevant concerns, they are not the only ones to take into account. Some of the other details that you need to research are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and additional benchmarks will be addressed in more detail later in this article. But before we tackle how to choose an HVAC vocational school, 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 Tech
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, though each state and local municipality has its own requirements. Acquiring professional certification is not required, but an optional way for Roebuck SC HVAC technicians to establish that they are exceptionally proficient and experienced in their area of specialization. There are several recognized certifications within the industry that are available. Following are some of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is achieved by passing a competency 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 must have 3 years of experience as well as a passing result on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for techs that work with refrigerants. There are three types of certification available, 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 earn certification, it’s essential that you select an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be handling refrigerants, make sure that the program you decide on readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Courses
There are a variety of alternatives available for HVAC instruction in a technical or vocational school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the least period of time, often accomplished in just 6 months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs might provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will provide more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short description of each credential offered near Roebuck SC.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They provide a strong foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more detailed understanding of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Normally taking 2 years to complete, a number of degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more towards a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional four year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.
Choosing the right credential program will be dependent on what your long term career aspirations are, in addition to the time and money that you have to commit. One possibility is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Roebuck SC, subsequently returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make certain to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Schools Online
Choosing an HVAC school online is one possibility in attaining your education and earning a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. Some also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes may be participated in on the web, this approach may be a more convenient solution for some Roebuck SC students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even commuting expenses from Roebuck and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family commitments have left you with minimal time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it easier to accommodate school into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask HVAC Schools
When you have picked the type of certificate or degree that you want to obtain, either on campus or online, you can start to limit your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are numerous HVAC trade schools in the Roebuck SC area and throughout the United States to select from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school assessments. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the initial 2 factors you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you should explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC trade programs in the Roebuck SC area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Make certain that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Also, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to qualify 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 portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate could indicate that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It may also suggest that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which may mean more contacts for the school to utilize 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 trade, but also that it has the network of Roebuck SC HVAC employers to help grads acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC training programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling businesses or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with local Roebuck SC HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC tech you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Roebuck SC HVAC company if they can give you some pointers. Additionally keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Roebuck SC residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Talk to several of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
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 attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Roebuck SC, verify that the schools you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.
Considering an HVAC School near Roebuck SC?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Roebuck South Carolina area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Roebuck, South Carolina
Roebuck is home to the Walnut Grove Plantation, a preserved 18th-century farmhouse and tourist attraction. One of the daughters of the original owners, Kate Moore, was a scout for General Daniel Morgan during the Battle of Cowpens.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,725 people, 708 households, and 499 families residing in the town. The population density was 403.4 people per square mile (155.6/km²). There were 783 housing units at an average density of 183.1/sq mi (70.6/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 86.55% White, 10.84% African American, 1.22% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.70% from other race, and 0.64% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.72% of the population.
There were 708 households out of which 27.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.1% were married couples living together, 10.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.5% were non-families. 26.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 2.92.
HVAC Service Technician Schools Roebuck SC
Selecting the right HVAC school course is a crucial first step toward a rewarding career in the heating & cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Service Technician Schools. However, as we have covered in this post, you should select an Heating and Cooling vocational school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC trade. Other features to search for are ample hands-on training and modern facilities. You need to visit each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to tour the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Additionally, inquire about scheduling options and whether or not evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the right questions as we have detailed in our guidelines 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 professional in Roebuck SC.
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