How to Choose the Right Heating and Cooling Certificate Program near Danielsville Georgia
Now that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning professional, the next action is to locate an HVAC technical school near Danielsville GA. But with so many to pick from, how do you pick the best one to get the training that you need? Many prospective students will make their choice based entirely on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. Although these are necessary factors to consider, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Just some of the other factors 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 other benchmarks will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we examine how to select an HVAC technical school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling professional does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Contractor
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, although each state and local municipality has its own criteria. Attaining professional certification is not required, but a voluntary means for Danielsville GA HVAC techs to demonstrate that they are highly qualified and experienced in their area of expertise. There are multiple respected certifications within the trade that are offered. Here are a few of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is achieved by passing a proficiency examination and can be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience in addition to passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience in addition to a passing result on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are provided in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are three forms of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing could be required in your location, and you may also intend to earn certification, it’s essential that you choose an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the school you select readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Courses
There are several choices available for HVAC training in a technical or vocational school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, typically achieved in just six months, although some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs might provide a competitive edge in the job market and will deliver more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a short summary of each option offered near Danielsville GA.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning residential or commercial HVAC specialists. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more extensive understanding of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally taking two years to finish, a number of degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more for 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 being taught how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Selecting the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your future career goals are, together with the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One option is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Danielsville GA, eventually returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Schools
Enrolling in an HVAC program online is one option in obtaining your training and earning a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. A number 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 attended via the internet, this option may be a more convenient solution for many Danielsville GA students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are more economical than other on campus alternatives. Even driving expenses from Danielsville and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And many online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family commitments have left you with minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to fit school into your hectic lifestyle.
Questions For HVAC Schools
As soon as you have picked the type of degree or certificate that you wish to obtain, either on campus or online, you can begin to limit your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many HVAC trade schools in the Danielsville GA area and across the United States to pick from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of key qualifications when making school assessments. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the initial 2 aspects you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you should research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC trade schools in the Danielsville GA area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may 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. Make certain that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it can assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many states require that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate may suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It might also indicate that the teachers were not competent to instruct 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 alumni, which can result in more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Danielsville GA HVAC employers to assist graduates secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC technical programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling businesses or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with local Danielsville GA HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC technician you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Danielsville GA HVAC contracting company if they can provide some suggestions. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Danielsville 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 charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Talk to some of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to a few of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Danielsville GA, verify that the programs you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering an HVAC School near Danielsville GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Danielsville Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Danielsville was named for General Allen Daniel (1772-1836), Major-General of the Fourth Division of Georgia Militia 1812-17 and both state senator and representative of Elbert and Madison Counties, and Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives in 1822. His father was at one time thought to be a Captain Allen Daniel of Virginia, a veteran of the American Revolutionary War, but this has been disproved. In 1812, Danielsville was designated seat of the newly formed Madison County. Danielsville was incorporated as a town in 1817 and as a city in 1908.
On April 11, 1936, 45-year-old a black man, [called Lint Shaw in newspaper accounts] was arrested by Madison County police in connection with the rape of two white girls. Shaw, who resisted arrest, was shot three times by police before being taken to the county jail in Danielsville. By late evening, word had spread of Shaw's arrest, and a crowd of about 150 white Danielsville residents gathered at the jail, demanding Shaw be released to them. The crowd began prying apart the brick wall of the jail when 74-year-old judge Berry Mosely, who had been confined to bed with an illness, arrived and began talking down the crowd. In the meantime, the county sheriff began rounding up deputies, and called in nearby National Guard soldiers. Judge Mosely ordered the sheriff to take Shaw to a hospital, and when the National Guard soldiers arrived, they backed a truck up to the jail and sped away to Athens before the crowd could react. No one was severely injured in the incident, but the damaged jail had to be repaired.
Two weeks later, Shaw was escorted back to Danielsville to face trial. The mob reappeared, and Mosely again ordered Shaw moved away for his safety, this time to Royston. That location was not far enough to protect him from the mob, which followed Shaw to the jail there. In the middle of the night, the mob stormed the jail and lynched Shaw, leaving his hanging body to be found the next day. His death was the 468th lynching in Georgia since 1889.
Learning HVAC Danielsville GA
Picking the right HVAC training course is an important first step toward a rewarding career in the heating and air conditioning field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Learning HVAC. However, as we have covered in this post, you need to pick an HVAC school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC community. Other features to search for are lots of hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to go to each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to tour the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. In addition, ask about scheduling options and whether or not night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the proper questions as we have laid out in our guidelines for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC specialist in Danielsville GA.
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