Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Courses Gray GA

How to Select the Right HVAC Certification Training near Gray Georgia

air conditioner condensers in Gray GAOnce you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and cooling specialist, the next step is to choose an HVAC technical school near Gray GA. But with so many to choose from, how do you select the best one to receive the training that you need? Many potential students will make their choice based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Although these are significant considerations, they are not the only ones to take into account. 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 explore how to choose an HVAC technical school, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning specialist does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Technician

Gray GA HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are generally required to be licensed, however every state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Earning professional certification is not required, but a voluntary means for Gray GA HVAC technicians to demonstrate that they are exceptionally qualified and experienced in their area of expertise. There are multiple recognized certifications within the field that are available. Following are some of the significant ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is attained by passing a proficiency exam 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 professional experience together with passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience together with a passing score on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are offered in several specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for techs that work with refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Since licensing might be required in your area, and you may also desire to acquire certification, it’s important that you select an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be handling refrigerants, make certain that the program you decide on prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.

HVAC Degree and Certificate Training Programs

radiator heater in Gray GA homeThere are a number of options available for HVAC instruction in a technical or trade school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the least amount of time, typically achieved in just six months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree training programs may provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will furnish more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a short summary of each option offered near Gray GA.

  • Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They provide a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more exhaustive background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Typically requiring 2 years to finish, a number of degrees include 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 conventional 4 year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.

Choosing the ideal credential program will be based on what your future career goals are, along with the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One possibility is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Gray GA, later returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Schools Online

Gray GA student attending HVAC school onlineChoosing an HVAC program online is one approach in attaining your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. Many also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes may be participated in on the web, this alternative may be a more convenient solution for many Gray GA students that are pressed for time. And some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even travelling expenses from Gray and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family responsibilities have left you with limited time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to fit school into your hectic schedule.

Questions For HVAC Schools

Questions to ask Gray GA HVAC training schoolsAs soon as you have decided on the type of degree or certificate that you wish to earn, either online or on campus, you can start to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Gray GA area and all over the USA to select from. That’s why it is imperative to have a checklist of important qualifiers when making school evaluations. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the initial two variables you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you need to research before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  A large number of HVAC trade programs in the Gray GA area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Make sure that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you receive a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, many states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited for it 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 percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate could indicate that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It might also suggest that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of graduates, which may result in more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Gray GA HVAC employers to help grads obtain 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 HVAC businesses or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with local Gray GA HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make certain 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 currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC tech you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Gray GA HVAC contractor if they can give you some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can move, the school must be within driving distance of your Gray GA residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s desirable that you get as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Talk to a few of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with 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 programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Gray GA, check that the programs you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Considering an HVAC School near Gray GA?

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

Gray, Georgia

Gray is located in central Jones County at 33°00′31″N 83°32′03″W / 33.0086°N 83.5342°W / 33.0086; -83.5342.[8]U.S. Route 129 passes through the center of town, leading northeast 25 miles (40 km) to Eatonton and southwest 14 miles (23 km) to Macon. Monticello is 25 miles (40 km) to the northwest via State Route 11, Milledgeville is 19 miles (31 km) to the east via State Route 22, and Gordon is 15 miles (24 km) to the southeast via State Route 18.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Gray has a total area of 3.9 square miles (10.1 km2), of which 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2), or 0.34%, are water.[4] Gray is drained to the west by tributaries of Walnut Creek, flowing to the Ocmulgee River, and to the east by tributaries of Commissioner Creek, flowing to the Oconee River.

As of the census of 2010, there were 3,276 people, 1,171 households, and 827 families residing in the city. There were 1,288 housing units, of which 117, or 9.1%, were vacant. The racial makeup of the city was 69.4% white, 28.1% African American, 0.1% American Indian or Alaska Native, 0.6% Asian, 0.3% some other race, and 1.4% from two or more races. 1.3% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.[10]

Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Courses Gray GA

Selecting the ideal HVAC training program is a crucial beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating & cooling trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Courses. However, as we have covered in this article, you should pick an Heating and Cooling vocational school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC profession. Other factors to search for are plenty of practical training and modern facilities. You need to visit each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. In addition, inquire about scheduling choices and if night or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to inquire about financial aid and student loan options also. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have detailed in our checklist for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down 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 technician in Gray GA.

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