How to Pick the Right Heating and Cooling Certification Training near Hawkinsville Georgia
Once you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning specialist, the next step is to choose an HVAC trade school near Hawkinsville GA. But with so many to select from, how do you choose the right one to get the training that you require? Many future students will make their selection based entirely on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Although these are necessary considerations, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Some of the other things that you need to look into are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and other benchmarks will be addressed in more detail later within this article. But before we discuss how to pick an HVAC technical school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling contractor does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Tech
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, although every state and local municipality has its own requirements. Acquiring professional certification is not required, but an optional means for Hawkinsville GA HVAC techs to prove that they are highly skilled and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are multiple recognized certifications within the trade that are offered. Here are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is achieved by passing a competency exam 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 field experience as well as passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience together 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 specialists that work with refrigerants. There are three forms of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing might be mandated in your location, and you may also intend to obtain certification, it’s imperative that you pick an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be handling refrigerants, make sure that the program you pick prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Training Programs
There are a variety of choices offered for HVAC training in a vocational or trade school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the least period of time, typically completed in just 6 months, although some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will furnish more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief description of each option offered near Hawkinsville GA.
- Certificate. Normally 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 supplies a more comprehensive knowledge of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Normally taking 2 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 or even 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 study how to design them.
Picking the ideal credential program will be based on what your long term career objectives are, in addition to the time and money that you have to commit. One approach is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Hawkinsville GA, subsequently going back to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Courses Online
Enrolling in an HVAC school online is one option in obtaining your education and earning a degree or certificate. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. A number also offer 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 alternative may be a more convenient solution for some Hawkinsville GA students that are pressed for time. And some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even driving expenses from Hawkinsville and study supplies can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family commitments 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 active lifestyle.
Questions For HVAC Trade Schools
As soon as you have selected the type of degree or certificate that you would like to earn, either online or on campus, you can start to limit your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Hawkinsville GA area and throughout the Country to pick from. That’s why it is very important to have a checklist of key qualifiers when making school comparisons. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the initial two aspects you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you should explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC trade programs in the Hawkinsville GA area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Make certain that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you get a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid 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 HVAC 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 suggest that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It might also signify that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which may mean 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 industry, but additionally that it has the network of Hawkinsville GA HVAC employers to assist students secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC training programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC companies or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with local Hawkinsville GA HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC specialist you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Hawkinsville GA HVAC contracting company if they can give you some tips. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Hawkinsville GA home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Talk with a few of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to some of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Hawkinsville GA, confirm that the schools you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, 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 Hawkinsville GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Hawkinsville Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Hawkinsville is known as the "Harness Horse Capital" of Georgia. The Lawrence Bennett Harness Horse Racing facility is owned by the city and serves as an important training ground during winter months. The Harness Festival takes place every April at the end of training before horses head north for the harness racing season.
Hawkinsville was founded by European Americans in 1830. In 1837, the seat of Pulaski County was transferred to Hawkinsville from Hartford. The community was named for Benjamin Hawkins, delegate to the Continental Congress, and the United States Indian Agent in the Southeast, appointed by President George Washington.
The city includes Hawkinsville High School and several historical sites, including Hawkinsville City Hall-Auditorium, Hawkinsville Public School, the Merritt-Ragan House, the Pulaski County Courthouse, and Taylor Hall. St. Thomas African Methodist Episcopal Church was organized after the American Civil War as one of hundreds of AME churches planted in the South by missionaries from the first black independent denomination in the United States, founded in the early 19th century in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Hawkinsville Commercial and Industrial Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Hawkinsville is also home to the historic Hawkinsville Opera House.
Top HVAC Schools Hawkinsville GA
Choosing the right HVAC school program is an important beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating and air conditioning industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Top HVAC Schools. However, as we have discussed in this article, you need to pick an HVAC training program and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC trade. Other factors 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 explore the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling choices and if night or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial assistance and student loan options as well. 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 educated decision. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC technician in Hawkinsville GA.
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