How to Enroll In the Right Heating and Cooling Certification Course near Hephzibah Georgia
Now that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning professional, the next step is to find an HVAC vocational school near Hephzibah GA. But with so many to choose from, how do you decide on the ideal one to get the training that you require? A number of prospective students will make their selection based entirely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Even though these are important factors to consider, they are not the only ones to investigate. Just some of the other factors 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 discussed in more detail later within this article. But before we tackle how to pick an HVAC training program, let’s 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 technicians specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, however each state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Attaining professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary means for Hephzibah GA HVAC specialists to establish that they are exceptionally qualified and experienced in their area of expertise. There are a number of acknowledged 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 technicians. The certification is achieved by passing a competency examination and may be received in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience together with passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience along with a passing result on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are made available 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 might be required in your area, and you may also desire to earn certification, it’s important that you choose an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the program you select readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree Training Programs
There are a number of choices offered for HVAC training in a technical or vocational school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, typically completed in just six months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most 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 deliver more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short summary of each option offered near Hephzibah GA.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more comprehensive knowledge of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Generally requiring 2 years to complete, some degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more for a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional four year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Selecting the right credential program will be dependent on what your long term career aspirations are, together with the time and money that you have to commit. One possibility is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the trade in Hephzibah GA, later returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Schools
Enrolling in an HVAC school online is one approach to obtaining your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in hands on training. Some also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes may be attended online, this approach may be a more accessible solution for some Hephzibah GA students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are more economical than other traditional options. Even travelling expenses from Hephzibah and study supplies can be minimized, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family commitments have left you with limited time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to fit school into your hectic lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Certification Courses
When you have picked the type of degree or certificate that you want to obtain, either on campus or online, you can start to decrease your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous HVAC trade schools in the Hephzibah GA area and all over the Country to pick from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a list of key qualifiers when making school assessments. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the initial two aspects you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC trade schools in the Hephzibah GA area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Confirm that the program and school 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 receive a quality education, it can assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, some states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate might signify that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It could also mean that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which can mean more contacts for the school to utilize 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 field, but additionally that it has the network of Hephzibah GA HVAC employers to help graduates acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC trade programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling businesses or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with local Hephzibah GA HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed 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 specialist you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Hephzibah GA HVAC contracting company if they can provide some tips. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Hephzibah GA home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be increased tuition fees 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 few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Speak to a few of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Hephzibah GA, confirm that the schools you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering an HVAC School near Hephzibah GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Hephzibah Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Hephzibah (/ˈhɛpzɪbə/) is a city in southern Richmond County, in the U.S. state of Georgia. It is part of the Augusta metropolitan area. The population was 4,011 at the 2010 census. The name was taken from the Bible, where Hephzibah is a poetic name used by the Prophet Isaiah to refer to the City of Jerusalem in the Old Testament.
Hephzibah was originally named Brothersville, in honor of three brothers who settled near one another. In October 1860, a Baptist seminary was established in Brothersville by a group of Appling residents. They established the Hephzibah Baptist Church in 1862. The prominence of these new religious institutions in the area swayed the state of Georgia to rename the town Hephzibah in 1870. In 1909, Walter A. Clark published a book of local history, named A Lost Arcadia - The Story of My Old Community, detailing the earliest days of Hephzibah.
In 1996 the governments of the city of Augusta and Richmond County combined to form a consolidated government. The residents of Hephzibah and nearby Blythe voted to maintain their separate city governments prior to this action. Some municipal services in Hephzibah are provided by the consolidated Augusta-Richmond County, while water, fire, and police services are maintained by the city.
HVAC Certification Course Hephzibah GA
Choosing the ideal HVAC school course is a crucial first step toward a gratifying career in the heating & cooling trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Certification Course. However, as we have discussed in this post, you need to select an HVAC training program and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC community. Other factors to search for are ample practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should check out each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to explore the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Additionally, inquire about scheduling options and whether night or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options as well. If you ask the right questions as we have outlined 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 appropriate training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC technician in Hephzibah GA.
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