How to Find the Right HVAC Certification Training near Hiawassee Georgia
Once you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next step is to locate an HVAC technical school near Hiawassee GA. But with so many to pick from, how do you choose the right one to obtain the training that you need? Many prospective students will make their decision based solely on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Even though these are relevant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to evaluate. A few of the other details that you need to investigate 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 explore how to select an HVAC vocational school, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c specialist does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Pro
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, however every state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Acquiring professional certification is not required, but an alternative way for Hiawassee GA HVAC techs to establish that they are highly proficient and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are a number of acknowledged certifications within the field that are available. Following are a few of the important 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 acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience in addition to passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience along with a passing result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are three types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing may be mandated in your area, and you may also intend to earn certification, it’s essential that you select an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the program you pick readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are a variety of choices available for HVAC training in a vocational or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the minimum period of time, usually accomplished in just 6 months, however some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable 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 short description of each credential offered near Hiawassee GA.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more detailed knowledge of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually taking 2 years to complete, 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 require an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional 4 year program. In addition to learning 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 future career objectives are, as well as the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One possibility is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Hiawassee GA, later going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Schools
Choosing an HVAC school online is one possibility to attaining your training and earning a certificate or degree. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to complete hands on training. Many also provide 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 via the internet, this alternative may be a more accessible solution for some Hiawassee GA students that are pressed for time. And some online degree programs are more economical than other traditional choices. Even travelling expenses from Hiawassee and study materials may be minimized, helping to make schooling more affordable. And numerous online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family commitments have left you with minimal time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it less complicated to fit school into your active lifestyle.
Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Classes
Once you have decided on the type of certificate or degree that you would like to attain, either on campus or online, you can start to narrow down your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of HVAC trade schools in the Hiawassee GA area and throughout the USA to select from. That’s why it is essential to have a list of key qualifiers when making school comparisons. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the first two factors you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you will want to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC vocational programs in the Hiawassee GA area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, 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 acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited programs. Additionally, many states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate might indicate that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It might also indicate that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which can produce 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 field, but also that it has the network of Hiawassee GA HVAC employers to assist graduates obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC training programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling companies or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local Hiawassee GA HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC tech you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Hiawassee GA HVAC contracting company if they can give you some pointers. Additionally keep in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Hiawassee GA residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Speak to a few of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to some of the instructors 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 fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Hiawassee GA, verify that the programs you are comparing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, 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 Hiawassee GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Hiawassee Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Hiawassee is the county seat of Towns County, Georgia, United States. The community's population was 880 at the 2010 census. Its name is derived from the Cherokee—or perhaps Creek—word Ayuhwasi, which means meadow, (A variant spelling, "Hiwassee," is used for the local river and some other Appalachian place names.)
Settled circa 1820, Hiawassee was designated seat of the newly formed Towns County in 1856. It was incorporated as a town in 1870 and as a city in 1916.  Hiawassee was originally inhabited by predominately Cherokee-speaking peoples, but the myth that the town was named after a Cherokee or otherwise Native American princess is false and is as mythical as the Cherokee princess herself. Hiawassee’s name is nature-based, as mentioned above.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 880 people residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 95.2% White, 0.3% Black, 0.1% Native American, 1.3% Asian and 0.3% from two or more races. 2.7% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
HVAC Night School Hiawassee GA
Picking the ideal HVAC training program is a crucial first step toward a gratifying career in the heating and cooling trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Night School. However, as we have covered in this post, you need to select an HVAC vocational school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC trade. Other things to look for are ample hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should check out each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to tour the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Additionally, ask about scheduling options and if night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the right questions as we have laid out in our checklist for assessing 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 ultimately become a licensed HVAC technician in Hiawassee GA.
More Hot and Cool Locations in Georgia
Business Results 1 - 10 of 17