How to Select the Right HVAC Training Class near Leesburg Georgia
Once you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next step is to locate an HVAC vocational school near Leesburg GA. But with so many to select from, how do you decide on the best one to get the training that you need? Some potential students will make their choice based entirely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Even though these are relevant considerations, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Some 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 criteria will be discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we explore how to pick an HVAC vocational school, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning contractor does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Professional
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are generally mandated to be licensed, though every state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Attaining professional certification is not compulsory, but a voluntary means for Leesburg GA HVAC technicians to establish that they are highly qualified and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are a number of recognized 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 techs. The certification is earned by passing a proficiency exam and may be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience together with passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience in addition to a passing result on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are provided in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are three forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing could be mandated in your location, and you may also wish to obtain certification, it’s essential that you select an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be handling refrigerants, make sure that the program you decide on prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree Classes
There are a variety of alternatives available for HVAC instruction in a technical or vocational school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the least amount of time, usually achieved in as little as 6 months, although some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree training programs may provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will furnish more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a short description of each credential offered near Leesburg GA.
- Certificate. Generally 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 detailed understanding of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Normally 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 tailored more towards a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional four year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Choosing the ideal credential program will be based on what your long term career objectives are, together with the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One approach is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Leesburg GA, subsequently going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Courses
Enrolling in an HVAC school online is one possibility to getting your education and receiving a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. A number also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes may be attended via the internet, this approach may be a more convenient solution for some Leesburg GA students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even driving expenses from Leesburg and study supplies can be minimized, helping to make schooling more economical. And numerous online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family obligations have left you with limited time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to fit school into your busy schedule.
What to Ask HVAC Training Classes
After you have chosen the type of certificate or degree that you wish to acquire, either on campus or online, you can begin to decrease your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are a large number of HVAC trade schools in the Leesburg GA area and throughout the Country to select from. That’s why it is imperative to have a checklist of important qualifiers when making school assessments. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the initial two variables you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you will want to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC trade schools in the Leesburg GA area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Confirm that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you get a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, many states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate could indicate that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It might also signify that the instructors were not qualified 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 directory of alumni, which may result in more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Leesburg GA HVAC employers to help grads obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC technical programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with local Leesburg GA HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm 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 presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC tech you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Leesburg GA HVAC contractor if they can give you some pointers. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Leesburg GA home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Talk to some of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, 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 assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Leesburg GA, check that the programs you are reviewing provide those choices. 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, sickness or family issues.
Considering an HVAC School near Leesburg GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Leesburg Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Leesburg is a city in Lee County, Georgia, United States. The population was 2,896 at the 2010 census. The city is the county seat of Lee County and is part of the Albany, Georgia Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The area was an important center for the study of malaria in 1924. A graduate student named Lowell T. Coggeshall collected anopheline larvae in a swamp near Leesburg. Later he helped mastermind the U.S. government's Malaria Project.
Leesburg, originally known as Wooten Station, was founded in 1870 as the Central of Georgia Railway arrived in the area. In 1872, the town was renamed Wooten and the seat was transferred from Starksville. In 1874, the town was incorporated and renamed again to its present form of Leesburg.
Air Conditioning Classes Online Leesburg GA
Choosing the right HVAC training course is a crucial beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating & cooling trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Air Conditioning Classes Online. However, as we have covered in this post, you should select an HVAC technical school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC profession. Other features to search for are sufficient hands-on training and modern facilities. You need to go to each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to explore the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Also, inquire about scheduling choices and whether or not 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 proper questions as we have laid out in our guidelines for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC contractor in Leesburg GA.
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