How to Pick the Right Heating and Cooling Certification Training near Lenox Georgia
Once you have made a decision on a career as a heating and cooling technician, the next step is to locate an HVAC trade school near Lenox GA. But with so many to select from, how do you select the best one to get the training that you require? Many potential students will make their selection based solely on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. While these are important concerns, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Some of the other factors 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 other criteria will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we examine how to pick an HVAC training program, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning technician does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Professional
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, though each state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Earning professional certification is not compulsory, but an alternative way for Lenox GA HVAC specialists to demonstrate that they are highly qualified and experienced in their area of expertise. There are multiple respected 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 earned by passing a competency exam and can be received in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience together with passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience in addition to a passing score on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for techs that handle refrigerants. There are three forms of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing could be required in your location, and you may also intend to obtain certification, it’s important that you choose an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be handling refrigerants, make certain that the school you decide on readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Training Programs
There are a variety of alternatives offered 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 period of time, usually achieved in just 6 months, however some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs may provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will deliver more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short description of each credential offered near Lenox GA.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They provide a strong foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more comprehensive understanding of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Generally taking 2 years to complete, many degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited 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 cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Selecting the ideal credential program will be dependent on what your future career aspirations are, together with 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 getting some experience in the field in Lenox GA, eventually returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Training
Choosing an HVAC program online is one option in getting your training and earning a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete practical training. Many 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 participated in online, this option may be a more accessible solution for some Lenox GA students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are less costly than other traditional alternatives. Even driving expenses from Lenox and study materials can be reduced, helping to make schooling more economical. And a large number of online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family commitments have left you with limited time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your active lifestyle.
Questions For HVAC Certification Classes
Once you have chosen the type of degree or certificate that you desire to acquire, either online or on campus, you can begin to limit your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Lenox GA area and across the USA to select from. That’s why it is imperative to have a checklist of relevant qualifications when making school comparisons. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the initial two factors you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you should explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC vocational programs in the Lenox GA area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, such as HVAC technology. Make sure that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you acquire a quality education, it can help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Also, some states require that the HVAC training course be accredited for it 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 of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate could signify that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It may also indicate that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s also important 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 Lenox GA HVAC employers to help students secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC trade programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC businesses or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with local Lenox GA HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC tech you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Lenox GA HVAC contractor if they can provide some tips. Also keep in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Lenox GA home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Speak with some of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Lenox GA, confirm that the programs you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.
Considering an HVAC School near Lenox GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Lenox Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Lenox is located in northern Cook County at 31°16′N 83°28′W / 31.267°N 83.467°W / 31.267; -83.467 (31.2712, -83.4654).U.S. Route 41 passes through the center of the town as Robinson Street, and Interstate 75 passes through the west side of the town, with access from Exit 49. Tifton is 13 miles (21 km) to the north, and Adel, the Cook County seat, is 10 miles (16 km) to the south.
As of the census of 2010, there were 889 people, 351 households, and 237 families residing in the town. The population density was 717.0 people per square mile (276.8/km²). There were 405 housing units at an average density of 326.6 per square mile (126.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 58.61% White, 38.02% African American, 0.22% Native American, 2.36% from other races, and 0.79% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.81% of the population.
There were 351 households out of which 27.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.3% were married couples living together, 15.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.2% were non-families. 29.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.13.
Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Training Lenox GA
Finding the ideal HVAC school program is an important first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating and cooling trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Training. However, as we have discussed in this post, you should select an HVAC trade school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC community. Other factors to search for are sufficient hands-on training and modern facilities. You need to check out each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Additionally, inquire about scheduling choices and whether or not evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to inquire about financial aid and student loan options also. If you ask the right questions as we have outlined in our guidelines for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC technician in Lenox GA.
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