How to Pick the Right HVAC Certification Class near Lula Georgia
Now that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and cooling professional, the next action is to choose an HVAC trade school near Lula GA. But with so many to choose from, how do you select the right one to obtain the training that you need? Many future students will make their selection based solely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Although these are significant concerns, they are not the only ones to investigate. Some of the other details 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. These and other criteria will be discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we examine how to pick an HVAC trade school, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning professional does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Specialist
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, though every state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Acquiring professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary way for Lula GA HVAC technicians to demonstrate that they are exceptionally qualified and experienced in their area of specialization. There are multiple recognized certifications within the industry that are available. Here are a few of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is attained by passing a proficiency examination and may be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience together with passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience along with a passing result on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are offered in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory 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.
Because licensing may be mandated in your location, and you may also wish to obtain certification, it’s essential that you pick an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be working with refrigerants, make sure that the school you select preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree Classes
There are a number of alternatives available for HVAC instruction in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the lesser period of time, often completed 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 applicable to the position. The degree training programs might provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will provide more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief explanation of each option offered near Lula GA.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They provide a solid foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more detailed background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Typically taking 2 years to complete, some degrees include 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 call for an Associate Degree, while others are a standard four year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Selecting the appropriate credential program will be based on what your long term career objectives are, as well as the time and money that you have to invest. One option is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Lula GA, later going back to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, be sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Training Online
Enrolling in an HVAC school online is one alternative in obtaining your education and earning a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. Many also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be participated in on the web, this alternative may be a more convenient solution for some Lula GA students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are more economical than other traditional alternatives. Even driving expenses from Lula and study supplies may be minimized, helping to make schooling more economical. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family obligations have left you with little time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your busy lifestyle.
Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Classes
As soon as you have decided on the type of degree or certificate that you desire to acquire, either online or on campus, 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 Lula GA area and all over the USA to pick from. That’s why it is essential to have a list of key qualifications when making school assessments. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the first two factors you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC trade programs in the Lula 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 pertains to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Verify 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. Along with helping guarantee that you acquire a quality education, it can help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of 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 reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate may indicate that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It might also suggest that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which may produce more contacts for the school to use 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 also that it has the network of Lula GA HVAC employers to help graduates obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC technical programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC businesses or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Lula GA HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC technician you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Lula GA HVAC company if they can give you some tips. Also bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Lula GA residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in 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 training 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 large they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Speak with several of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
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 Lula GA, verify 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. Additionally, 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 Lula GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Lula Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Lula is a city in Hall and Banks counties in the U.S. state of Georgia. Most of the city is in Hall County, with a small eastern portion of the city located in Banks County. The population was 2,758 at the 2010 census. The Hall County portion of Lula is part of the Gainesville, GA Metropolitan Statistical Area. Lula is the home of RailRoad Days, a yearly festival held usually every May. Major roads near Lula are Georgia Highway 51, Georgia Highway 52, Georgia Highway 365, U.S. Route 23, and old US 23. Lula is the railroad junction between the Atlanta northeast line and the Athens north line.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,438 people, 531 households, and 399 families residing in the city. The population density was 520.1 people per square mile (201.2/km²). There were 585 housing units at an average density of 211.6 per square mile (81.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 89.71% White, 8.14% African American, 0.42% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 1.25% from other races, and 0.42% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.23% of the population.
There were 531 households out of which 39.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.5% were married couples living together, 12.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.7% were non-families. 20.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.71 and the average family size was 3.13.
Air Conditioner Courses Lula GA
Enrolling in the ideal HVAC school program is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating and cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Air Conditioner Courses. However, as we have discussed in this post, you should pick an HVAC trade school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC profession. Other factors to look for are ample practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should check out 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. Try to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. In addition, inquire about scheduling options and whether evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to ask about financial aid and student loan options also. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have detailed in our guidelines for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC specialist in Lula GA.
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