How to Find the Right Heating and Cooling School near Manchester Georgia
Once you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner professional, the next step is to look for an HVAC trade school near Manchester GA. But with so many to choose from, how do you choose the best one to get the training that you require? Many prospective students will make their selection based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Even though these are significant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to take into account. Just 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. Those and additional criteria will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we examine how to choose an HVAC trade school, let’s look at what a heating and a/c specialist does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly 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, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, however every state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Attaining professional certification is not compulsory, but an alternative way for Manchester GA HVAC specialists to demonstrate that they are exceptionally qualified and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are a number of respected certifications within the trade that are available. Below are some 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 proficiency examination and can 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 three years of experience in addition to a passing score on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are made available in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for techs that handle refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing might be mandated in your area, and you may also desire to acquire certification, it’s essential that you select an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be working with refrigerants, make certain that the school you choose readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Courses
There are several options offered for HVAC training in a trade or technical school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the least amount of time, often achieved in as little as 6 months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will train 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 furnish more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short summary of each option offered near Manchester GA.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more exhaustive background of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Normally requiring 2 years to finish, a number of degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more towards 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 learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Selecting the ideal credential program will be dependent on what your future career aspirations are, as well as the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One approach is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Manchester GA, eventually going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Schools Online
Enrolling in an HVAC school online is one alternative to obtaining your education and receiving a degree or certificate. Most schools will call for 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 via the internet, this approach may be a more accessible solution for some Manchester GA students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are more economical than other traditional alternatives. Even driving expenses from Manchester and study materials 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 job or family commitments have left you with limited time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to fit school into your hectic lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Certification Courses
After you have picked the type of certificate or degree that you wish to obtain, either online or on campus, you can start to decrease your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are a large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Manchester GA area and throughout the USA to choose from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of key qualifications when making school evaluations. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the initial 2 factors you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you will want to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC trade programs in the Manchester GA area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Verify that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you get an excellent education, it can help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, some states require that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Cooling 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 low completion rate might indicate that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It could also mean that the teachers 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 broader list of graduates, which can produce 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 field, but also that it has the network of Manchester GA HVAC employers to help grads secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC trade programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC companies or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with local Manchester GA HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure 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 in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC technician you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Manchester GA HVAC company if they can give you some suggestions. Also keep in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Manchester GA residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be increased 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 difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Speak with several of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some of the teachers 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 evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Manchester GA, confirm that the schools you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check 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 Manchester GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Manchester Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Manchester is in west central Georgia along Georgia State Route 85, which leads southwest 39 miles (63 km) to Columbus and northeast 10 miles (16 km) to Woodbury. Georgia 85 meets Georgia State Route 190 south of the city, which leads west 18 miles (29 km) to Pine Mountain. Georgia 85 also meets Georgia State Route 41 in the city, which leads southeast 7 miles (11 km) to Woodland and northwest 4 miles (6 km) to Warm Springs.
As of the census of 2000, there were 3,769 people, 1,629 households, and 1,057 families residing in the city. The population density was 698.1 people per square mile (269.7/km²). There were 1,853 housing units at an average density of 324.4 per square mile (125.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 56.22% White, 42.23% African American, 0.33% Native American, 0.65% Asian, 0.10% from other races, and 0.48% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.70% of the population.
There were 1,629 households out of which 28.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.5% were married couples living together, 21.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.1% were non-families. 31.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 3.09.
HVAC Education Online Manchester GA
Finding the ideal HVAC training program is an important beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating & cooling trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Education Online. However, as we have covered in this article, you should select an HVAC training program and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC community. Other features to search for are lots of practical training and modern facilities. You need to visit each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and speak 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 choices and whether evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial aid and student loan options too. If you ask the proper questions as we have laid out in our guidelines for comparing schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC contractor in Manchester GA.
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