How to Enroll In the Right HVAC Training Program near Metter Georgia
Once you have decided on a career as a heating and cooling technician, the next action is to locate an HVAC trade school near Metter GA. But with so many to pick from, how do you pick the right one to obtain the training that you need? Some potential students will make their choice based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their home. While these are necessary factors to consider, they are not the only ones to investigate. Some of the other things that you need to investigate are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and additional benchmarks will be discussed in more detail later within this article. But before we examine how to pick an HVAC vocational school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling technician does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Contractor
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, though every state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Obtaining professional certification is not mandatory, but an alternative way for Metter GA HVAC specialists to demonstrate that they are exceptionally proficient and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are many recognized certifications within the field that are available. Following 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 competency exam and may be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience as well as passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience along with a passing score on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are made available in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for techs that handle refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing could be mandated in your area, and you may also desire to earn certification, it’s imperative that you select an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be working with refrigerants, make certain that the school you choose prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree Training Programs
There are a variety of alternatives offered for HVAC instruction in a technical or vocational school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the least period of time, usually accomplished in as little as 6 months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for most 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 deliver more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief summary of each option offered near Metter GA.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning residential or commercial HVAC specialists. They provide a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more exhaustive background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Typically taking two years to finish, many degrees incorporate 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 require an Associate Degree, while others are a standard 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 appropriate credential program will be based on what your future career objectives are, in addition to the time and money 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 Metter GA, subsequently returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, be sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Classes Online
Enrolling in an HVAC school online is one option to getting your training and receiving a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. Many also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be participated in on the web, this approach may be a more accessible solution for some Metter GA students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are less costly than other traditional choices. Even driving expenses from Metter 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 career or family obligations 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 schedule.
Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Classes
After you have chosen the type of degree or certificate that you want to earn, either online or on campus, you can start to decrease your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are many HVAC vocational schools in the Metter GA area and throughout the Country to pick from. That’s why it is essential to have a checklist of relevant qualifications when making school assessments. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the initial two variables 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 technical programs in the Metter GA area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Make sure that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many states mandate 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 of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate might indicate that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It might also suggest that the instructors were not competent 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 directory of alumni, which may mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Metter GA HVAC employers to assist students secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC training programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC businesses or labor unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with local Metter GA HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school 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 already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC tech you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Metter GA HVAC contracting company if they can provide some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Metter GA residence. Take note 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 important that you get as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Talk with a few of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
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 Metter GA, check that the programs you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, 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 Metter GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Metter Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Metter is located near the center of Candler County at 32°23′47″N 82°03′45″W / 32.396253°N 82.062414°W / 32.396253; -82.062414, in eastern Georgia. Interstate 16 touches the southern edge of the city, leading east 63 miles (101 km) to Savannah, and west 102 miles (164 km) to Macon. A short, tree-lined parkway leads from I-16 to the downtown area.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Metter has a total area of 7.9 square miles (20.4 km2), of which 7.7 square miles (19.9 km2) is land and 0.19 square miles (0.5 km2), or 2.53%, is water.
Metter may be best known as the home of "The Sower", Michael Guido, who has delivered short evangelical PSAs on late-night television nationwide for decades. Dr. Guido's messages were filmed at Guido Gardens, which houses a public botanical garden and a school of ministry. Guido died at the age of 94 on February 22, 2009. His messages were aired on TV stations in the Georgia and South Carolina region.
HVAC Refrigeration Training Metter GA
Enrolling in the ideal HVAC training program is a critical first step toward a rewarding career in the heating and cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Refrigeration Training. However, as we have discussed in this post, you should select an HVAC technical school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC field. Other factors to search for are sufficient practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should check out each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to tour the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling options and if evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to ask about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the right questions as we have laid out in our checklist for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC technician in Metter GA.
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