How to Pick the Right HVAC Certification Training near Milledgeville Georgia
Once you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next step is to look for an HVAC trade school near Milledgeville GA. But with so many to select from, how do you decide on the ideal one to obtain the training that you need? Many prospective students will make their decision based exclusively on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Although these are necessary concerns, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Some of the other details that you need to research are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and other benchmarks will be discussed in more detail later within this article. But before we tackle how to select an HVAC vocational school, let’s look at what a heating and a/c specialist does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Tech
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, however every state and local municipality has its own requirements. Acquiring professional certification is not required, but a voluntary way for Milledgeville GA HVAC specialists to prove that they are highly proficient and experienced in their area of expertise. There are many recognized certifications within the trade that are available. Below are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is earned by passing a proficiency examination and can be received in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience as well as passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience together with a passing result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for techs that handle refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing might be required in your area, and you may also desire to obtain certification, it’s essential that you enroll in an HVAC vocational school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be handling refrigerants, make certain that the school you choose preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Courses
There are several choices offered for HVAC instruction in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, typically completed in just 6 months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, particularly 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 comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief explanation of each option offered near Milledgeville GA.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level 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 extensive background of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically requiring 2 years to finish, a number of 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 or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a standard four year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.
Selecting the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your future career aspirations are, together with the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One approach is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Milledgeville GA, subsequently returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Classes Online
Enrolling in an HVAC school online is one possibility to obtaining your training and receiving a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will call for some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. Some also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes may be attended on the web, this approach may be a more convenient solution for many Milledgeville GA students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are cheaper than other traditional alternatives. Even travelling expenses from Milledgeville and study supplies can be reduced, helping to make schooling more budget-friendly. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family commitments have left you with little time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to fit school into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Classes
As soon as you have decided on the type of certificate or degree that you would like to obtain, either on campus or online, you can begin to narrow down your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of HVAC technical schools in the Milledgeville GA area and throughout the USA to pick from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a checklist of important qualifications when making school assessments. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably 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. Numerous HVAC technical programs in the Milledgeville GA area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance HVAC technology. Make certain that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, some states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to qualify 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 complete the course. A low completion rate could signify that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It could also suggest that the teachers were not competent to train 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 can result in more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Milledgeville GA HVAC employers to help grads obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC trade programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC businesses or trade unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local Milledgeville GA HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure 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 currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC specialist you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Milledgeville GA HVAC contracting company if they can provide some suggestions. Also bear in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Milledgeville GA home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Speak to several of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with a few of the teachers 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 schools you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Milledgeville GA, check that the programs you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.
Considering an HVAC School near Milledgeville GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Milledgeville Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Milledgeville is a city in and the county seat of Baldwin County in the U.S. state of Georgia. It is northeast of Macon and bordered on the east by the Oconee River. The rapid current of the river here made this an attractive location to build a city. It was the capital of Georgia from 1804 to 1868, notably during the American Civil War. Milledgeville was preceded as the capital city by Louisville and was succeeded by Atlanta, the current capital. Today U.S. Highway 441 connects Milledgeville to Madison, Athens, and Dublin.
Milledgeville is along the route of the Fall Line Freeway, which is under construction to link Milledgeville with Augusta, Macon, Columbus, and other Fall Line cities. They have long histories from the colonial era of Georgia.
Milledgeville is the principal city of the Milledgeville Micropolitan Statistical Area, a micropolitan area that includes Baldwin and Hancock counties. It had a combined population of 54,776 at the 2000 census. The Old State Capitol is located here; it was added to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). Much of the original city is contained within the boundaries of the Milledgeville Historic District, which was also added to the NRHP.
HVAC Technician Schools Milledgeville GA
Choosing the right HVAC training program is an important beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating and air conditioning field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Technician Schools. However, as we have addressed in this post, you should select an Heating and Cooling training program and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC trade. Other things to search for are sufficient practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to visit each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to explore the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. In addition, inquire about scheduling choices and whether or not night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the right questions as we have outlined in our checklist for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC technician in Milledgeville GA.
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