How to Select the Right Heating and Cooling Training Class near Nahunta Georgia
Now that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next action is to look for an HVAC trade school near Nahunta GA. But with so many to select from, how do you pick the best one to get the training that you need? Some potential students will make their decision based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. Although these are important considerations, they are not the only ones to investigate. Some of the other factors that you need to look into are the graduation 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 discuss how to choose an HVAC training program, let’s look at what a heating and cooling professional does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Specialist
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, though each state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Attaining professional certification is not mandatory, but an alternative way for Nahunta GA HVAC technicians to establish that they are exceptionally qualified and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are a number of respected certifications within the trade that are offered. Following are a few of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is earned by passing a proficiency exam and can 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 in addition to passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience along with a passing score on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are three 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 location, and you may also desire to earn certification, it’s important that you enroll in an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be handling refrigerants, make sure that the program you choose readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Classes
There are several options offered for HVAC instruction in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the lesser period of time, typically completed in as little as 6 months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of 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 provide more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief explanation of each option offered near Nahunta 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 job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more comprehensive background of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Normally requiring two years to finish, a number of 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 as well as business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a standard 4 year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Selecting the right credential program will be dependent on what your future career aspirations are, along with the time and money that you have to commit. One approach is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Nahunta GA, subsequently returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make certain to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Training Online
Enrolling in an HVAC program online is one alternative to obtaining your training and earning a certificate or degree. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. Some also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes can be attended online, this alternative may be a more accessible solution for many Nahunta GA students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even commuting expenses from Nahunta and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education 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 easier to fit school into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Courses
As soon as you have selected the type of certificate or degree that you want to acquire, either online or on campus, you can start to limit your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Nahunta GA area and all over the United States to choose from. That’s why it is imperative to have a checklist of important qualifiers when making school evaluations. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the initial two aspects you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you should research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC technical programs in the Nahunta GA area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Make certain that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you acquire a superior education, it may assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, some states require that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate could indicate that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It could also mean that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which can result in more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Nahunta GA HVAC employers to help grads acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC training programs are taught along 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 Heating and Cooling businesses or trade unions. Check if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with local Nahunta GA HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC technician you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Nahunta GA HVAC contracting 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 Nahunta GA home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging 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 instructors and students. Talk to several of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with a few of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Nahunta GA, verify that the schools you are comparing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.
Considering an HVAC School near Nahunta GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Nahunta Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Nahunta is a city in Brantley County, Georgia, United States. It is the county seat of Brantley County. It is part of the Brunswick, Georgia Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 1,053 at the 2010 census. The city is an important crossroad; U.S. Route 82 and U.S. Route 301 intersect in its downtown area.
Nahunta, originally called Victoria, was founded about 1870. It is believed that the town was renamed in 1899 for timber executive N.A. Hunter, but the origin of the name has never been officially verified.  In 1923, the seat of Brantley County was transferred to Nahunta from Hoboken.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 1,053 people residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 78.8% White, 17.2% Black, 0.1% from some other race and 1.8% from two or more races. 2.1% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
HVAC Hands On Training Nahunta GA
Finding the ideal HVAC training course is a crucial first step toward a gratifying career in the heating & cooling trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Hands On Training. However, as we have covered in this article, you need to choose an HVAC school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC community. Other factors to search for are ample hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to visit each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to explore the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Also, inquire about scheduling choices and whether or not evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial aid and student loan options too. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have laid out in our checklist for assessing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC contractor in Nahunta GA.
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