How to Choose the Right HVAC Training Program near Oxford Georgia
Once you have made a decision on a career as a heating and cooling specialist, the next step is to locate an HVAC trade school near Oxford GA. But with so many to pick from, how do you pick the ideal one to get the training that you need? A number of prospective students will make their decision based exclusively on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. While these are relevant considerations, they are not the only ones to take into account. A few of the other things that you need to investigate are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and other benchmarks will be covered in more detail later within this article. But before we tackle how to pick an HVAC technical school, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c technician does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Contractor
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are generally required to be licensed, however each state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Attaining professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary means for Oxford GA HVAC techs to prove that they are highly proficient and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are multiple 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 recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is attained 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. Two years of professional experience in addition to passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience together with a passing score on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are made available in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for techs that work with refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing could be required in your area, and you may also intend to acquire certification, it’s essential that you choose an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be handling refrigerants, make sure that the program you decide on prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Courses
There are several alternatives offered for HVAC instruction in a technical or vocational school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the minimum period of time, usually accomplished in just six months, however 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 might provide a competitive edge in the job market and will furnish more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short summary of each credential offered near Oxford GA.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They provide a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more exhaustive background of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically taking two years to finish, many degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more towards a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional 4 year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Picking the ideal credential program will be based on what your future career objectives are, together with the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One option is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Oxford GA, eventually returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Classes Online
Enrolling in an HVAC school online is one possibility in attaining your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. A number also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be participated in via the internet, this alternative may be a more accessible solution for some Oxford GA students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even travelling expenses from Oxford and study materials may be lessened, helping to make schooling more budget-friendly. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family responsibilities have left you with minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to fit school into your hectic lifestyle.
Questions to Ask HVAC Training Programs
After you have selected the type of certificate or degree that you wish to obtain, either on campus or online, you can start to narrow down your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Oxford GA area and across the United States to select from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school assessments. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the initial two variables you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you will want to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Oxford GA area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Make certain that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you acquire a quality education, it may help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Also, many states require that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate might indicate that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It may also signify that the teachers were not qualified to instruct 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 alumni, which may mean more contacts for the school to utilize 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 additionally that it has the network of Oxford GA HVAC employers to assist grads obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC trade programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling contractors or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with local Oxford GA HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also provides job 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 working with on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC specialist you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Oxford GA HVAC contractor if they can provide some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Oxford GA home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Talk with some of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Oxford GA, confirm that the schools you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.
Considering an HVAC School near Oxford GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Oxford Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
The town was named after Oxford University, the alma mater of the founders of Oxford College. The entire town is also designated as a shrine of the United Methodist Church. Additionally, Confederate soldiers are buried in a small cemetery on the grounds of Oxford College.
Properties in Oxford listed on the National Register of Historic Places include: Oxford Historic District and the Orna Villa, a mansion, which was built in 1825, which was used as a hospital during the American Civil War.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,892 people, 509 households, and 387 families residing in the city. The population density was 740.0 people per square mile (285.4/km²). There were 534 housing units at an average density of 208.9 per square mile (80.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 60.62% White, 32.72% African American, 0.42% Native American, 4.07% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.95% from other races, and 1.16% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.85% of the population.
HVAC College Degree Oxford GA
Picking the right HVAC school program is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating & cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC College Degree. However, as we have covered in this article, you need to pick an Heating and Cooling vocational school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC profession. Other features to search for are lots of practical training and modern facilities. You should go to each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Additionally, ask about scheduling options and whether night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial aid and student loan options also. If you ask the right questions as we have laid out in our checklist for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter 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 contractor in Oxford GA.
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