How to Select the Right Heating and Cooling College near Reidsville Georgia
Once you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and cooling professional, the next step is to choose an HVAC vocational school near Reidsville GA. But with so many to choose from, how do you select the ideal one to receive the training that you require? A number of prospective students will make their decision based entirely on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. While these are relevant concerns, they are not the only ones to evaluate. A few of the other factors 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 additional criteria will be discussed in more detail later within this article. But before we tackle how to choose an HVAC training program, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c technician does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Pro
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are generally required to be licensed, however each state and local municipality has its own criteria. Acquiring professional certification is not required, but a voluntary means for Reidsville GA HVAC technicians to prove that they are exceptionally qualified and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are many acknowledged certifications within the trade that are available. Here are some of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is attained by passing a competency examination and may be received 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 examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience along with a passing result on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are made available in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing may be required in your location, and you may also wish to earn certification, it’s essential that you choose an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the school you decide on preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Courses
There are a number of alternatives available for HVAC instruction in a trade or technical school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the minimum period of time, typically completed in just 6 months, however some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree training programs might provide a competitive edge in the job market and will furnish more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short description of each credential offered near Reidsville GA.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They provide a solid foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more exhaustive knowledge of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically taking two years to complete, many degrees incorporate 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 require an Associate Degree, while others are a standard 4 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 right credential program will be based on what your future career goals are, along with the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One option is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Reidsville GA, later going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Classes Online
Enrolling in an HVAC program online is one alternative to attaining your education and receiving a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. Many also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes can be attended on the web, this alternative may be a more accessible solution for some Reidsville GA students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are less costly than other traditional options. Even travelling expenses from Reidsville and study materials may be lessened, helping to make schooling more economical. And a large number of 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 online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to fit school into your active schedule.
Questions For HVAC Training Programs
As soon as you have chosen the type of certificate or degree that you want to acquire, either on campus or online, you can start to decrease your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Reidsville GA area and all over the United States to select from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of important qualifiers when making school comparisons. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the initial 2 variables you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you will want to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC vocational schools in the Reidsville GA area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance HVAC technology. Make sure that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you receive a superior education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, some states require that the HVAC training course be accredited for it 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 complete the course. A low completion rate might suggest that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It might also suggest that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which may produce more contacts for the school to utilize 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 industry, but additionally that it has the network of Reidsville GA HVAC employers to help students secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC trade programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC businesses or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with local Reidsville GA HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC technician you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Reidsville GA HVAC contracting company if they can provide some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Reidsville GA home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Speak to a few of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with a few of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Reidsville GA, confirm that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering an HVAC School near Reidsville GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Reidsville Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Reidsville is a city in Tattnall County, Georgia, United States. The population was 2,594 at the 2010 census. The city is the county seat of Tattnall County. The Georgia State Prison is near Reidsville.
Reidsville was founded in about 1828 and was designated county seat of Tattnall County in 1832 by the Georgia General Assembly. It was incorporated as a town in 1838 and as a city in 1905. The city was named after Robert R. Reid, territorial governor of Florida.
During the events of World War Two, Reidsville was the home to at least one, though some reports suggest two, prisoner of war camps for captured Nazi personnel. The prison camp's location has largely been lost to time, but is believed to have stood near the current location of a gas station/self-storage company, near the fringes of the city. Archaeological research into the area has turned up a number of German artifacts, though with the development and addition of a number of houses, it is not clear if this was the location of the camp, or one of the many onion fields which the prisoners worked in.
Air Conditioner Course Reidsville GA
Picking the ideal HVAC school program is an important first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating and air conditioning field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Air Conditioner Course. However, as we have addressed in this post, you need to pick an HVAC training program and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC field. Other features to search for are ample hands-on training and modern facilities. You need to visit each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to explore the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Also, inquire about scheduling choices and whether evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the right questions as we have outlined in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC professional in Reidsville GA.
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