How to Pick the Right HVAC Certificate Program near Shellman Georgia
Once you have made a decision on a career as a heating and cooling technician, the next step is to choose an HVAC technical school near Shellman GA. But with so many to pick from, how do you pick the right one to get the training that you require? Some future students will make their selection based solely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Even though these are necessary considerations, they are not the only ones to evaluate. A few 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 other criteria will be addressed in more detail later within this article. But before we explore how to choose an HVAC technical school, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c contractor does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Specialist
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, though every state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Attaining professional certification is not mandatory, but an optional means for Shellman GA HVAC technicians to prove that they are highly skilled and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are a number of recognized certifications within the trade that are offered. Below are a few of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. 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. 2 years of professional experience as well as passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience in addition to a passing result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing might be required in your location, and you may also intend to earn certification, it’s essential that you pick an HVAC technical 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 Courses
There are a variety of alternatives available for HVAC training in a technical or trade school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the least period of time, usually completed in as little as 6 months, however some programs 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 can provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will furnish more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief explanation of each credential offered near Shellman GA.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more comprehensive knowledge of heating & 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 tailored more towards a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional 4 year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Choosing 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 option is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Shellman GA, later returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make certain to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Courses Online
Choosing an HVAC school online is one alternative to attaining your training and receiving a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to complete hands on training. Many 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 via the internet, this alternative may be a more practical solution for some Shellman GA students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even driving expenses from Shellman and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. 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, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it easier to fit school into your active lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Trade Schools
Once you have chosen the type of degree or certificate that you want to obtain, either on campus or online, you can begin to limit your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are numerous HVAC technical schools in the Shellman GA area and across the Country to select from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of key qualifiers when making school assessments. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the initial 2 aspects you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you will want to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC trade schools in the Shellman GA area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Verify that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Also, a number of states require that the HVAC training course be accredited in order 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 portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate could indicate that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It might also indicate that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which may mean more contacts for the school to use 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 field, but also that it has the network of Shellman GA HVAC employers to help graduates obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC technical programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC contractors or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Shellman GA HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC tech you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Shellman GA HVAC contracting company if they can provide some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Shellman GA home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much individualized training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger 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. Talk to several of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with a few of the teachers and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Shellman GA, verify that the schools you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Considering an HVAC School near Shellman GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Shellman Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Shellman is a city in Randolph County, Georgia, United States. The population was 1,166 at the 2000 census. Buildings in the commercial center have been designated as an historic district and listed in 1985 on the National Register of Historic Places.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,166 people, 407 households, and 297 families residing in the city. The population density was 369.8 people per square mile (142.9/km²). There were 465 housing units at an average density of 147.5 per square mile (57.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 30.53% White, 68.87% African American, 0.09% Native American, 0.17% Pacific Islander, and 0.34% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.43% of the population.
There were 407 households out of which 34.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.8% were married couples living together, 27.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.0% were non-families. 24.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.86 and the average family size was 3.45.
Air Conditioning Installation Course Shellman GA
Choosing the ideal HVAC school program is a crucial first step toward a gratifying career in the heating and cooling trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Air Conditioning Installation Course. However, as we have covered in this post, you should choose 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 features 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 speak with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Also, inquire about scheduling choices and if evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to inquire about financial aid and student loan options also. If you ask the proper questions as we have detailed in our guidelines for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC professional in Shellman GA.
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