How to Select the Right HVAC Training Program near Thomasville Georgia
Once you have decided on a career as a heating and cooling specialist, the next action is to choose an HVAC technical school near Thomasville GA. But with so many to select from, how do you pick the best one to obtain the training that you need? A number of potential students will make their choice based entirely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Even though these are important factors to consider, they are not the only ones to take into account. Some of the other details 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. These and other criteria will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we tackle how to select an HVAC training program, let’s look at what a heating and cooling professional does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Pro
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are generally required to be licensed, although every state and local municipality has its own criteria. Earning professional certification is not compulsory, but an alternative means for Thomasville GA HVAC specialists to demonstrate that they are highly qualified and experienced in their area of specialization. There are many acknowledged certifications within the field that are available. Below are some of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is achieved by passing a proficiency examination and may be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience together with passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience as well as a passing result on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are made available in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing might be required in your location, and you may also intend to acquire certification, it’s important that you pick an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be handling refrigerants, make certain that the school you decide on readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Courses
There are several options offered for HVAC instruction in a technical or trade school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, often accomplished in just six months, although some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree training programs might provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will provide more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short explanation of each option offered near Thomasville GA.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning residential or commercial HVAC specialists. They provide a solid foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more detailed understanding of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically requiring 2 years to complete, a number of degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more for a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional 4 year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Choosing the ideal credential program will be based on what your future career objectives are, as well as the time and money that you have to invest. One option is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Thomasville GA, later returning to earn 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 Training Online
Enrolling in an HVAC program online is one option in obtaining your training and receiving a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to complete practical training. A number also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be participated in on the web, this approach may be a more convenient solution for many Thomasville GA students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are less costly than other traditional choices. Even commuting expenses from Thomasville and study supplies may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family responsibilities have left you with limited time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to accommodate school into your active schedule.
Questions For HVAC Training Programs
When you have chosen the type of degree or certificate that you would like to attain, either online or on campus, you can begin to narrow down your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of HVAC trade schools in the Thomasville GA area and all over the United States to select from. That’s why it is imperative to have a checklist of key qualifiers when making school assessments. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the first 2 variables you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you should research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC technical programs in the Thomasville GA area have acquired 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. Confirm that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you obtain a superior education, it can help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, some states require that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate might indicate that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It might also indicate that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which can mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Thomasville GA HVAC employers to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous 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 companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with local Thomasville GA HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the tools 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, talk to the HVAC specialist you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Thomasville GA HVAC contracting company if they can give you some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Thomasville GA home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Talk with a few of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with some of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Thomasville GA, check that the schools you are comparing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.
Considering an HVAC School near Thomasville GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Thomasville Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
The city deems itself the "City of Roses" and holds an annual Rose Festival. The city features plantations open to the public, a historic downtown, a large farmer's market, and a 308-year-old oak tree at the corner of Monroe and Crawford streets. The population was 19,340 at the 2013 United States Census.
In 2016, Thomasville was featured as the second-best historic small town in USA Today on one of the paper's 10 Best Lists, runner up to Bisbee, Arizona—coming in ahead of Abingdon, Virginia, Mackinac Island, and Astoria, Oregon.
Thomasville was founded in 1825 as seat of the newly formed Thomas County. It was incorporated as a town in 1831 and as a city in 1889. The community was named for Jett Thomas, a general in the War of 1812.
Best HVAC Training Schools Thomasville GA
Finding the right HVAC training course is a crucial beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating and cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Best HVAC Training Schools. However, as we have discussed in this post, you should choose an Heating and Cooling school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC field. Other things to search for are sufficient hands-on training and modern facilities. You need to check out 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 training and the interaction between them. In addition, ask about scheduling options and whether or not night or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the appropriate 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 dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC specialist in Thomasville GA.
More Hot and Cool Locations in Georgia
Business Results 1 - 10 of 13