How to Enroll In the Right Heating and Cooling School near Villa Rica Georgia
Once you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning specialist, the next action is to choose an HVAC trade school near Villa Rica GA. But with so many to choose from, how do you choose the ideal one to obtain the training that you require? A number of future students will make their selection based solely on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Although these are significant concerns, they are not the only ones to investigate. A few of the other factors that you need to look into are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and additional benchmarks will be covered in more detail later within this article. But before we discuss how to choose an HVAC trade school, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning specialist does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Technician
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are generally required to be licensed, although each state and local municipality has its own criteria. Acquiring professional certification is not compulsory, but an alternative way for Villa Rica GA HVAC technicians to establish that they are exceptionally proficient and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are many recognized certifications within the industry that are offered. Below are some 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 proficiency examination and may be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of professional experience together with passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience in addition to a passing score on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are made available in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for techs that work with refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing might be required in your area, and you may also desire to acquire certification, it’s important that you choose an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be working with refrigerants, make certain that the school you decide on prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Training Programs
There are several alternatives available for HVAC training in a vocational or trade school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the least amount of time, often achieved in just six months, although 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 may provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will provide more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief explanation of each option offered near Villa Rica GA.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more detailed understanding of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Usually taking two years to complete, many 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 call for an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional four year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.
Choosing the appropriate credential program will be based on what your long term career aspirations are, as well as the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One possibility is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Villa Rica GA, later returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Training
Attending an HVAC program online is one approach to getting your education and earning a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will call for some attendance on campus to participate in hands on training. Some also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes can be participated in on the web, this option may be a more practical solution for many Villa Rica GA students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other traditional choices. Even travelling expenses from Villa Rica and study materials may be lessened, helping to make schooling more economical. And numerous online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family obligations have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your hectic lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Trade Schools
After you have picked the type of degree or certificate that you desire to obtain, either online or on campus, you can start to limit your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are many HVAC vocational schools in the Villa Rica GA area and across the USA to select from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school evaluations. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the initial 2 factors you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you should research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC technical programs in the Villa Rica GA area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Make sure that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you get an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, some states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate could suggest that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It might also signify that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of graduates, which can mean more contacts for the school to employ 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 Villa Rica GA HVAC employers to assist grads secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC training programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling contractors or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with local Villa Rica GA HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides 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 school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC specialist you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Villa Rica GA HVAC contracting company if they can provide some tips. Additionally keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Villa Rica GA home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be higher tuition charges 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 observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak to some of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Villa Rica GA, confirm that the programs you are comparing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering an HVAC School near Villa Rica GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Villa Rica Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Villa Rica, Georgia
Villa Rica /ˌvɪləˈrɪkə/ is a city in Carroll and Douglas counties in the U.S. state of Georgia. The population was 4,134 at the 2000 census. By the 2010 census, the population had grown to 13,956, an increase of approximately 238%.
Villa Rica is located in northeastern Carroll County and northwestern Douglas County at 33°43′55″N 84°55′12″W / 33.73194°N 84.92000°W / 33.73194; -84.92000 (33.731909, -84.919982).U.S. Route 78 (Bankhead Highway) passes through the center of the city, leading west 6 miles (10 km) to Temple and east 10 miles (16 km) to Douglasville. Interstate 20 passes through the southern part of the city with access from exits 24 and 26, and leads east 32 miles (51 km) to Atlanta and west 55 miles (89 km) to Oxford, Alabama.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 14.4 square miles (37.3 km2), of which 14.2 square miles (36.9 km2) is land and 0.15 square miles (0.4 km2), or 1.04%, is water. Villa Rica sits on the ridgeline that separates the Chattahoochee and the Tallapoosa river basins. Slightly more than half of Villa Rica lies within Carroll County, and the remainder lies within Douglas County.
How to Choose HVAC Training Classes Villa Rica GA
Finding the ideal HVAC training program is a crucial beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating & cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding How to Choose HVAC Training Classes. However, as we have addressed in this article, you should select an HVAC trade school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC field. Other factors to search for are lots of hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to check out each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Additionally, inquire about scheduling options and if night or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to ask about financial aid and student loan options also. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have outlined in our checklist for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC specialist in Villa Rica GA.
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