How to Enroll In the Right Heating and Cooling Program near Winder Georgia
Now that you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioner specialist, the next step is to find an HVAC vocational school near Winder GA. But with so many to select from, how do you decide on the ideal one to get the training that you require? Many prospective students will make their decision based entirely on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. Even though these are significant concerns, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Some 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. Those and additional benchmarks will be discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we discuss how to choose an HVAC technical school, let’s take a look at what a heating and air conditioning technician does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Specialist
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, although each state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Attaining professional certification is not required, but an alternative way for Winder GA HVAC technicians to demonstrate that they are highly skilled and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are a number of respected certifications within the industry that are offered. Here 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 examination and can be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience in addition to 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. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for techs that handle refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing may be mandated in your area, and you may also wish to earn certification, it’s essential that you enroll in an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be working with refrigerants, make certain that the school you pick preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Classes
There are a variety of options offered for HVAC training in a vocational or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the least period of time, often achieved in just six months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree training programs may provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will furnish more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief description of each option offered near Winder GA.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more extensive knowledge of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically requiring 2 years to complete, some degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more for a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional 4 year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Choosing the appropriate 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 possibility is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Winder GA, eventually going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Classes Online
Attending an HVAC school online is one option in obtaining 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 provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes may be participated in via the internet, this approach may be a more practical solution for some Winder GA students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even commuting expenses from Winder and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more budget-friendly. 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, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it less complicated to fit school into your busy lifestyle.
Questions to Ask HVAC Training Classes
Once you have decided on the type of degree or certificate that you want to obtain, either online or on campus, you can begin to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Winder GA area and across the United States to select from. That’s why it is essential to have a checklist of important qualifications when making school evaluations. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the first two aspects you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC trade schools in the Winder GA area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Verify that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you obtain a superior education, it may assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, many states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to qualify 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 might suggest that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It may also indicate that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which may result in more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Winder GA HVAC employers to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC training programs are taught in conjunction 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 businesses or labor unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Winder GA HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the equipment 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 tech you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Winder GA HVAC contracting company if they can give you some suggestions. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Winder GA residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much one-on-one 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 big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak to several of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Winder GA, check that the programs you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering an HVAC School near Winder GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Winder Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Winder (pronounced WINE-der) is a city in Barrow County, Georgia, United States. It is located east of Atlanta and is part of the Atlanta metropolitan area. The population was 14,099 at the 2010 census. The city is the county seat of Barrow County.
Winder was a place for early settlement, being first occupied hundreds of years ago by Creek Indians, who called it Snodon. Activities centered around what are now Athens and Church streets. When white settlers established homes and farms near that village in 1793, the town was renamed, becoming The Jug, and, ten years later; Jug Tavern. At that time, the town had a population of 37 persons. The first school was built on 11.5 acres, known as the Academy Lot, located at the intersection of West Athens and Church streets. An historic marker now commemorates the site. For protection from hostile Indians, Fort Yargo was constructed, one of four such forts built in the area by the Humphrey brothers.
Jug Tavern grew slowly during the decades before the Civil War. The town, at the time of its origin, extended from the railroad crossing of Broad Street (then known as Jefferson Road) for one-half mile into three counties: Jackson, Walton and Gwinnett. In 1884, Jug Tavern was incorporated by the Georgia General Assembly. It was first governed by a mayor and four aldermen who were elected annually. The first mayor, N. J. Kelly, took the oath of office on January 8, 1885.
HVAC Class Winder GA
Choosing the right HVAC school course is a crucial beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating and cooling industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Class. However, as we have discussed in this post, you need to select an Heating and Cooling vocational school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC field. Other factors to search for are plenty of hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should check out each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to tour 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, inquire about scheduling choices and whether or not evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to ask about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the right questions as we have detailed in our guidelines 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 dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC technician in Winder GA.
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