How to Enroll In an HVAC Certification Class near Concord Georgia
Once you have decided on a career as a heating and cooling professional, the next step is to find an HVAC technical school near Concord GA. But with so many to select from, how do you pick the ideal one to receive the training that you require? Some future students will make their choice based exclusively on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their home. While these are necessary factors to consider, they are not the only ones to investigate. 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. Those and other benchmarks will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we explore how to choose an HVAC training program, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c professional does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Specialist in Concord GA
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are generally mandated to be licensed, though every state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Obtaining professional certification is not required, but an alternative means for Concord GA HVAC technicians to prove that they are exceptionally skilled and experienced in their area of expertise. There are many recognized certifications within the field that are available. Below are a few of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is earned by passing a proficiency examination and can be received in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of professional experience as well as passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience in addition to a passing result on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are provided in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing may be required in your area, and you may also intend to earn certification, it’s important that you choose an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the school you decide on prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Courses
There are several choices available for HVAC training 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 minimum period of time, typically completed in as little as 6 months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs might provide a competitive edge in the job market and will deliver more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief explanation of each option offered near Concord GA.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They provide a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more exhaustive background of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually taking two years to finish, some degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more for a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional four year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Choosing the right credential program will be based on what your long term career goals are, in addition to the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One approach is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the trade in Concord GA, eventually returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, be sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Training
Attending an HVAC program online is one option in obtaining your education and receiving a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in hands on training. A number 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 option may be a more accessible solution for many Concord GA students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are less costly than other traditional choices. Even driving expenses from Concord and study materials can be minimized, helping to make schooling more affordable. And a large number of online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family responsibilities have left you with minimal time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to fit school into your busy lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Schools near Concord GA
Once you have picked the type of certificate or degree that you want to earn, either on campus or online, you can begin to decrease your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of HVAC trade schools in the Concord GA area and throughout the Country to select from. That’s why it is very important to have a checklist of key qualifications when making school comparisons. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the initial 2 factors you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you will want to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC technical programs in the Concord GA area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Make certain that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you get an excellent education, it can assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Additionally, many states require that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to qualify 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 or portion of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate might suggest that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It may also signify that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have high 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 use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Concord GA HVAC employers to assist graduates acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC technical programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC businesses or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with local Concord GA HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure 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 presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC technician you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Concord GA HVAC contracting company if they can provide some pointers. Additionally keep in mind that unless you can move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Concord GA home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much individualized training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Talk with a few of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees 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 in the evening or on weekends near Concord GA, verify that the programs you are comparing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Attending HVAC School near Concord GA?
The Georgia General Assembly incorporated the place in 1887 as the "Town of Concord". The community took its name from the Concord Primitive Baptist Church, which stood at the site since the early 1840s.
As of the census of 2000, there were 336 people, 118 households, and 92 families residing in the town. The population density was 403.5 people per square mile (156.3/km²). There were 128 housing units at an average density of 153.7 per square mile (59.5/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 73.81% White, 24.70% African American, and 1.49% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.60% of the population.
There were 118 households out of which 38.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.2% were married couples living together, 15.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.0% were non-families. 20.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.85 and the average family size was 3.26.
Enroll in the Right HVAC Training Course near Concord GA
Finding the ideal HVAC training course is a critical first step toward a rewarding career in the heating and cooling field. As we have addressed in this article, you need to select a vocational school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC trade. Other features to look for are sufficient hands-on training and modern facilities. You should go to each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to tour the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling options and if night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial aid and student loan options too. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have detailed in our guidelines for comparing schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC technician in Concord GA.
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