How to Choose an HVAC Certification Class near Crawfordville Georgia
Once you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioning professional, the next action is to find an HVAC technical school near Crawfordville GA. But with so many to select from, how do you choose the best one to receive the training that you require? A number of potential students will make their selection based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Although these are relevant concerns, they are not the only ones to investigate. A few of the other things that you need to research are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and additional criteria will be discussed in more detail later within this article. But before we explore how to pick an HVAC technical school, let’s take a look at what a heating and air conditioning specialist does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Specialist in Crawfordville GA
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, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, although every state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Acquiring professional certification is not compulsory, but a voluntary means for Crawfordville GA HVAC techs to prove that they are highly skilled and experienced in their area of expertise. There are several acknowledged certifications within the field that are offered. Following are a few of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is achieved by passing a proficiency examination and can be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience in addition to passing a comprehensive exam 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 examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for technicians that work with refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing might be mandated in your area, and you may also desire to acquire certification, it’s imperative that you pick an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be working with refrigerants, make sure that the program you select prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Schools
There are a variety of options offered for HVAC training in a trade or technical school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, typically accomplished in just six 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 advantage for securing employment and will deliver more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short description of each credential offered near Crawfordville GA.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more comprehensive knowledge of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually requiring two years to finish, some degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more for a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional 4 year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn 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 possibility is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the trade in Crawfordville GA, eventually going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Schools
Choosing an HVAC program online is one option in attaining your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete practical 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 convenient solution for some Crawfordville GA students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are less costly than other traditional choices. Even travelling expenses from Crawfordville and study supplies can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family obligations have left you with limited time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Classes near Crawfordville GA
When you have selected the type of degree or certificate that you would like to attain, either online or on campus, you can begin to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Crawfordville GA area and all over the Country to select from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of important qualifiers when making school assessments. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the initial two variables you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you need to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC technical programs in the Crawfordville GA area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Confirm that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you acquire an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, a number of states require that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate might indicate that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It might also mean that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which may produce more contacts for the school to employ 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 industry, but also that it has the network of Crawfordville GA HVAC employers to help graduates obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC trade programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC contractors or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with local Crawfordville GA HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC tech you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Crawfordville GA HVAC company if they can provide some pointers. Additionally keep in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Crawfordville GA residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can 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 challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Talk to a few of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Crawfordville GA, check that the programs you are looking at provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Attending HVAC School near Crawfordville GA?
Crawfordville was founded in 1825 as the seat of the newly formed Taliaferro County. It was incorporated as a town in 1826 and as a city in 1906. The community was named after William H. Crawford (1772–1834), U.S. Secretary of War and Secretary of the Treasury.
As of the census of 2000, there were 572 people, 260 households, and 163 families residing in the city. The population density was 182.4 people per square mile (70.3/km²). There were 312 housing units at an average density of 99.5 per square mile (38.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 41.43% White, 56.99% African American, 1.05% from other races, and 0.52% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.52% of the population.
There were 260 households out of which 25.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 32.7% were married couples living together, 26.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.3% were non-families. 35.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 19.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.20 and the average family size was 2.82.
Pick the Right HVAC Training Classes near Crawfordville GA
Selecting the ideal HVAC training program is a crucial beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating and air conditioning field. As we have covered in this post, you need to choose a vocational school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC field. Other features to search for are lots of practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to visit each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling choices and whether night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to ask about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the proper questions as we have outlined in our guidelines for comparing schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC technician in Crawfordville GA.
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