How to Pick an HVAC Training Class near Dawsonville Georgia
Now that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and cooling professional, the next step is to choose an HVAC technical school near Dawsonville GA. But with so many to pick from, how do you choose the best one to receive the training that you require? Some potential students will make their choice based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. While these are relevant concerns, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Some of the other factors 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. These and other criteria will be addressed in more detail later within this article. But before we examine how to pick an HVAC vocational school, let’s take a look at what a heating and air conditioning contractor does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Tech in Dawsonville GA
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are generally required to be licensed, though every state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Attaining professional certification is not mandatory, but an optional means for Dawsonville GA HVAC techs to demonstrate that they are exceptionally proficient and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are a number of recognized certifications within the industry that are offered. Here are a few of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is attained by passing a competency exam and may be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience together with passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience along with 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 obtainable, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing might be mandated in your area, and you may also intend to earn certification, it’s imperative that you choose an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be working with refrigerants, make sure that the school you decide on preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are several choices offered for HVAC instruction in a technical or vocational school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the least period of time, often achieved in as little as 6 months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will provide more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief summary of each credential offered near Dawsonville GA.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning residential or commercial HVAC specialists. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more comprehensive knowledge of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Typically requiring 2 years to finish, some 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 as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a standard 4 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 ideal credential program will be dependent on what your long term career goals are, along with the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One option is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Dawsonville GA, eventually returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, be sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Training Online
Enrolling in an HVAC school online is one alternative in attaining your training and receiving a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to complete practical training. Many also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes can be participated in via the internet, this approach may be a more accessible solution for some Dawsonville GA students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even driving expenses from Dawsonville and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education 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 less complicated to accommodate school into your busy lifestyle.
Questions to Ask HVAC Trade Schools near Dawsonville GA
As soon as you have selected the type of certificate or degree that you would like to attain, either online or on campus, you can begin to decrease your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of HVAC trade schools in the Dawsonville GA area and all over the USA to select from. That’s why it is essential to have a list of important qualifiers when making school evaluations. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the initial 2 variables you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you need to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC technical programs in the Dawsonville GA area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as HVAC technology. Make sure that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you get a quality education, it can assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, some states require that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate could suggest that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It may also suggest that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which may result in more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Dawsonville GA HVAC employers to assist graduates obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC trade programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC contractors or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with local Dawsonville GA HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC tech you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Dawsonville GA HVAC company if they can provide some suggestions. Also keep in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Dawsonville GA home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much one-on-one instruction 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 big they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Talk with several of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to 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 schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Dawsonville GA, check that the schools you are considering offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending HVAC School near Dawsonville GA?
Dawsonville was founded in 1857 as seat of the newly formed Dawson County. It was incorporated as a town in 1859 and as a city in 1952. The community and the county are named for state senator William Crosby Dawson.
The community is at the junction of State Routes 9, 53, and 136. SR 9 leads northeast 14 miles (23 km) to Dahlonega and south 17 miles (27 km) to Cumming, while SR 53 leads southeast 6 miles (10 km) to U.S. Route 19 and west 24 miles (39 km) to Jasper. SR 136 also leads to Jasper, on a 29-mile (47 km) route that runs further to the north through the southern end of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
As of the census of 2000, there were 619 people, 234 households, and 153 families residing in the city. The population density was 320.9 people per square mile (123.8/km²). There were 257 housing units at an average density of 133.2 per square mile (51.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 97.58% White, 0.16% Native American, 0.97% from other races, and 0.65% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.00% of the population.
Enroll in the Right HVAC Training Classes near Dawsonville GA
Finding the right HVAC training course is a critical first step toward a gratifying career in the heating and air conditioning industry. As we have addressed in this article, you should select a school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC trade. Other features to search for are sufficient practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should go to each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to tour the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. In addition, inquire about scheduling choices and if night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial assistance and student loan options as well. 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 dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC contractor in Dawsonville GA.
More Fabulous Cities in Georgia
Business Results 1 - 10 of 293