How to Enroll In an HVAC Certification Course near Dublin Georgia
Now that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning specialist, the next action is to locate an HVAC trade school near Dublin GA. But with so many to choose from, how do you choose the right one to receive the training that you require? Some potential students will make their selection based entirely on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. Although these are relevant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Just some 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 other benchmarks will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we explore how to select an HVAC technical school, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c technician does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Professional in Dublin GA
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively 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, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, however every state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Obtaining professional certification is not compulsory, but an optional way for Dublin GA HVAC techs to demonstrate that they are exceptionally proficient and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are multiple respected certifications within the field that are available. Here are a few of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is earned by passing a competency exam and can 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 examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience along with a passing result 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 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 location, and you may also wish to obtain certification, it’s imperative that you enroll in an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be handling refrigerants, make sure that the school you select readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are a number of choices offered for HVAC training in a vocational or trade school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the least period of time, typically completed in just six months, although some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will provide more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a short description of each option offered near Dublin GA.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They provide a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more detailed background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Generally taking two years to finish, a number of degrees incorporate 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 call for an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional four year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Selecting the ideal credential program will be based on what your long term career aspirations are, together with the time and money that you have to invest. One approach is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Dublin GA, subsequently returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make certain to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Courses Online
Attending an HVAC program online is one alternative in obtaining your training and earning a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will call for some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. Some also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes may be attended online, this alternative may be a more accessible solution for some Dublin GA students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even travelling expenses from Dublin and study materials may be reduced, helping to make schooling more budget-friendly. And numerous online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family obligations have left you with minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your active schedule.
What to Ask HVAC Trade Schools near Dublin GA
Once you have chosen the type of degree or certificate that you wish to obtain, either on campus or online, you can start to decrease your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are a large number of HVAC trade schools in the Dublin GA area and all over the Country to select from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of relevant qualifiers when making school assessments. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the first two variables you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you need to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC technical programs in the Dublin GA area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Verify that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you acquire a superior education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, many states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate could signify that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It may also indicate that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which can result in more contacts for the school to utilize 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 also that it has the network of Dublin GA HVAC employers to help grads obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many 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 HVAC businesses or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with local Dublin GA HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also provides employment 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 trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC technician you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Dublin GA HVAC contracting 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 Dublin GA home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much individualized instruction 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 see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Speak to several of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to a few of the instructors and find out 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 assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Dublin GA, confirm that the programs you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.
Attending HVAC School near Dublin GA?
The original settlement was named after Dublin, Ireland. Because of Dublin's location as a midpoint between Savannah and Atlanta, the town in recent decades became home to a small assortment of industrial distribution centers, which complemented various industries—textiles, furniture, and paper, among others—that had already established themselves there in the second half of the 20th century. Historically, however, Dublin's economy was based on the local cotton, corn, and soybean trades, which blossomed as the town's central location enabled it to thrive with the growth of the railroad.
Originally, Dublin and the surrounding area was home to Native Americans of the Muscogee people. Most of them fled westward with the arrival of European settlers, many of them organizing themselves into armed resistance units which fought government forces and British militias to protect their native territory well into the early 19th century. Ultimately, most of the Muscogee diaspora settled in what is now Oklahoma.
Despite the Irish ancestry of Dublin's first non-indigenous settlers, the town, like most of Middle Georgia, by the late 19th century had evolved from mixture of ethnicities. Most of the population descended from Scottish, English, and other western European immigrants. The considerable African-American population descended from most of whose roots lay in Angola or throughout west Africa. By the end of the 20th century, the town had also become home to a growing population of recent immigrants, many of them professionals from India, Korea, and Latin America. As labor migrations from Mexico and Central America shifted from the southwest U.S. to much of the southeast, many immigrants from those regions also moved to Dublin in the first decade of the 21st century.
Choose the Right HVAC Training Course near Dublin GA
Selecting the ideal HVAC training course is a critical beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating and air conditioning industry. As we have addressed in this article, you need to pick a trade school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC field. Other features to look for are ample hands-on 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 speak with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Additionally, inquire about scheduling choices and if evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to ask about financial aid and student loan options also. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have laid out 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 contractor in Dublin GA.
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