How to Find the Right HVAC Training Class near East Ellijay Georgia
Now that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning specialist, the next action is to look for an HVAC vocational school near East Ellijay GA. But with so many to choose from, how do you choose the best one to obtain the training that you need? A number of potential students will make their selection based solely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Even though these are important concerns, they are not the only ones to evaluate. A few of the other details that you need to look into are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and other criteria will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we examine how to select an HVAC trade school, let’s look at what a heating and a/c specialist does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Contractor in East Ellijay GA
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, although each state and local municipality has its own criteria. Attaining professional certification is not required, but an alternative means for East Ellijay GA HVAC specialists to prove that they are exceptionally qualified and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are a number of respected certifications within the trade that are available. Below are some 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 proficiency exam and may be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience as well as passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience as well as a passing score on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are offered in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required 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 could be required in your location, and you may also intend to acquire certification, it’s imperative that you choose an HVAC vocational school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the school you choose preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Classes
There are several choices offered for HVAC training in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the least amount of time, usually accomplished in as little as six months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially 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. Following is a brief description of each option offered near East Ellijay GA.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level 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 supplies a more detailed knowledge of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Typically taking two years to complete, many 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 standard 4 year program. In addition to learning 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 future career aspirations are, along with the time and money that you have to commit. One possibility is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in East Ellijay GA, eventually going back to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Schools Online
Attending an HVAC school online is one option in getting your education and earning a certificate or degree. Most 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 can be attended via the internet, this option may be a more accessible solution for some East Ellijay GA students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are more economical than other on campus options. Even commuting expenses from East Ellijay 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 career or family obligations have left you with little time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to accommodate school into your hectic lifestyle.
Questions For HVAC Training Classes near East Ellijay GA
As soon as you have picked the type of certificate or degree that you wish to earn, either online or on campus, you can begin to limit your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of HVAC trade schools in the East Ellijay GA area and throughout the USA to choose from. That’s why it is essential to have a checklist of key qualifiers when making school assessments. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the first two factors you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you need to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC vocational schools in the East Ellijay GA area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Make certain that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you obtain an excellent education, it can assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, a number of states require that the HVAC training program 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 percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate might suggest that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It may also signify that the instructors were not competent 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 directory of alumni, which may mean more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of East Ellijay GA HVAC employers to help grads secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC technical programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling contractors or labor unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with local East Ellijay GA HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC technician you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local East Ellijay GA HVAC contractor if they can give you some tips. Also bear in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your East Ellijay GA home. 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 desirable that you receive as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Talk with some of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the teachers and learn what their level of expertise 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 meet your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near East Ellijay GA, check that the schools you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.
Attending HVAC School near East Ellijay GA?
East Ellijay, Georgia
As its name suggests, it is just east of Ellijay, the site of a Cherokee settlement, one of several with the name. In the Cherokee language the name is properly rendered Elatseyi (abbreviated to "Elatse"), which can be translated as "green verdant earth", suggesting fresh-springing vegetation. It was variously spelled "Ellijay", "Elejoy", and "Allagae". In addition to the Cherokee town in Georgia, there were Cherokee towns of this name on the Keowee River in South Carolina, on the Little Tennessee River at Ellijay Creek in North Carolina, and on Ellejoy Creek of the Little River near present-day Maryville, Tennessee.
East Ellijay is located in central Gilmer County at 34°41′5″N 84°28′21″W / 34.68472°N 84.47250°W / 34.68472; -84.47250 (34.684668, -84.472434). It is bordered to the north and west by the city of Ellijay.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.4 square miles (8.8 km2), all land. Georgia State Route 5/515, a four-lane bypass of Ellijay, runs the length of East Ellijay from north to south. U.S. Route 76 follows Routes 5/515 in the northern half of East Ellijay. The city of Blue Ridge is 15 miles (24 km) to the northeast, Jasper is 19 miles (31 km) to the south, and Chatsworth is 25 miles (40 km) to the west. Georgia State Route 52 runs southeast from East Ellijay 38 miles (61 km) to Dahlonega.
Select the Right HVAC Training Classes near East Ellijay GA
Finding the right HVAC training program is a crucial beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating and cooling trade. As we have addressed in this post, you should pick a trade school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC community. Other features to search for are lots of hands-on training and modern facilities. You need to go to each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to tour the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Also, inquire about scheduling options and if night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to ask about financial aid and student loan options also. If you ask the right questions as we have detailed in our checklist for assessing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC technician in East Ellijay GA.
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