How to Find the Right HVAC Certification Class near Fairburn Georgia
Now that you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next step is to find an HVAC technical school near Fairburn GA. But with so many to choose from, how do you decide on the best one to get the training that you need? Many future students will make their selection based entirely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Even though these are significant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Just some of the other details that you need to investigate are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and other criteria will be discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we discuss how to choose an HVAC vocational school, let’s look at what a heating and cooling professional does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Contractor in Fairburn 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, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, however every state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Obtaining professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary means for Fairburn GA HVAC specialists to demonstrate that they are exceptionally skilled and experienced in their area of expertise. There are a number of respected certifications within the industry that are available. Here are some of the significant 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. Two years of professional experience as well as passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience together with a passing result on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are offered in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are three forms of certification offered, 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 desire to earn certification, it’s important that you select an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the school you decide on prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Classes
There are a variety of choices available for HVAC instruction 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 lesser amount of time, typically accomplished in just 6 months, although some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs may provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will provide more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief explanation of each option offered near Fairburn GA.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more comprehensive understanding of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Generally requiring 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 geared more for a career in management or even 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.
Picking the ideal credential program will be dependent on what your future career objectives are, in addition to the time and money that you have to commit. One approach is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Fairburn GA, later returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make certain to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Classes Online
Attending an HVAC program online is one approach to getting your education and earning a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. A number also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes may be attended online, this alternative may be a more accessible solution for some Fairburn GA students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are more economical than other traditional options. Even driving expenses from Fairburn and study supplies can be minimized, helping to make education more budget-friendly. 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 minimal time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to fit school into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Classes near Fairburn GA
After you have chosen the type of degree or certificate that you wish to attain, either on campus or online, you can begin to narrow down your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Fairburn GA area and across the United States to pick from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school evaluations. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the initial two variables you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you will want to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC trade programs in the Fairburn GA area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, such as HVAC technology. Make certain that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you get a superior education, it can assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, 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 looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate could indicate that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It could also mean that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader 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 affirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Fairburn GA HVAC employers to help grads obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC technical programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling contractors or labor unions. Check if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with local Fairburn GA HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC tech you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Fairburn GA HVAC company if they can give you some tips. Also keep in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Fairburn GA residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Speak to some of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Fairburn GA, verify that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.
Attending HVAC School near Fairburn GA?
Fairburn is located along a railroad line and was the county seat of Campbell County starting in 1871. It was chosen as county seat in a referendum in 1871 that was spurred by the original seat of Campbellton refusing to allow the Atlanta & West Point Railroad line through on account of the anticipated noise in the 1850s. The railroad instead passed through Fairburn. Campbellton then faded away as Fairburn grew. The government of Campbell County went bankrupt in 1931 during the Great Depression and, along with Milton County to the north, was absorbed into Fulton County when 1932 began.
Fairburn is located at 33°33′45″N 84°34′53″W / 33.56250°N 84.58139°W / 33.56250; -84.58139 (33.562411, -84.581443). Fairburn is located along Interstate 85, which leads northeast 20 miles (32 km) to downtown Atlanta and southwest 142 miles (229 km) to Montgomery, Alabama. Georgia State Route 74 also runs through the city, leading south 13 miles (21 km) to Peachtree City.
As of the census of 2000, there were 5,464 people, 1,879 households, and 1,416 families residing in the city. The population density was 750.9 people per square mile (289.8/km²). There were 2,005 housing units at an average density of 275.5 per square mile (106.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 47.64% African American, 43.08% White, 0.29% Native American, 0.71% Asian, 6.46% from other races, and 1.81% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 13.01% of the population.
Enroll in the Right HVAC Trade School near Fairburn GA
Enrolling in the ideal HVAC training program is a crucial beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating & cooling industry. As we have covered in this post, you need to choose a school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC community. Other things to look for are sufficient hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should go to 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. Try to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Additionally, ask about scheduling options and whether evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to inquire about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the right questions as we have laid out in our checklist for evaluating 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 eventually become a licensed HVAC technician in Fairburn GA.
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hvac schools Selecting an HVAC school is an important career decision that deserves careful consideration. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that new HVAC technicians can earn on-the-job experience through three- to five-year apprentice programs. These days, however, more and more employers seek HVAC mechanics and installers who have shown a commitment to …
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