How to Find the Right HVAC School near Fairmount Georgia
Once you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner professional, the next step is to choose an HVAC trade school near Fairmount GA. But with so many to select from, how do you decide on the best one to receive the training that you need? Some potential students will make their decision based entirely on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. Although these are necessary concerns, they are not the only ones to take into account. A few of the other things that you need to look into are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and additional criteria will be addressed in more detail later in this article. But before we tackle how to select an HVAC trade school, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning specialist does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Pro in Fairmount GA
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, although every state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Earning professional certification is not required, but a voluntary way for Fairmount GA HVAC technicians to prove that they are exceptionally skilled and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are several recognized certifications within the trade that are available. 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 earned by passing a proficiency exam and can be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience together with passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience together with a passing result on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are made available in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing might be required in your location, and you may also intend to obtain certification, it’s imperative that you pick an HVAC vocational school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the program you select readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree Schools
There are a variety of options offered for HVAC instruction in a vocational or trade school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the lesser period of time, usually achieved in as little as 6 months, although some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will provide more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief description of each option offered near Fairmount GA.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more detailed understanding of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Generally taking 2 years to complete, many 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 or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional 4 year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Selecting the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your long term career goals are, along with the time and money that you have to invest. One option is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Fairmount GA, eventually returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Courses Online
Enrolling in an HVAC program online is one alternative to getting your training and receiving a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in hands on training. A number also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes may be participated in via the internet, this option may be a more accessible solution for many Fairmount 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 Fairmount and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And numerous online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family responsibilities have left you with little time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your active lifestyle.
Questions For HVAC Schools near Fairmount GA
When you have decided on the type of degree or certificate that you would like to attain, either on campus or online, you can start to decrease your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are many HVAC technical schools in the Fairmount GA area and throughout the Country to select from. That’s why it is very important to have a checklist of important qualifiers when making school evaluations. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the initial 2 variables you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you should explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC technical schools in the Fairmount GA area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as HVAC technology. Make sure that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you receive a superior education, it can assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, many states require that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate could signify that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It may also signify that the teachers were not competent to instruct 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 can mean more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Fairmount GA HVAC employers to assist students secure 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 programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling contractors or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have working relationships with local Fairmount GA HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained 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, check with the HVAC tech you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Fairmount GA HVAC contracting company if they can give you some suggestions. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Fairmount GA home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be difficult 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 instructors and students. Talk with a few of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to some of the teachers and find out 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 Fairmount GA, confirm that the schools you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.
Attending HVAC School near Fairmount GA?
Fairmount is a city in Gordon County, Georgia, United States. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 720. Gordon County is home to New Echota, which was once the Cherokee Nation's capital. It was the origin of the Cherokee written language and newspaper, the Cherokee Phoenix.
Fairmount is located in southeastern Gordon County at 34°26′19″N 84°41′58″W / 34.43861°N 84.69944°W / 34.43861; -84.69944 (34.438510, -84.699371), in the valley of Salacoa Creek, a northwest-flowing tributary of the Coosawattee River. U.S. Route 411 runs through the center of town as Salacoa Avenue, leading north 24 miles (39 km) to Chatsworth and south 21 miles (34 km) to Cartersville. Georgia State Route 53 crosses US 411 in Fairmount, leading east 18 miles (29 km) to Jasper and west 17 miles (27 km) to Calhoun, the Gordon County seat.
As of the census of 2000, there were 745 people, 307 households, and 220 families residing in the city. The population density was 619.9 people per square mile (239.7/km²). There were 334 housing units at an average density of 277.9 per square mile (107.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 95.70% White, 3.22% African American, 0.27% from other races, and 0.81% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.21% of the population.
Enroll in the Right HVAC Certification Training near Fairmount GA
Choosing the ideal HVAC training program is an important first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating and air conditioning trade. As we have addressed in this post, you should choose a school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC field. Other factors to look for are plenty of practical training and modern facilities. You should go to each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to tour the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Additionally, inquire about scheduling choices and whether evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to inquire about financial assistance 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 choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC professional in Fairmount 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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