How to Pick an HVAC Training Course near Farmington Georgia
Now that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next step is to find an HVAC trade school near Farmington GA. But with so many to choose from, how do you pick the ideal one to get the training that you require? Many potential students will make their decision based solely on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. While these are relevant concerns, they are not the only ones to take into account. 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 benchmarks will be addressed in more detail later within this article. But before we examine how to choose an HVAC vocational school, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c technician does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Technician in Farmington GA
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, however each state and local municipality has its own requirements. Attaining professional certification is not mandatory, but an optional means for Farmington GA HVAC technicians to prove that they are exceptionally proficient and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are multiple respected certifications within the field that are offered. 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 achieved by passing a competency exam and can be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience together with passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience along with a passing score on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for technicians that work with refrigerants. There are three forms of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing could be mandated in your location, and you may also wish to obtain certification, it’s imperative that you choose an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be working with refrigerants, make certain that the school you choose readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are a number of alternatives offered for HVAC instruction in a technical or vocational school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, often completed in as little as six months, although 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 training programs might provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will furnish more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief explanation of each option offered near Farmington GA.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They provide a strong foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more extensive understanding of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Normally taking 2 years to finish, many degrees feature 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 require an Associate Degree, while others are a standard 4 year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Selecting the right credential program will be dependent on what your long term career goals are, together with the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One approach is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Farmington GA, later going back to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Schools Online
Enrolling in an HVAC school online is one option to obtaining your training and earning a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to complete practical training. Many also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes may be attended online, this approach may be a more practical solution for many Farmington GA students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even driving expenses from Farmington and study materials may be minimized, helping to make schooling more economical. And numerous online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family commitments have left you with minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your hectic lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Trade Schools near Farmington GA
After you have selected the type of certificate or degree that you would like to earn, either online or on campus, you can start to limit your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of HVAC trade schools in the Farmington GA area and all over the United States to choose from. That’s why it is very important to have a checklist of relevant qualifiers when making school evaluations. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the initial 2 aspects you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you will want to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC technical programs in the Farmington GA area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Verify that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning schools you are considering 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 may suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It might also signify that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s also essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Farmington GA HVAC employers to help graduates secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC vocational 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 Heating and Cooling businesses or trade unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Farmington GA HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC tech you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Farmington GA HVAC contractor if they can give you some pointers. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Farmington GA residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might 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 difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Talk to a few of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Farmington GA, confirm that the schools you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.
Attending HVAC School near Farmington GA?
Farmington is an unincorporated community in Oconee County, Georgia, United States. The community is located along U.S. Routes 129/441, 3.1 miles (5.0 km) south-southeast of Bishop. Farmington has a post office with ZIP code 30638.
The Georgia General Assembly incorporated the place in 1919 as the "Town of Farmington". The community was so named on account of its location within a farming district. The town's municipal charter was repealed in 1995.
Enroll in the Right HVAC Certification Training near Farmington GA
Selecting the ideal HVAC training program is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating and air conditioning industry. As we have addressed in this post, you should select a school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC profession. Other things to search for are sufficient practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to go to each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to explore 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. Additionally, inquire about scheduling options and whether evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the right questions as we have outlined in our checklist for comparing schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC professional in Farmington GA.
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