HVAC Schools Near Me in Fitzgerald GA 31750

How to Find the Right HVAC School near Fitzgerald Georgia

Fitzgerald GA HVAC tech servicing AC compressorNow that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning professional, the next step is to find an HVAC trade school near Fitzgerald GA. But with so many to pick from, how do you select the best one to get the training that you require? A number of future students will make their choice based solely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Even though these are significant concerns, they are not the only ones to investigate. 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. Those and other criteria will be addressed in more detail later within this article. But before we discuss how to choose an HVAC technical school, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c professional does to become a licensed professional tradesman.

Becoming an HVAC Tech in Fitzgerald GA

Fitzgerald GA HVAC tech servicing industrial furnacesHVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are generally mandated to be licensed, however each state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Obtaining professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary means for Fitzgerald GA HVAC technicians to demonstrate that they are exceptionally proficient and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are multiple recognized certifications within the industry that are available. Following are some of the important ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is earned by passing a proficiency examination and may be earned in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience in addition to passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience along with a passing result on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are made available in several specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for techs that handle refrigerants. There are three forms of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Since licensing might be required in your area, and you may also desire to acquire certification, it’s important that you pick an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be working with refrigerants, make sure that the program you pick readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Degree and Certificate Classes

Fitzgerald GA HVAC contractor installing residential water heaterThere are a variety of alternatives available for HVAC training in a vocational 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, often completed in as little as 6 months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs may provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will provide more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short summary of each option offered near Fitzgerald GA.

  • Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They provide a strong foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more comprehensive knowledge of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically requiring 2 years to complete, a number of degrees include 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 4 year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.

Choosing the appropriate credential program will be based on what your long term career goals are, together with the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One option is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Fitzgerald GA, subsequently going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, be sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Courses Online

attending HVAC Training School Online in Fitzgerald GAEnrolling in an HVAC school online is one approach in getting your education and earning a certificate or degree. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. A number 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 can be attended via the internet, this option may be a more accessible solution for many Fitzgerald GA students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are less costly than other traditional options. Even driving expenses from Fitzgerald and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family commitments have left you with little time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it easier to fit school into your active lifestyle.

Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Courses near Fitzgerald GA

As soon as you have selected the type of certificate or degree that you would like to obtain, either online or on campus, you can start to limit your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are numerous HVAC trade schools in the Fitzgerald GA area and all over the United States to select from. That’s why it is very important to have a checklist of key qualifiers when making school assessments. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the initial 2 variables you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you will want to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Many HVAC vocational schools in the Fitzgerald GA area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Make sure that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you acquire a superior education, it can help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, some states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate may suggest that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It might also indicate that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s also important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which may result in 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 industry, but additionally that it has the network of Fitzgerald GA HVAC employers to help students secure apprenticeships or employment.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Most HVAC training programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC businesses or trade unions. Check if the schools you are considering have working relationships with local Fitzgerald GA HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Confirm that the campus 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 currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC tech you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Fitzgerald GA HVAC contracting company if they can give you some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Fitzgerald GA residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s desirable that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Speak with a few of the students and get their feedback regarding 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.  Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Fitzgerald GA, confirm that the schools you are comparing provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.

Attending HVAC School near Fitzgerald GA?

Fitzgerald, Georgia

The city of Fitzgerald is the county seat of Ben Hill County in the U.S. state of Georgia.[6] As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 9,053.[7] It is the principal city of the Fitzgerald Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Ben Hill and Irwin counties.

Fitzgerald was developed in 1895 by Philander H. Fitzgerald, an Indianapolis newspaper editor and a former drummer boy in the Union Army, who founded it as a community for Civil War veterans – both from the Union and from the Confederacy.[8] The majority of the first citizens (some 2700) were Union veterans.[9] It was incorporated on December 2, 1896.[10] The town is located less than 15 miles (24 km) from the site of the capture of Confederate president Jefferson Davis on May 10, 1865.

Fitzgerald is one of the few truly planned cities in the United States. The city was laid out as a square, with intersecting streets dividing it into four wards. Each of the wards was divided into four blocks and each block had sixteen squares.[11] The first two streets running North/South on the east side of the city are named after Confederate generals Lee and Johnston, whereas the first two on the west side were named after Union generals Grant and Sherman.[12]

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Choose the Right HVAC Certification Training near Fitzgerald GA

Choosing the right HVAC training course is a crucial beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating and air conditioning trade. As we have covered in this article, you need to select a school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC field. Other features to search for are lots of hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should check out each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to tour 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, ask about scheduling options and if evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options too. 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 commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC contractor in Fitzgerald GA.

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