How to Select an HVAC Training Course near Gordon Georgia
Once you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning professional, the next step is to choose an HVAC trade school near Gordon GA. But with so many to choose from, how do you select the best one to obtain the training that you need? A number of future students will make their decision based solely on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Although these are relevant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to investigate. A few 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 discussed in more detail later within this article. But before we explore how to select an HVAC vocational school, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c specialist does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Pro in Gordon GA
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, although each state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Attaining professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary way for Gordon GA HVAC specialists to demonstrate that they are exceptionally proficient and accomplished in their area of specialization. There are multiple recognized certifications within the industry that are available. Below are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is attained by passing a competency exam and may be received in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience in addition to passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience together with a passing result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are three types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing may be mandated in your area, and you may also intend to earn certification, it’s imperative that you pick an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be working with refrigerants, make certain that the program you decide on prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Courses
There are a variety of alternatives available for HVAC instruction in a vocational or trade school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the least amount of time, typically accomplished in as little as 6 months, though some programs 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 programs may provide a competitive edge in the job market and will provide more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief summary of each credential offered near Gordon GA.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They provide a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more extensive understanding of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually requiring two years to finish, many degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more towards a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional four year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.
Selecting the right credential program will be dependent on what your future career aspirations are, as well as the time and money that you have to commit. One approach is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Gordon GA, eventually returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, be sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Training Online
Choosing an HVAC school online is one approach in attaining your education and receiving a degree or certificate. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. Many also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes can be participated in online, this option may be a more accessible solution for some Gordon GA students that are pressed for time. And some online degree programs are less costly than other traditional choices. Even driving expenses from Gordon and study supplies can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family responsibilities have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to fit school into your hectic lifestyle.
Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Classes near Gordon GA
After you have picked the type of certificate or degree that you desire to acquire, either online or on campus, you can start to limit your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Gordon GA area and all over the United States to select from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school evaluations. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the initial two variables you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC technical schools in the Gordon GA area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Make sure that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you get a superior education, it can help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, a number of states require that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC 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 low completion rate might signify that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It could 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 graduates, which may mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Gordon GA HVAC employers to assist grads acquire 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 technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC businesses or labor unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with local Gordon GA HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC specialist you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Gordon GA HVAC contractor if they can give you some pointers. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Gordon GA residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Speak to several of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Gordon GA, verify that the schools you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.
Attending HVAC School near Gordon GA?
Fort Gordon, formerly known as Camp Gordon, is a United States Army installation established in October 1941. It is the current home of the United States Army Signal Corps , United States Army Cyber Corps, and Cyber Center of Excellence. It was once the home of The Provost Marshal General School and Civil Affairs School. The fort is located next to Augusta, Georgia to the southwest of the city. The main component of the post is the Advanced Individual Training for Signal Corps military occupational specialities. In 1966–68 the Army's Signal Officer Candidate School (located at Fort Monmouth during World War II and the Korean War) graduated over 2,200 Signal officers. Signals Intelligence has become more visible and comprises more and more of the fort's duties.
The United States Army established many war-training camps during World War I. Chamblee, northeast of Atlanta, was selected for one of the state's largest army cantonments. It was named Camp Gordon in honor of John Brown Gordon, who was a major general in the Confederate army, a Georgia governor, a U.S. senator, and a businessman. The camp opened in July 1917, becoming a training site and home of the famous 82nd Airborne Division. The division was composed of men from several different states, but men from Georgia made up almost half its number. This camp was in operation until the sale of real estate and buildings was ordered in 1920. It was abandoned in September 1921. During WWI the US Army Camp Hancock was located in Augusta, Georgia in the general vicinity of the current Daniel Field. Camp Hancock was the home of the 28th Infantry Division from Pennsylvania. Camp Hancock was abandoned and turned over to a caretaker detachment March 27, 1919. From 1919 until 1941, there was no army installation named Camp Gordon in existence, nor was there an installation located near Augusta, Georgia. 
Camp Gordon was approved as the name for a WWII division training camp which began construction in July 1941. The U.S. War Department approved a contract to construct facilities on a new training area near Augusta, in Richmond County, Georgia that had been selected several months earlier. A groundbreaking and flag-raising ceremony took place in October. In response to the attack on Pearl Harbor Colonel Herbert W. Schmidt, camp commander, moved his small staff from his temporary office in the Augusta post office building to the unfinished headquarters building at Camp Gordon on 9 December 1941 and the 4th Infantry Division began to establish operations there.
Choose the Right HVAC Training Classes near Gordon GA
Selecting the ideal HVAC training program is a crucial first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating & cooling field. As we have addressed in this post, you should pick a school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC profession. Other things to look for are lots of practical training and modern facilities. You should go to each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. In addition, ask about scheduling options and whether or not evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have laid out in our checklist for assessing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC contractor in Gordon GA.
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