How to Pick an HVAC Training Class near Greensboro Georgia
Now that you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next step is to find an HVAC vocational school near Greensboro GA. But with so many to choose from, how do you pick the right one to get the training that you need? Many future students will make their decision based solely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Although these are relevant concerns, they are not the only ones to investigate. A few of the other factors 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 discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we tackle how to pick an HVAC technical school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling specialist does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Contractor in Greensboro GA
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, although every state and local municipality has its own criteria. Acquiring professional certification is not required, but a voluntary way for Greensboro GA HVAC specialists to establish that they are highly qualified and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are multiple recognized certifications within the trade that are available. Following are some of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is attained by passing a competency examination and can be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience together with passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience together with a passing score on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are made available in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for technicians that work with refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing could be required in your location, and you may also desire to obtain certification, it’s important that you pick an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be handling refrigerants, make sure that the school you select preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Schools
There are a number of alternatives offered for HVAC instruction in a trade or technical school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, usually completed in just 6 months, however 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 advantage in the job market and will deliver more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief summary of each option offered near Greensboro GA.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They provide a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more comprehensive understanding of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually taking two years to complete, many degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more towards a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional 4 year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Choosing the appropriate credential program will be based on what your long term career objectives are, as well as the time and money that you have to commit. One possibility is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Greensboro GA, subsequently returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Schools
Choosing an HVAC program online is one possibility to obtaining your education and earning a certificate or degree. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to complete hands on training. A number 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 via the internet, this option may be a more accessible solution for some Greensboro GA students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are less expensive than other traditional choices. Even travelling expenses from Greensboro and study materials can be reduced, helping to make schooling more budget-friendly. And many online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family commitments have left you with limited time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your busy schedule.
Questions For HVAC Training Classes near Greensboro GA
After you have chosen the type of degree or certificate that you desire to obtain, either online or on campus, you can start to limit your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many HVAC technical schools in the Greensboro GA area and throughout the USA to select from. That’s why it is essential to have a checklist of important qualifications when making school comparisons. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the first 2 factors you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you will want to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC technical programs in the Greensboro GA area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, such as HVAC technology. Make sure that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, some states require that the HVAC training course 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 or portion of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate could suggest that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It may also mean that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly 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 use 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 trade, but additionally that it has the network of Greensboro GA HVAC employers to help students acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC training programs are taught together 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 Heating and Cooling companies or trade unions. Check if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with local Greensboro GA HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC tech you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Greensboro GA HVAC company if they can give you some suggestions. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Greensboro GA residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much personalized training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Talk to several of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with some of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Greensboro GA, confirm that the programs you are looking at provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.
Attending HVAC School near Greensboro GA?
Greensboro is located at the center of Greene County at 33°34′18″N 83°10′51″W / 33.57167°N 83.18083°W / 33.57167; -83.18083 (33.571528, -83.180921).U.S. Route 278 passes through the city center as Broad Street, leading east 7 miles (11 km) to Union Point and west 19 miles (31 km) to Madison. Georgia State Route 44 leads southwest from Greensboro 22 miles (35 km) to Eatonton. State Route 15 leads north 34 miles (55 km) to Athens and southeast 27 miles (43 km) to Sparta. The city limits extend southwest along SR 44 for 4 miles (6 km) so as to include Exit 130 on Interstate 20. I-20 leads east 70 miles (110 km) to Augusta and west 73 miles (117 km) to Atlanta.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Greensboro has a total area of 6.8 square miles (17.6 km2), of which 6.7 square miles (17.4 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km2), or 0.99%, is water. The city is in the Oconee River watershed and is located 5 miles (8 km) east of Lake Oconee and 2 miles (3 km) southeast of Oconee National Forest.
As of the census of the year 2000, there were 3,238 people, 1,184 households, and 806 families residing in this town. The population density was 556.5 people per square mile (214.8/km²). There were 1,264 housing units at an average density of 217.2 per square mile (83.9/km²). The racial makeup of this town was 33.45% White, 62.01% African American, 0.40% Native American, 0.31% Asian, 0.28% Pacific Islander, 2.66% from other races, and 0.90% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.34% of the population.
Select the Right HVAC Training Classes near Greensboro GA
Enrolling in the ideal HVAC training course is an important first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating & cooling industry. As we have discussed 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 features to search for are sufficient practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to visit each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and talk 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 night or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options as well. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have outlined in our checklist for assessing 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 specialist in Greensboro GA.
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