How to Pick an HVAC School near Greenville Georgia
Now that you have decided on a career as a heating and cooling technician, the next step is to locate an HVAC vocational school near Greenville GA. But with so many to pick from, how do you pick the best one to obtain the training that you need? Some future students will make their decision based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Even though these are important factors to consider, they are not the only ones to evaluate. 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 vocational school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling technician does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Technician in Greenville GA
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, though each state and local municipality has its own requirements. Attaining professional certification is not compulsory, but a voluntary means for Greenville GA HVAC specialists to prove that they are exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are a number of respected certifications within the trade that are available. Below are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is earned by passing a competency 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 examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience as well as a passing result on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are offered in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for techs that handle refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing might be mandated in your area, and you may also desire to obtain certification, it’s important that you pick an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be handling refrigerants, make certain that the school you pick preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are a number of choices offered for HVAC instruction in a vocational or trade school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the least period of time, usually completed in as little as 6 months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree programs may provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will deliver more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a short description of each credential offered near Greenville GA.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred 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 exhaustive background of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually taking 2 years to finish, some degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more towards 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 cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Choosing the right credential program will be based on what your long term career goals are, in addition to the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One approach is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the trade in Greenville GA, eventually going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, be sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Training
Enrolling in an HVAC program online is one possibility to obtaining your training and earning a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. Some 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 may be attended via the internet, this option may be a more accessible solution for some Greenville GA students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even travelling expenses from Greenville and study materials can be lessened, helping to make schooling more affordable. And many online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family commitments have left you with limited time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to fit school into your active schedule.
What to Ask HVAC Schools near Greenville GA
After you have selected the type of certificate or degree that you want to obtain, either online or on campus, you can begin to narrow down your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are many HVAC vocational schools in the Greenville GA area and all over the USA to choose from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a list of important qualifiers when making school comparisons. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the initial 2 factors you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you should research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC technical schools in the Greenville GA area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as HVAC technology. Make sure that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you get a quality education, it can assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training course 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 program. A low completion rate could signify that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It could also signify that the instructors 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 more extensive list of alumni, which may produce more contacts for the school to employ 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 Greenville GA HVAC employers to assist grads obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC vocational programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling businesses or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local Greenville GA HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC tech you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Greenville GA HVAC company if they can give you some suggestions. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Greenville GA residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Talk to some of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with a few 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 schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Greenville GA, check that the schools you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending HVAC School near Greenville GA?
Greenville is a city in Meriwether County, Georgia, United States. The population was 946 at the 2000 census. The city is the county seat of Meriwether County and is located 54.9 miles (88.4 km) southwest of Atlanta. It is part of the Atlanta metropolitan area (Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Georgia Metropolitan Statistical Area).
As of the census of 2000, there were 946 people, 354 households, and 236 families residing in the city. The population density was 520.8 people per square mile (200.7/km²). There were 432 housing units at an average density of 237.8 per square mile (91.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 26.43% White, 73.15% African American, 0.11% Native American, 0.11% Pacific Islander, and 0.21% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.32% of the population.
There were 354 households out of which 29.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.5% were married couples living together, 29.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.1% were non-families. 28.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.67 and the average family size was 3.35.
Enroll in the Right HVAC Training Classes near Greenville GA
Picking the right HVAC training program is a critical beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating and cooling field. As we have covered in this post, you should select a vocational school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC trade. Other things to look for are ample practical training and modern facilities. You need to check out 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. Also, inquire about scheduling options and if evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to inquire about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the proper 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 informed decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC professional in Greenville 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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