How to Choose an HVAC Training Course near Hampton Georgia
Once you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner specialist, the next action is to choose an HVAC trade school near Hampton GA. But with so many to select from, how do you decide on the best one to receive the training that you need? A number of prospective students will make their choice based exclusively on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Although these are necessary considerations, they are not the only ones to take into account. A few of the other details that you need to research are the graduation 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 explore how to choose an HVAC trade school, let’s look at what a heating and cooling professional does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Tech in Hampton GA
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the industry 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 commonly required to be licensed, although every state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Attaining professional certification is not compulsory, but an optional way for Hampton GA HVAC specialists to prove that they are exceptionally qualified and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are multiple acknowledged certifications within the industry that are offered. Following are a few 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 acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience in addition to passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience as well as a passing result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing may be mandated in your area, and you may also intend to obtain certification, it’s important that you select an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be working with refrigerants, make sure that the school you choose preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Schools
There are a variety of alternatives available for HVAC training in a technical or vocational school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the least amount of time, typically accomplished in just six months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree training programs might provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will deliver more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief description of each credential offered near Hampton GA.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more comprehensive background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Usually requiring two years to finish, some degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored 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.
Picking the right credential program will be based on what your long term career aspirations are, in addition to the time and money that you have to commit. One possibility is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Hampton GA, subsequently returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Classes Online
Choosing an HVAC school online is one possibility to attaining your training and earning a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. A number also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be participated in online, this approach may be a more accessible solution for many Hampton GA students that are pressed for time. And some online degree programs are less expensive than other traditional choices. Even driving expenses from Hampton and study materials can be lessened, 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, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask HVAC Training Classes near Hampton GA
After you have decided on the type of degree or certificate that you want to earn, either online or on campus, you can begin to narrow down your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous HVAC trade schools in the Hampton GA area and across the United States to choose from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a checklist of key qualifiers when making school assessments. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the initial two aspects you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you need to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC vocational schools in the Hampton GA area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, such as HVAC technology. Confirm that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you receive an excellent education, it can help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, some states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning 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 indicate that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It may also mean that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of graduates, which can mean more contacts for the school to employ 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 also that it has the network of Hampton GA HVAC employers to help students secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC vocational programs are taught in conjunction 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 HVAC businesses or labor unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local Hampton GA HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC specialist you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Hampton GA HVAC contracting company if they can give you some suggestions. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can move, the school must be within driving distance of your Hampton GA residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much individualized training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Speak with a few of the students and get their feedback relating to 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 evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Hampton GA, confirm that the programs you are considering offer those choices. 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, illness or family emergencies.
Attending HVAC School near Hampton GA?
Hampton is a city in southwestern Henry County, Georgia, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 6,987, up from 3,857 at the 2000 census. By 2015 the estimated population was 7,372. "Hampton" mailing addresses outside the city limits reach into rural parts of eastern Clayton County and northern Spalding County. It is a southeastern suburb in the Atlanta metropolitan area.
The city was once known as "Bear Creek" or "Bear Creek Station", named after a creek that runs through the area. The town was moved, established and renamed in 1873 when the Central Railroad of Georgia was built approx. one mile to the east. It was named after Brig. General Wade Hampton, an American soldier in the Revolutionary War and War of 1812.
The Atlanta Motor Speedway and the Henry County Airport are located 3 miles (5 km) west of Hampton. The Atlanta Air Route Traffic Control Center, the Federal Aviation Administration's ARTCC for the airspace over Atlanta and other parts of the Southeast U.S., is located in Hampton.
Enroll in the Right HVAC Trade School near Hampton GA
Picking the ideal HVAC training course is a critical beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating and air conditioning field. As we have addressed in this post, you should choose a school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC trade. Other things to search for are plenty of hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should go to each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to explore 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. Also, ask about scheduling options and whether or not evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial aid and student loan options also. If you ask the right questions as we have outlined 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 proper training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC professional in Hampton GA.
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