How to Find the Right HVAC Training Class near Lenox Georgia
Now that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next action is to locate an HVAC trade school near Lenox GA. But with so many to choose from, how do you decide on the right one to obtain the training that you require? Some future students will make their selection based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their home. While these are relevant considerations, they are not the only ones to investigate. Just some of the other details 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 additional benchmarks will be addressed in more detail later in this article. But before we examine how to select an HVAC technical school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling specialist does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Technician in Lenox GA
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the trade 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 professional tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, however every state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Obtaining professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary way for Lenox GA HVAC technicians to demonstrate that they are highly qualified and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are multiple recognized certifications within the field that are offered. Here are some of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is earned by passing a competency exam 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 together with passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience together with a passing result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for techs that work with refrigerants. There are three types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing could be required in your location, and you may also intend to obtain certification, it’s important that you pick an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the program you pick prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Courses
There are a variety of alternatives offered 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 minimum period of time, often accomplished in as little as 6 months, though some programs 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 programs can provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will deliver more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief explanation of each credential offered near Lenox GA.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities 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 complete, a number of 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 or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional 4 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.
Picking the right credential program will be based on what your long term career objectives are, along 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 Lenox GA, subsequently going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Training
Enrolling in an HVAC program online is one approach to obtaining your education and receiving a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to participate in hands on training. Many also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes can be participated in online, this approach may be a more convenient solution for many Lenox GA students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are less expensive than other traditional options. Even travelling expenses from Lenox and study supplies can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs 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 online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to fit school into your hectic lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Training Classes near Lenox GA
Once you have chosen the type of certificate or degree that you want to obtain, either on campus or online, you can begin to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are numerous HVAC trade schools in the Lenox GA area and across the United States to pick from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a list of key qualifications when making school assessments. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the first two variables you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you should explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC trade programs in the Lenox GA area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain 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 certain that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you obtain an excellent education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many states require 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 finish the course. A low completion rate might suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It might also mean that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which may mean 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 also that it has the network of Lenox GA HVAC employers to assist graduates obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC vocational 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 Heating and Cooling contractors or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with local Lenox GA HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC specialist you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Lenox GA HVAC company if they can give you some tips. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Lenox GA residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Talk with some of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Lenox GA, confirm that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. 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 protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.
Attending HVAC School near Lenox GA?
Lenox is located in northern Cook County at 31°16′N 83°28′W / 31.267°N 83.467°W / 31.267; -83.467 (31.2712, -83.4654).U.S. Route 41 passes through the center of the town as Robinson Street, and Interstate 75 passes through the west side of the town, with access from Exit 49. Tifton is 13 miles (21 km) to the north, and Adel, the Cook County seat, is 10 miles (16 km) to the south.
As of the census of 2010, there were 889 people, 351 households, and 237 families residing in the town. The population density was 717.0 people per square mile (276.8/km²). There were 405 housing units at an average density of 326.6 per square mile (126.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 58.61% White, 38.02% African American, 0.22% Native American, 2.36% from other races, and 0.79% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.81% of the population.
There were 351 households out of which 27.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.3% were married couples living together, 15.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.2% were non-families. 29.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.13.
Enroll in the Right HVAC Training Classes near Lenox GA
Choosing the ideal HVAC training program is a critical first step toward a rewarding career in the heating & cooling industry. As we have addressed in this post, you need to choose a technical school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC trade. Other factors to search for are ample practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should visit each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Also, inquire about scheduling choices and whether or not night or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the proper questions as we have outlined in our guidelines for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC professional in Lenox GA.
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