How to Enroll In an HVAC School near Lincolnton Georgia
Once you have made a decision on a career as a heating and cooling technician, the next action is to find an HVAC vocational school near Lincolnton GA. But with so many to choose from, how do you pick the right one to receive the training that you need? Many future students will make their decision based entirely on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Even though these are important considerations, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Some of the other things that you need to look into are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and additional benchmarks will be addressed in more detail later within this article. But before we explore how to choose an HVAC training program, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling contractor does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Technician in Lincolnton 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, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are generally required to be licensed, although every state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Acquiring professional certification is not required, but a voluntary way for Lincolnton GA HVAC technicians to prove that they are highly qualified and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are many respected certifications within the field that are offered. Here are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is earned by passing a proficiency examination 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 as well as passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience along with a passing score on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are made available in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required 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.
Because licensing may 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 most likely be working with refrigerants, make certain that the school you choose readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Courses
There are a variety of choices offered for HVAC instruction in a technical or vocational school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the least period of time, usually accomplished in just 6 months, although some programs are longer. A certificate will train 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 furnish more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief summary of each option offered near Lincolnton GA.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They provide a solid foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more exhaustive background of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Normally taking 2 years to complete, many degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more for a career in management or even 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.
Selecting the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your future career aspirations are, together with the time and money that you have to commit. One option is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Lincolnton GA, eventually going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Schools Online
Attending an HVAC program online is one alternative in attaining your training and earning a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. Some also offer 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 on the web, this alternative may be a more convenient solution for some Lincolnton GA students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are more economical than other traditional alternatives. Even travelling expenses from Lincolnton and study supplies can be reduced, helping to make schooling more affordable. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family commitments have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it easier to fit school into your busy lifestyle.
Questions For HVAC Schools near Lincolnton GA
Once you have picked the type of degree or certificate that you desire to earn, either on campus or online, you can begin to decrease your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many HVAC vocational schools in the Lincolnton GA area and all over the USA to pick from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school evaluations. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the initial 2 aspects you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC vocational programs in the Lincolnton GA area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Confirm that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you acquire a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to be approved 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 of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate might suggest that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It may also suggest that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It’s also important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which can produce 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 Lincolnton GA HVAC employers to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC trade programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC contractors or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with local Lincolnton 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 local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC specialist you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Lincolnton GA HVAC company if they can provide some pointers. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Lincolnton GA home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much personalized training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Talk with some of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak 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 assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Lincolnton GA, verify that the schools you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Attending HVAC School near Lincolnton GA?
The city of Lincolnton is the county seat of Lincoln County, Georgia, United States. The population was 1,566 at the 2010 census. It is the location for the historical site, Elijah Clark State Park, and contains numerous houses and historic districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Both the city and the county were named for General Benjamin Lincoln, who served in the Continental Army during the American Revolution.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,595 people, 657 households, and 428 families residing in the city. The population density was 498.6 people per square mile (192.4/km²). There were 657 housing units at an average density of 205.4 per square mile (79.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 56.80% White, 42.19% Black, 0.06% American Indian, 0.38% Asian, 0.13% from other races, and 0.44% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.13% of the population.
There were 610 households out of which 32.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.8% were married couples living together, 22.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.8% were non-families. 27.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 3.05.
Pick the Right HVAC Trade School near Lincolnton GA
Selecting 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 article, you need to pick a trade school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC field. Other things to search for are lots of hands-on training and modern facilities. You need to check out each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to explore 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. In addition, ask about scheduling options and if evening 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 right questions as we have detailed in our guidelines for assessing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC contractor in Lincolnton GA.
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