How to Pick an HVAC Training Course near Marietta Georgia
Once you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next step is to choose an HVAC trade school near Marietta GA. But with so many to pick from, how do you select the ideal one to receive the training that you require? Many potential students will make their selection based entirely on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. Even though these are important concerns, they are not the only ones to take into account. Some of the other factors 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. Those and other benchmarks will be addressed in more detail later in this article. But before we discuss how to select an HVAC trade school, let’s look at what a heating and a/c contractor does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Pro in Marietta GA
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the trade 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 skilled tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, though each state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Acquiring professional certification is not required, but a voluntary means for Marietta GA HVAC technicians to establish that they are highly skilled and experienced in their area of specialization. There are several recognized certifications within the field that are offered. Here are a few of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is achieved by passing a competency examination and may 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 exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience in addition to a passing result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are made available in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for technicians 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 might be required in your area, and you may also desire to obtain certification, it’s important that you choose an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the school you pick preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Training Programs
There are a number of choices available for HVAC training in a technical or trade school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the least amount of time, typically achieved in just six months, however some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will deliver more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief description of each credential offered near Marietta GA.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more exhaustive background of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually requiring two years to complete, a number of degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more for a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional four year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Picking the appropriate credential program will be based on what your long term career aspirations are, together with the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One approach is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Marietta GA, eventually returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, be sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Classes Online
Choosing an HVAC school online is one approach in attaining your education and earning a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. Some also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes can be attended online, this option may be a more convenient solution for many Marietta GA students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even commuting expenses from Marietta and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family responsibilities have left you with minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to fit school into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask HVAC Certification Courses near Marietta GA
As soon as you have decided on the type of degree or certificate that you would like to attain, either online or on campus, you can start to limit your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Marietta GA area and all over the United States to select from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school assessments. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the initial 2 variables you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you will want to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC vocational programs in the Marietta GA area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Confirm that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you get a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate might signify that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It could also signify that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also 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 utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Marietta GA HVAC employers to assist graduates obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC training programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling businesses or trade unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with local Marietta GA HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC specialist you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Marietta GA HVAC company if they can provide some suggestions. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Marietta GA home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there might be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much personalized training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Talk with several of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Marietta GA, confirm that the schools you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.
Attending HVAC School near Marietta GA?
As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 56,579. The 2013 estimate is 59,089, making it one of Atlanta's largest suburbs. Marietta is the fourth largest of the principal cities (by population) of the Atlanta metropolitan statistical area.
The origin of the name is uncertain. It is believed that the city was named for Mary Cobb, the wife of U.S. Senator and Superior Court judge Thomas Willis Cobb. Judge Cobb is the namesake of the county.
Homes were built by early settlers near the Cherokee town of Big Shanty (now Kennesaw) prior to 1824. The first plat was laid out in 1833. Like most towns, Marietta had a square (see Marietta Square) in the center with a courthouse. The Georgia General Assembly legally recognized the community on December 19, 1834.
Pick the Right HVAC Trade School near Marietta GA
Picking the right HVAC training program is a crucial first step toward a rewarding career in the heating and air conditioning field. As we have discussed in this post, you should pick a vocational school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC field. Other factors to look for are lots of practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should check out each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to tour the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Also, inquire about scheduling options and whether evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial aid and student loan options also. If you ask the right 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 educated decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC professional in Marietta 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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