How to Find the Right HVAC Certification Course near Milledgeville Georgia
Once you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next step is to locate an HVAC technical school near Milledgeville GA. But with so many to pick from, how do you pick the ideal one to obtain the training that you require? Some potential students will make their choice based entirely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their home. While these are relevant considerations, they are not the only ones to take into account. A few of the other factors that you need to research are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and other criteria will be covered in more detail later within this article. But before we examine how to pick an HVAC technical school, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning contractor does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Pro in Milledgeville GA
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, though every state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Attaining professional certification is not compulsory, but a voluntary way for Milledgeville GA HVAC techs to demonstrate that they are highly proficient and experienced in their area of expertise. There are many respected certifications within the industry that are offered. Below are some of the significant 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 can be received in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience as well as passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience in addition to a passing score on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are made available in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing might be mandated in your area, and you may also desire to obtain certification, it’s imperative that you pick an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the school you decide on prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Courses
There are a number of choices offered for HVAC instruction in a technical or trade school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the least amount of time, often completed in just six months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will deliver more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short explanation of each option offered near Milledgeville GA.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level 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 supplies a more comprehensive knowledge of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Normally requiring 2 years to complete, some 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 4 year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Choosing the right credential program will be dependent on what your long term career aspirations are, along with the time and money that you have to invest. One option is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the trade in Milledgeville GA, subsequently returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Schools
Choosing an HVAC school online is one approach to attaining your training and earning a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to participate 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 remainder of the classes may be attended online, this approach may be a more convenient solution for some Milledgeville GA students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are more economical than other on campus options. Even travelling expenses from Milledgeville and study supplies may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous 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, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your active lifestyle.
Questions to Ask HVAC Training Classes near Milledgeville GA
As soon as you have chosen the type of degree or certificate that you want to earn, either on campus or online, you can begin to limit your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are a large number of HVAC trade schools in the Milledgeville GA area and all over the Country to choose from. That’s why it is very important to have a checklist of important qualifications when making school assessments. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the first 2 variables you will take into consideration. Following are some additional ones that you will want to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC technical schools in the Milledgeville GA area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Make certain that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, which includes 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 frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate could suggest that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It could also mean that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which can result in more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Milledgeville GA HVAC employers to help graduates obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC vocational programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling companies or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with local Milledgeville GA HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area 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 on the job. If you are currently 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 Milledgeville GA HVAC company if they can give you some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Milledgeville GA home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may 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 some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak with some of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Milledgeville GA, check that the programs you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending HVAC School near Milledgeville GA?
Milledgeville is a city in and the county seat of Baldwin County in the U.S. state of Georgia. It is northeast of Macon and bordered on the east by the Oconee River. The rapid current of the river here made this an attractive location to build a city. It was the capital of Georgia from 1804 to 1868, notably during the American Civil War. Milledgeville was preceded as the capital city by Louisville and was succeeded by Atlanta, the current capital. Today U.S. Highway 441 connects Milledgeville to Madison, Athens, and Dublin.
Milledgeville is along the route of the Fall Line Freeway, which is under construction to link Milledgeville with Augusta, Macon, Columbus, and other Fall Line cities. They have long histories from the colonial era of Georgia.
Milledgeville is the principal city of the Milledgeville Micropolitan Statistical Area, a micropolitan area that includes Baldwin and Hancock counties. It had a combined population of 54,776 at the 2000 census. The Old State Capitol is located here; it was added to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). Much of the original city is contained within the boundaries of the Milledgeville Historic District, which was also added to the NRHP.
Choose the Right HVAC Training Classes near Milledgeville GA
Picking the right HVAC training program is an important first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating & cooling field. As we have addressed in this article, you need to choose a vocational school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC trade. Other features to look for are lots of hands-on training and modern facilities. You should check out each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Also, inquire about scheduling choices 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 appropriate questions as we have detailed in our guidelines for comparing schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC specialist in Milledgeville GA.
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