How to Choose an HVAC Training Class near Nashville Georgia
Now that you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioning professional, the next step is to find an HVAC technical school near Nashville GA. But with so many to select from, how do you select the best one to get the training that you require? A number of potential students will make their decision based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Even though these are relevant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to take into account. Just some 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 benchmarks will be covered in more detail later within this article. But before we examine how to select an HVAC technical school, let’s look at what a heating and a/c professional does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Tech in Nashville GA
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, although each state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Obtaining professional certification is not compulsory, but a voluntary means for Nashville GA HVAC specialists to establish that they are exceptionally 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 acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is attained by passing a competency exam and may be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience together with passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience together with a passing score on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are provided in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for technicians that work with refrigerants. There are three types of certification obtainable, 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 acquire certification, it’s imperative that you pick an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be working with refrigerants, make sure that the program you pick readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are a number of options offered for HVAC training in a trade or technical school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the least amount of time, usually accomplished in as little as six 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 related to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will provide more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short summary of each credential offered near Nashville GA.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level 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 delivers a more detailed knowledge of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Normally requiring 2 years to finish, many 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 air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.
Picking the ideal credential program will be dependent on what your long term career aspirations are, together with the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One possibility is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Nashville GA, subsequently going back to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Courses
Enrolling in an HVAC school online is one alternative to obtaining your training and earning a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete practical training. Many also sponsor 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 on the web, this approach may be a more accessible solution for some Nashville GA students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are more economical than other traditional options. Even commuting expenses from Nashville and study materials can be minimized, helping to make schooling more budget-friendly. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family obligations have left you with minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your active lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Schools near Nashville GA
Once you have decided on the type of certificate or degree that you want to earn, either on campus or online, you can start to decrease your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are numerous HVAC technical schools in the Nashville GA area and across the USA to pick from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school evaluations. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the first 2 factors you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you need to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC technical schools in the Nashville GA area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Make sure that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it can help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, a number of states require that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate may indicate that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It might also mean that the instructors were not competent 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 list of alumni, which can result in more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Nashville GA HVAC employers to help grads obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC vocational programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling businesses or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Nashville GA HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area 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 using on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC specialist you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Nashville GA HVAC contractor if they can provide some tips. Also bear in mind that unless you can move, the school must be within driving distance of your Nashville GA residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation 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 difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Talk with several of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Nashville GA, check that the programs you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Attending HVAC School near Nashville GA?
Nashville is a city in Berrien County, Georgia, United States. The population was 4,939 at the 2010 census. The city is the county seat of Berrien County. It is called the "City of Dogwoods", as the tree grows in large numbers around the area.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.7 square miles (12.2 km2), of which 4.6 square miles (12.0 km2) is land and 0.039 square miles (0.1 km2), or 1.13%, is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 4,697 people, 1,864 households, and 1,213 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,012.2 people per square mile (390.8/km²). There were 2,098 housing units at an average density of 452.1 per square mile (174.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 75.94% White, 21.57% African American, 0.28% Native American, 0.45% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.92% from other races, and 0.83% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.58% of the population.
Pick the Right HVAC Certification Training near Nashville GA
Finding the ideal HVAC training program is a crucial first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating and cooling field. As we have discussed in this article, you need to select a school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC profession. Other features to look for are lots of hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should go to 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 teaching and the interaction between them. Also, inquire about scheduling choices and whether or not night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to inquire about financial aid and student loan options too. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have outlined in our checklist for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC specialist in Nashville GA.
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