HVAC Schools Near Me in Pine Mountain GA 31822

How to Choose an HVAC School near Pine Mountain Georgia

Pine Mountain GA HVAC tech servicing AC compressorOnce you have made a decision on a career as a heating and cooling technician, the next step is to locate an HVAC vocational school near Pine Mountain GA. But with so many to select from, how do you decide on the ideal one to get the training that you need? Many future students will make their selection based solely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Even though these are significant concerns, they are not the only ones to investigate. 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 addressed 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 a/c specialist does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Pro in Pine Mountain GA

Pine Mountain GA HVAC tech servicing industrial furnacesHVAC is an acronym that is widely 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 generally required to be licensed, though every state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Obtaining professional certification is not compulsory, but a voluntary means for Pine Mountain GA HVAC specialists to establish that they are highly qualified and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are a number of acknowledged certifications within the industry 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 earned by passing a proficiency exam and may be acquired in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience in addition to passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience together with a passing result on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are offered in various specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory 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 earn certification, it’s essential that you enroll in 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 school you pick preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.

HVAC Degree and Certificate Classes

Pine Mountain GA HVAC contractor installing residential water heaterThere are several choices available for HVAC instruction in a vocational or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the lesser period of time, usually achieved in just 6 months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree programs might provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will provide more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a short explanation of each credential offered near Pine Mountain 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 job opportunities within the industry.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more extensive background of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually taking two years to finish, a number of degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more for a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a standard 4 year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.

Choosing the appropriate credential program will be based on what your future career goals are, as well as the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One possibility is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Pine Mountain 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

attending HVAC Training School Online in Pine Mountain GAAttending an HVAC school online is one alternative to obtaining your education and receiving a certificate or degree. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. Some also sponsor 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 via the internet, this approach may be a more convenient solution for many Pine Mountain GA students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are less costly than other traditional choices. Even travelling expenses from Pine Mountain and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family obligations have left you with limited time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your hectic lifestyle.

Questions For HVAC Certification Classes near Pine Mountain GA

Once you have decided on the type of degree or certificate that you wish to acquire, either online or on campus, you can begin to limit your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Pine Mountain GA area and throughout the Country to select from. That’s why it is very important to have a checklist of important qualifications when making school comparisons. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the initial 2 aspects you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you will want to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Numerous HVAC trade programs in the Pine Mountain GA area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Confirm that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, it may help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many states require that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the HVAC schools you are reviewing 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 signify that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It might also mean that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which may result in more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Pine Mountain GA HVAC employers to help grads obtain apprenticeships or employment.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Many HVAC technical 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 HVAC companies or trade unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with local Pine Mountain GA HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Confirm that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC tech you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Pine Mountain GA HVAC company if they can give you some pointers. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Pine Mountain GA home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s important that you get as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Speak to several 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 expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.

Flexible Scheduling.  Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Pine Mountain GA, verify that the programs you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.

Attending HVAC School near Pine Mountain GA?

Pine Mountain, Georgia

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Choose the Right HVAC Trade School near Pine Mountain GA

Selecting the right HVAC training program is an important beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating & cooling trade. As we have addressed in this post, you should pick a school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC profession. Other features to look for are ample practical training and modern facilities. You need to visit each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and speak 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 evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to inquire about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the right questions as we have laid out in our guidelines for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC technician in Pine Mountain GA.

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    Johnson H V A C Service
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