HVAC Schools Near Me in Riverdale GA 30274

How to Pick an HVAC School near Riverdale Georgia

Riverdale GA HVAC tech servicing AC compressorNow that you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next step is to choose an HVAC technical school near Riverdale GA. But with so many to select from, how do you pick the right one to obtain the training that you require? Some future students will make their decision based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. While these are relevant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Some of the other factors that you need to investigate are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and additional benchmarks will be addressed in more detail later in this article. But before we examine how to select an HVAC training program, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning professional does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.

Becoming an HVAC Specialist in Riverdale GA

Riverdale 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 techs provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are generally required to be licensed, though each state and local municipality has its own criteria. Attaining professional certification is not compulsory, but an alternative way for Riverdale GA HVAC specialists to prove that they are exceptionally proficient and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are many recognized certifications within the field that are available. Below are some of the important ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is attained by passing a proficiency exam 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 together with passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience together with a passing score on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are provided in various specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Since licensing could be mandated in your location, and you may also intend to acquire certification, it’s imperative that you pick an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be handling refrigerants, make certain that the program you decide on preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.

HVAC Degree Classes

Riverdale GA HVAC contractor installing residential water heaterThere are a variety of options offered for HVAC training in a technical or vocational school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the least amount of time, often accomplished in as little as six months, although some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree training programs may provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will deliver more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short explanation of each option offered near Riverdale GA.

  • Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more exhaustive background of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally requiring two years to complete, some 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 as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a standard four year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.

Selecting the right credential program will be dependent on what your future career goals are, as well as the time and money that you have to invest. One possibility is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Riverdale GA, eventually returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Schools Online

attending HVAC Training School Online in Riverdale GAAttending an HVAC program online is one option in attaining your education and receiving a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in hands on training. A number also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be attended online, this approach may be a more practical solution for some Riverdale GA students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even commuting expenses from Riverdale and study materials can be reduced, helping to make schooling more affordable. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family obligations have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to fit school into your active schedule.

Questions to Ask HVAC Training Classes near Riverdale GA

Once you have picked the type of certificate or degree that you wish to obtain, either on campus or online, you can start to narrow down your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of HVAC trade schools in the Riverdale GA area and throughout the Country to choose from. That’s why it is essential to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school evaluations. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the first 2 variables you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you will want to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  A large number of HVAC trade programs in the Riverdale GA area have acquired 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 pertains to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Make sure that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you obtain an excellent education, it can assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate could signify that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It may also indicate that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which may mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Riverdale GA HVAC employers to assist graduates acquire apprenticeships or employment.

Apprenticeship Programs.  A large number of HVAC trade programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC contractors or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local Riverdale GA HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make certain that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are already 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 Riverdale GA HVAC company if they can provide some tips. Also bear in mind that unless you can move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Riverdale GA home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s desirable that you receive as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak with some of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.

Flexible Scheduling.  Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Riverdale GA, verify that the schools you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.

Attending HVAC School near Riverdale GA?

Riverdale, Georgia

Riverdale is a city in Clayton County, Georgia, United States. The population was 15,134 at the 2010 census,[5] up from 12,478 in 2000. Riverdale is a suburb just south of Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport and is part of the Atlanta metropolitan area.

The area now known as Riverdale was settled before the Civil War. In 1887, a railroad, built from Atlanta and Fort Valley, passed through Riverdale. Farmers in the area provided wood for the railroad. In turn, the farmers would get fertilizer. As the railroad grew, it needed more land. Mr. and Mrs. W. S. Rivers donated their land for the railroad to grow, and their land grew to become one of the railroad's main stops.

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 12,478 people, 4,389 households, and 3,107 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,926.3 people per square mile (1,130.9/km²). There were 4,590 housing units at an average density of 1,076.4 per square mile (416.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 20.09% White, 67.42% African American, 0.30% Native American, 7.73% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 2.28% from other races, and 2.10% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.81% of the population.

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Select the Right HVAC Training Classes near Riverdale GA

Finding the ideal HVAC training program is a critical beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating and cooling trade. As we have addressed in this post, you should pick a vocational school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC trade. Other factors to search for are plenty of hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to go to 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. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. In addition, inquire about scheduling choices and whether or not night or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial aid and student loan options also. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have outlined in our guidelines for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC technician in Riverdale GA.

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