How to Select an HVAC Certification Course near Rockmart Georgia
Now that you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioner specialist, the next step is to choose an HVAC trade school near Rockmart GA. But with so many to pick from, how do you decide on the right one to receive the training that you require? Many prospective students will make their decision based solely on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. Although these are necessary factors to consider, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Just some of the other factors that you need to look into are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and additional benchmarks will be addressed in more detail later in this article. But before we explore how to pick an HVAC technical school, let’s take a look at what a heating and air conditioning technician does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Technician in Rockmart GA
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, 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. Attaining professional certification is not required, but an alternative means for Rockmart GA HVAC specialists to demonstrate that they are exceptionally proficient and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are several acknowledged certifications within the industry 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 received in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available 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 need to have three years of experience as well as a passing result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are made available in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing could be required in your area, and you may also wish to acquire certification, it’s essential that you select an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be working with refrigerants, make sure that the school you pick prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Courses
There are a number of options offered for HVAC instruction 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, usually accomplished in as little as 6 months, however some courses 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 training programs can provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will furnish more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief explanation of each credential offered near Rockmart GA.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred 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 delivers a more detailed understanding of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally taking two years to complete, many degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more for a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a standard 4 year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Picking the right credential program will be based on what your long term career objectives are, together with the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One approach is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Rockmart GA, eventually going back to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Training Online
Enrolling in an HVAC program online is one possibility to getting your training and earning a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete practical training. A number also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes can be participated in via the internet, this approach may be a more accessible solution for some Rockmart GA students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even driving expenses from Rockmart and study materials may be lessened, 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 easier to accommodate school into your hectic lifestyle.
Questions For HVAC Training Classes near Rockmart GA
Once you have selected the type of degree or certificate that you would like to earn, either on campus or online, you can start to limit your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of HVAC trade schools in the Rockmart GA area and across the United States to select from. That’s why it is essential to have a checklist of relevant qualifiers when making school assessments. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the first two variables you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you need to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC trade programs in the Rockmart GA area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn 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. Make certain that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you obtain a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, some states require that the HVAC training course be accredited in order 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 or portion of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate could suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It may also mean that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of graduates, which can produce more contacts for the school to employ 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 industry, but also that it has the network of Rockmart GA HVAC employers to assist graduates acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC training programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling businesses or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with local Rockmart GA HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC specialist you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Rockmart GA HVAC company if they can give you some pointers. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Rockmart GA residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there might be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Speak with some of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Rockmart GA, confirm that the programs you are looking at provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.
Attending HVAC School near Rockmart GA?
Rockmart is a city in Polk County, Georgia, United States. The population was 4,199 according to a 2010 census. Rockmart developed as a railroad depot town when the Southern Railway built a station in the area. The community was incorporated in 1872, and was named from abundant deposits of slate in the area. The Rockmart Downtown Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Rockmart is located at 34°00′14″N 85°02′57″W / 34.003952°N 85.049202°W / 34.003952; -85.049202. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.4 square miles (11 km2), of which 4.3 square miles (11 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) (0.69%) is water. The majority of the city of Rockmart is located in Polk County; however, parts of Rockmart stretch into Paulding County as well.
As of the census of 2000, there were 3,870 people, 1,541 households, and 1,027 families residing in the city. The population density was 892.0 people per square mile (344.3/km²). There were 1,681 housing units at an average density of 387.5 per square mile (149.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 79.82% White, 18.48% African American, 0.10% Native American, 0.34% Asian, 0.39% from other races, and 0.88% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.50% of the population.
Choose the Right HVAC Training Classes near Rockmart GA
Finding the right HVAC training program is a critical beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating and cooling industry. As we have covered in this post, you need to select a school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC community. Other things to look for are ample hands-on training and modern facilities. You should visit each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to tour the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. In addition, inquire about scheduling choices and if night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the right questions as we have laid out in our checklist for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC contractor in Rockmart GA.
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