How to Choose an HVAC School near Scottdale Georgia
Once you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioner professional, the next action is to locate an HVAC technical school near Scottdale GA. But with so many to pick from, how do you decide on the best one to obtain the training that you need? Many prospective students will make their decision based exclusively on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Even though these are relevant concerns, they are not the only ones to investigate. A few of the other details that you need to investigate are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and other benchmarks will be discussed in more detail later within this article. But before we tackle how to choose an HVAC vocational school, let’s look at what a heating and cooling professional does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Specialist in Scottdale GA
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, however every state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Attaining professional certification is not mandatory, but an optional way for Scottdale GA HVAC techs to establish that they are exceptionally qualified and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are a number of respected certifications within the industry that are available. Here are some of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is achieved by passing a proficiency examination and can be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of professional experience as well as passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience together with a passing score on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for techs that handle refrigerants. There are three types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing might be required in your area, and you may also intend to acquire certification, it’s important that you select an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the program you choose prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Courses
There are a variety of alternatives available for HVAC training in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the lesser period of time, often completed in just 6 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 relevant to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will furnish more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short summary of each credential offered near Scottdale GA.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more exhaustive understanding of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally taking two years to complete, some degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more towards a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional 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 future career objectives are, together with the time and money that you have to commit. One option is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Scottdale GA, eventually returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Training
Attending an HVAC school online is one alternative in attaining your education and earning a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. A number also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes may be attended online, this alternative may be a more accessible solution for some Scottdale GA students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even commuting expenses from Scottdale and study supplies may be minimized, helping to make schooling more affordable. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family responsibilities have left you with minimal time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to fit school into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask HVAC Training Programs near Scottdale GA
After you have chosen the type of certificate or degree that you desire to earn, either online or on campus, you can begin to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Scottdale GA area and all over the United States to pick from. That’s why it is imperative to have a checklist of relevant qualifiers when making school assessments. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the initial 2 factors you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you need to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC vocational programs in the Scottdale GA area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Make certain that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you acquire a quality education, it can assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, a number of states require that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate could suggest that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It might also indicate that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which can 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 a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Scottdale GA HVAC employers to assist students secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC technical programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC businesses or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with local Scottdale GA HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain 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, talk to the HVAC specialist you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Scottdale GA HVAC company if they can provide some suggestions. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Scottdale GA residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Talk with several of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk 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 evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Scottdale GA, check that the schools you are considering offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Attending HVAC School near Scottdale GA?
Scottdale, aka SCD is located at 33°47′40″N 84°15′44″W / 33.79444°N 84.26222°W / 33.79444; -84.26222 (33.794337, -84.262110). The unincorporated community is centered on East Ponce de Leon Avenue, between Decatur and Clarkston. The northern boundary is Stone Mountain Freeway; the eastern boundary is Interstate 285; the western boundary is roughly DeKalb Industrial Blvd.; and the southern boundary is roughly the city limits of Avondale Estates. The ZIP code for Scottdale is 30079.
According to the 2010 census, there were 10,631 people residing in the CDP. The racial makeup of the CDP was 29.9% White, 37.7% African American, 0.20% Native American, 23.0% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 2.3% from other races, and 3.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.3% of the population. 12.7% of the population are Asian Indians. As of the census of 2000, there were 9,803 people, 4,010 households, and 2,201 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 2,818.2 people per square mile (1,087.6/km²). There were 4,236 housing units at an average density of 1,217.8/sq mi (470.0/km²). The racial makeup of Scottdale was 48.6% Black, 37.1% White, 0.19% Native American, 9.60% Asian, 0.18% Pacific Islander, 1.7% from other races, and 2.65% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.5% of the population.
There were 4,010 households out of which 67.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 29.8% were married couples living together, 69.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 45.1% were non-families. 18.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.15.
Enroll in the Right HVAC Certification Training near Scottdale GA
Selecting the right HVAC training program is an important beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating and cooling field. As we have covered in this article, you need to choose a vocational school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC field. Other things to look for are lots of practical training and modern facilities. You should 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. Try to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Additionally, inquire about scheduling choices and whether or not evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have outlined in our guidelines for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter 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 contractor in Scottdale GA.
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