How to Pick an HVAC Certification Class near Screven Georgia
Once you have made a decision on a career as a heating and cooling technician, the next action is to locate an HVAC vocational school near Screven GA. But with so many to select from, how do you pick the best one to receive the training that you need? Some potential students will make their decision based solely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Although these are necessary factors to consider, they are not the only ones to take into account. Some of the other details that you need to investigate are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and other criteria will be addressed in more detail later within this article. But before we discuss how to select an HVAC trade school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling technician does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Technician in Screven GA
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, however every state and local municipality has its own requirements. Obtaining professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary means for Screven GA HVAC techs to establish that they are exceptionally qualified and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are several recognized certifications within the field that are offered. Below are a few of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is attained by passing a proficiency exam and can be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of professional experience in addition to passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience in addition to a passing result on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for techs 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.
Since licensing might be mandated in your area, and you may also intend to earn certification, it’s essential that you pick an HVAC vocational school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be handling refrigerants, make certain that the school you decide on readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Courses
There are several choices offered for HVAC training in a trade or technical school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, typically completed in as little as six months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree training programs may provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will provide more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short explanation of each option offered near Screven GA.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They provide a strong foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more detailed background of heating and a/c 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 or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional 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 based on what your long term career objectives are, as well as the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One possibility is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Screven GA, eventually returning 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 Classes
Enrolling in an HVAC program online is one approach in attaining your training and earning a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to complete 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 can be attended on the web, this approach may be a more accessible solution for some Screven GA students that are pressed for time. And some online degree programs are less costly than other traditional choices. Even travelling expenses from Screven and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more budget-friendly. 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 limited time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it easier to accommodate school into your busy lifestyle.
Questions For HVAC Schools near Screven GA
After you have decided on the type of certificate or degree that you want to earn, either on campus or online, you can start to narrow down your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Screven GA area and across the USA to select from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school comparisons. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the initial two variables you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you will want to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Screven GA area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance HVAC technology. Make certain that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you get an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, many states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate may signify that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It may also suggest that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which can produce more contacts for the school to utilize 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 also that it has the network of Screven GA HVAC employers to help students secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC vocational programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling businesses or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with local Screven GA HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained 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, consult with the HVAC tech you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Screven GA HVAC contracting company if they can give you some suggestions. Also keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Screven GA home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Talk to some of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Screven GA, verify that the programs you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Attending HVAC School near Screven GA?
Screven is a city in Wayne County, Georgia, United States. The population was 702 at the 2000 census. Although it was a railroad town as early as 1847, it was not officially chartered until August 19, 1907.
In 1857 the Savannah, Albany and Gulf Railroad Company's line from Savannah, Georgia to Screven (then known as Station Seven) was completed when then trestle was built over the Altamaha River at Doctortown. Prior to this, the tracks connected the town to Thomasville, then a popular resort destination for wealthy Northerners and Europeans. The town was named for Dr. James Proctor Screven of the Atlantic and Gulf Railroad. After Dr. Screven's death in 1859, his son John Bryan Screven took over the railroad and continued its development. Both men served as mayor of Savannah. A section of the tracks just outside Screven on the Little Satilla is still known as the Abutment, the name it was given during the construction of the tracks.
The town was originally in the 4th land District of Appling County and moved into Wayne County when the county lines were redrawn after the American Civil War ended. The Confederate States Army had a training camp, Camp Harrison, in Screven for a short time in the Fall of 1860. The soldiers came by train to Screven.
Select the Right HVAC Training Classes near Screven GA
Enrolling in the right HVAC training program is a crucial first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating and cooling field. As we have discussed in this post, you need to select a technical school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC field. Other things to look for are sufficient practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should go to each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Also, inquire about scheduling options and whether or not night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to ask about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the right questions as we have detailed in our checklist for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC contractor in Screven GA.
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