How to Choose an HVAC School near Statesboro Georgia
Now that you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioning specialist, the next step is to choose an HVAC trade school near Statesboro GA. But with so many to choose from, how do you choose the ideal one to obtain the training that you require? A number of future 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 considerations, they are not the only ones to investigate. A few 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. These and other benchmarks will be addressed in more detail later in this article. But before we explore how to pick an HVAC training program, let’s take a look at what a heating and air conditioning professional does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Professional in Statesboro GA
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, though each state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Acquiring professional certification is not required, but a voluntary way for Statesboro GA HVAC techs to demonstrate that they are exceptionally proficient and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are many recognized certifications within the field that are available. Here are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is achieved by passing a proficiency examination and can be received in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers 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 score on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for techs that work with refrigerants. There are three forms of certification available, 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 earn certification, it’s imperative that you pick an HVAC technical school that will prepare 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 exams.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Classes
There are a number of alternatives available for HVAC instruction in a vocational or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the least period of time, usually completed in as little as 6 months, however some programs are longer. A certificate will train 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 edge for securing employment and will provide more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief description of each credential offered near Statesboro GA.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more exhaustive background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Generally requiring 2 years to complete, some degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited 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 mastering how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Selecting the ideal 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 even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Statesboro GA, later returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Classes
Choosing an HVAC program online is one possibility in getting your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Almost all 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 in place of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes can be attended online, this approach may be a more convenient solution for many Statesboro GA students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other traditional options. Even driving expenses from Statesboro and study supplies may be lessened, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And many online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family commitments have left you with minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to fit school into your hectic lifestyle.
Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Courses near Statesboro GA
Once you have picked the type of degree or certificate that you desire to acquire, either on campus or online, you can begin to limit your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of HVAC trade schools in the Statesboro GA area and throughout the USA to select from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of relevant qualifiers when making school comparisons. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the first 2 aspects you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you need to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC technical schools in the Statesboro GA area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Confirm that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain an excellent education, it can assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Also, many states mandate that the HVAC training program 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 percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate could suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It could also signify that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of graduates, which may mean 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 field, but also that it has the network of Statesboro GA HVAC employers to assist grads acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC trade programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC businesses or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local Statesboro GA HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus 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 currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC technician you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Statesboro GA HVAC company if they can provide some tips. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Statesboro GA home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation 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 larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Talk to a few of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Statesboro GA, verify that the schools you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending HVAC School near Statesboro GA?
Statesboro is home to the flagship campus of Georgia Southern University and is part of the Savannah–Hinesville–Statesboro Combined Statistical Area.  As of 2016, the Statesboro Micropolitan Statistical Area, which consists of Bulloch County, had an estimated population of 74,722. The city had an estimated 2016 population of 31,419. Statesboro is the largest Micropolitan Statistical Area in Georgia. It is largest city in the Magnolia Midlands Region.
The city was chartered in 1803, starting as a small trading community providing basic essentials for surrounding cotton plantations. This drove the economy throughout the 19th century, both before and after the U.S. Civil War.
In 2017, Statesboro was selected in the top three of the national America's Best Communities competition and was named one of nine Georgia "live, work, play" cities by the Georgia Municipal Association.
Enroll in the Right HVAC Certification Training near Statesboro GA
Finding the right HVAC training course is a critical first step toward a rewarding career in the heating & cooling trade. As we have addressed in this article, you need to select a trade school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC community. Other factors to look for are ample practical training and modern facilities. You need to check out each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Additionally, inquire about scheduling options and whether evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have outlined in our checklist for assessing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC professional in Statesboro GA.
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