How to Select an HVAC Training Course near Suwanee Georgia
Now that you have decided on a career as a heating and cooling technician, the next step is to look for an HVAC technical school near Suwanee GA. But with so many to select from, how do you choose the right one to obtain the training that you need? Many future students will make their selection based exclusively on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. Although these are important factors to consider, they are not the only ones to take into account. Some of the other things that you need to research are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and other criteria will be covered in more detail later within this article. But before we tackle how to pick an HVAC technical school, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning specialist does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Tech in Suwanee GA
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians 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 generally required to be licensed, although every state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Obtaining professional certification is not compulsory, but an optional means for Suwanee GA HVAC specialists to prove that they are highly skilled and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are several recognized certifications within the industry that are available. Here are a few of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is earned by passing a proficiency exam and may be received in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience together with passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience along with a passing result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing could be mandated in your location, and you may also desire to obtain certification, it’s imperative that you choose an HVAC vocational school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the program you pick readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Courses
There are a number of options available for HVAC training in a technical or vocational school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the least amount of time, usually accomplished in just six months, although some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree programs may provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will provide more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short summary of each option offered near Suwanee GA.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level residential or commercial HVAC specialists. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more comprehensive knowledge of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally requiring two years to finish, many 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 or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional four year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Picking the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your long term career aspirations are, together with the time and money that you have to commit. One possibility is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Suwanee GA, subsequently going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Courses
Choosing an HVAC school online is one option to attaining your education and receiving a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to complete hands on training. Some also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes can be attended on the web, this alternative may be a more practical solution for many Suwanee GA students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are cheaper than other traditional choices. Even driving expenses from Suwanee and study materials can be reduced, helping to make schooling more economical. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family commitments have left you with minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it less complicated to fit school into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask HVAC Training Classes near Suwanee GA
When you have picked the type of certificate or degree that you want to earn, either on campus or online, you can begin to decrease your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Suwanee GA area and all over the USA to choose from. That’s why it is very important to have a checklist of important qualifications when making school comparisons. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the first two variables you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you will want to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC technical schools in the Suwanee GA area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Confirm that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you get a superior education, it may assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, 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 portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate may suggest that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It may also signify that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which can mean 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 an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Suwanee GA HVAC employers to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous 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 contractors or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local Suwanee GA HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC specialist you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Suwanee GA HVAC company if they can provide some tips. Also bear in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Suwanee GA home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Speak with several of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Suwanee GA, verify that the programs you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.
Attending HVAC School near Suwanee GA?
Suwanee is a city in Gwinnett County in the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 15,355; this had grown to an estimated 18,694 as of 2015. Suwanee was the practicing home of the Atlanta Falcons football team from 1979 to 2001 and was voted among the Top 10 Best Places to Live by Money in 2007. In 2012, Suwanee was rated by Kiplinger as the third best place in America for raising families, and in 2013, Suwanee was identified as one of the nation's 10 Best Towns for Families by Family Circle magazine.
Suwanee, as did most towns in Georgia, started out as a Native American village. It was built on the Chattahoochee River, where societies flourished. The city of Suwanee itself was established and officially recognized by the U.S. government in 1837 upon the erection of a post office. In 1871, the Georgia Air Line Railroad was built through Suwanee, and in 1880 the Rhodes House hotel was built to house passengers of the railroad. This was instrumental in bringing people through the town and helped to generate trade and economic activity. In 1881, a fire burned down all of the buildings on Main Street except for one. From 1880 to 1920, the population saw almost no increase, shifting from 216 people to 241 over the course of 40 years. As of 2015[update], the population of Suwanee was over 18,000
Beginning in 1933 and ending in 1936, the now heavily traveled Buford Highway was constructed through Suwanee. In 1960, Interstate 85 was built to extend to just south of Suwanee, where it ended at the time. Throughout the last 100 years, several primary education schools have opened in Suwanee, including North Gwinnett High School and Suwanee Elementary School. The first known date for Suwanee High School was 1880, when it was a one-room school house. The first city hall was built in the early 1960s, and the second city hall was built in 1997. In 2005, Town Center was constructed and finished in 2009, at which time the city hall moved to it, where it currently resides. In 2003, Suwanee was named a City of Excellence by the Georgia Municipal Association and Trend Magazine. In 2017, Suwanee was recognized as a Green Community by the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) certified at the bronze level for the city's commitment to environmental stewardship and their leadership in sustainability practices.
Enroll in the Right HVAC Training Classes near Suwanee GA
Finding the ideal HVAC training program is an important first step toward a gratifying career in the heating and air conditioning field. As we have discussed in this post, you should pick a technical school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC field. Other factors to search for are plenty of 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 tour the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Attempt 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 proper questions as we have laid out in our checklist for assessing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC contractor in Suwanee GA.
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