How to Enroll In an HVAC Training Class near Sylvester Georgia
Now that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and cooling technician, the next action is to locate an HVAC vocational school near Sylvester GA. But with so many to select from, how do you select the ideal one to get the training that you need? Many future students will make their choice based solely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their home. While these are significant considerations, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Some 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. These and additional criteria will be discussed in more detail later within this article. But before we examine how to pick an HVAC vocational school, let’s look at what a heating and a/c specialist does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Tech in Sylvester GA
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are generally required to be licensed, although each state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Earning professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary way for Sylvester GA HVAC specialists to demonstrate that they are highly qualified and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are multiple acknowledged certifications within the industry that are available. Below are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is earned by passing a proficiency exam and can be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience in addition to passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience together with a passing score on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are provided in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for technicians that work with refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing might be mandated in your location, and you may also wish to earn certification, it’s important that you pick an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the school you pick preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are a variety of options available 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 period of time, usually accomplished in as little as 6 months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will train 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 extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short summary of each option offered near Sylvester GA.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more detailed knowledge of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Typically taking two years to complete, some 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 traditional 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.
Choosing the ideal credential program will be based on what your future career aspirations are, as well as the time and financial resources 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 Sylvester GA, later returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make certain to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Training Online
Choosing an HVAC school online is one possibility to attaining your education and earning a degree or certificate. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. A number also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes may be participated in via the internet, this approach may be a more accessible solution for many Sylvester GA students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are less costly than other traditional options. Even commuting expenses from Sylvester and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family responsibilities have left you with minimal time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Courses near Sylvester GA
After you have chosen the type of degree or certificate that you want to obtain, either online or on campus, you can begin to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Sylvester GA area and all over the United States to choose from. That’s why it is essential to have a list of key qualifications when making school comparisons. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the first 2 variables you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you should explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC technical programs in the Sylvester GA area have received 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 an individual program, such as HVAC technology. Confirm that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you acquire a quality education, it can assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of states require that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to be approved 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 percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate may suggest that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It may also suggest that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list 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 confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Sylvester GA HVAC employers to help grads obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC trade programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC contractors or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with local Sylvester GA HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC tech you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Sylvester GA HVAC contractor if they can provide some suggestions. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Sylvester GA residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Talk to some of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with a few of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools 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 Sylvester GA, check that the schools you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending HVAC School near Sylvester GA?
Sylvester is the county seat of Worth County, Georgia, United States. The population was 5,990 at the 2000 census. The city is the county seat and business center of Worth County and is claimed to be the Peanut Capital of the World due to its peanut production.
Before being well known as a speed trap town; Sylvester started as a "beautiful nowhere" in 1893 and was first called "Isabella Station". When the Brunswick and Albany Railroad came through southwest Georgia, the county seat was Isabella, which is located three miles north of the railroad. Slowly, however, the center of trade and commerce shifted south along the railroad. Two other towns, Poulan and Sumner, sprang up along the railroad in Worth County, but it was Isabella Station that grew and prospered the fastest. In 1894, the citizens voted to change the name to "Sylvester". In 1898, Sylvester voted to incorporate and on December 21 of that year the Georgia Legislature agreed to incorporate it as a city.
There have been four courthouses since Worth County was created in 1853. The first was a two-story frame structure on the public square in Isabella, which was then Worth's county seat. This building burned down in 1879, and a schoolhouse was used as a temporary courthouse until a new one could be built in 1893 — but that structure soon burned also. A new courthouse was constructed the following year, but in 1904 the legislature changed the county seat from Isabella to Sylvester.
Select the Right HVAC Training Classes near Sylvester GA
Selecting the ideal HVAC training program is a crucial beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating and air conditioning field. As we have discussed in this article, you need to choose a technical school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC profession. Other factors to search for are plenty of hands-on training and modern facilities. You need to visit each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to explore the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. In addition, ask about scheduling options and whether or not evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to ask about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have laid out in our guidelines for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC professional in Sylvester GA.
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