How to Pick an HVAC Training Class near Villa Rica Georgia
Now that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner professional, the next step is to find an HVAC vocational school near Villa Rica GA. But with so many to pick from, how do you choose the ideal one to get the training that you need? Many prospective students will make their decision based solely on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Although these are important concerns, they are not the only ones to take into account. Some of the other things that you need to research are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and additional criteria will be addressed 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 specialist does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Pro in Villa Rica GA
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors provide services for 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 regional municipality has its own requirements. Acquiring professional certification is not required, but an optional means for Villa Rica GA HVAC techs to establish that they are exceptionally proficient and accomplished in their area of specialization. There are a number of recognized certifications within the industry that are offered. Below are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is achieved by passing a competency examination and can be received in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience together with passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience in addition to a passing result on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are made available in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing might be mandated in your area, and you may also wish to earn certification, it’s important that you select an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be working with refrigerants, make certain that the program you select preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Courses
There are several options available for HVAC training in a technical or trade school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the lesser period of time, usually achieved in as little as 6 months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree programs may provide a competitive edge in the job market and will furnish more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief summary of each credential offered near Villa Rica GA.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They provide a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more comprehensive understanding of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically requiring 2 years to finish, some degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more for a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a standard four year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.
Selecting the ideal credential program will be dependent on what your future career aspirations are, in addition to the time and money that you have to commit. One approach is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Villa Rica GA, later going back to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Schools
Enrolling in an HVAC program online is one approach to obtaining your training and earning a certificate or degree. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in hands on training. A number also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be participated in online, this approach may be a more convenient solution for some Villa Rica GA students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even travelling expenses from Villa Rica and study materials can be lessened, helping to make schooling more affordable. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family commitments have left you with limited time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your busy lifestyle.
Questions For HVAC Schools near Villa Rica GA
When you have picked the type of certificate or degree that you would like to acquire, either online or on campus, you can start to decrease your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many HVAC vocational schools in the Villa Rica GA area and across the USA to pick from. That’s why it is imperative to have a checklist of relevant qualifiers when making school evaluations. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the initial two aspects you will take into consideration. Following are some additional ones that you will want to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC trade schools in the Villa Rica GA area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance HVAC technology. Verify that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you obtain a superior education, it can assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, a number of states require that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate could signify that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It may also suggest that the instructors were not competent 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 more extensive directory of graduates, which may mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Villa Rica GA HVAC employers to assist students obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC training programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling contractors or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with local Villa Rica GA HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing 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 instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC technician you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Villa Rica GA HVAC contractor if they can give you some tips. Additionally keep in mind that unless you can move, the school must be within driving distance of your Villa Rica GA residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there might be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much individualized training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Speak with some of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Villa Rica GA, check that the programs you are considering offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.
Attending HVAC School near Villa Rica GA?
Villa Rica, Georgia
Villa Rica /ˌvɪləˈrɪkə/ is a city in Carroll and Douglas counties in the U.S. state of Georgia. The population was 4,134 at the 2000 census. By the 2010 census, the population had grown to 13,956, an increase of approximately 238%.
Villa Rica is located in northeastern Carroll County and northwestern Douglas County at 33°43′55″N 84°55′12″W / 33.73194°N 84.92000°W / 33.73194; -84.92000 (33.731909, -84.919982).U.S. Route 78 (Bankhead Highway) passes through the center of the city, leading west 6 miles (10 km) to Temple and east 10 miles (16 km) to Douglasville. Interstate 20 passes through the southern part of the city with access from exits 24 and 26, and leads east 32 miles (51 km) to Atlanta and west 55 miles (89 km) to Oxford, Alabama.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 14.4 square miles (37.3 km2), of which 14.2 square miles (36.9 km2) is land and 0.15 square miles (0.4 km2), or 1.04%, is water. Villa Rica sits on the ridgeline that separates the Chattahoochee and the Tallapoosa river basins. Slightly more than half of Villa Rica lies within Carroll County, and the remainder lies within Douglas County.
Select the Right HVAC Training Course near Villa Rica GA
Choosing the ideal HVAC training program is an important beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating and cooling field. As we have addressed in this article, you need to choose a trade school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC community. Other features to look for are lots of hands-on training and modern facilities. You need to visit each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to tour the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling options and whether night or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to ask about financial assistance and student loan options as well. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have outlined in our guidelines for assessing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC specialist in Villa Rica GA.
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