HVAC Schools Near Me in Waleska GA 30183

How to Enroll In an HVAC Training Class near Waleska Georgia

Waleska GA HVAC tech servicing AC compressorNow that you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioner professional, the next action is to locate an HVAC vocational school near Waleska GA. But with so many to pick from, how do you pick the right one to get the training that you need? Some prospective students will make their choice based entirely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their home. While these are important factors to consider, they are not the only ones to investigate. Some of the other things that you need to look into are the graduation completion 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 in this article. But before we examine how to choose an HVAC trade school, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c professional does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Contractor in Waleska GA

Waleska GA HVAC tech servicing industrial furnacesHVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, however every state and local municipality has its own requirements. Attaining professional certification is not compulsory, but an optional way for Waleska GA HVAC specialists to demonstrate that they are highly qualified and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are several acknowledged 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 techs. The certification is attained by passing a competency exam and can be acquired in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience in addition to passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience along with a passing score on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in various specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for techs that handle refrigerants. There are three types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Considering that licensing could be mandated in your area, and you may also intend to obtain certification, it’s imperative that you enroll in an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be handling refrigerants, make certain that the school you choose preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Certificate and Degree Courses

Waleska GA HVAC contractor installing residential water heaterThere are several alternatives offered for HVAC training in a technical or vocational school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the lesser period of time, typically accomplished in just six months, although some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will provide more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief summary of each option offered near Waleska GA.

  • Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning residential or commercial HVAC specialists. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities 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. Normally requiring 2 years to complete, some degrees include 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 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 study 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 money that you have to invest. One approach is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Waleska GA, subsequently returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make certain to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Classes Online

attending HVAC Training School Online in Waleska GAChoosing an HVAC program online is one alternative in obtaining your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to complete hands on training. Many 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 online, this option may be a more accessible solution for some Waleska GA students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are more economical than other on campus choices. Even travelling expenses from Waleska and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family commitments have left you with little time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to accommodate school into your hectic schedule.

What to Ask HVAC Schools near Waleska GA

After you have chosen the type of certificate or degree that you would like to obtain, either on campus or online, you can start to narrow down your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are numerous HVAC technical schools in the Waleska GA area and across the Country to select from. That’s why it is very important to have a checklist of key qualifications when making school evaluations. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the initial two aspects you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you need to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  A large number of HVAC trade schools in the Waleska GA area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Make certain that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you receive an excellent education, it may help in obtaining 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 qualify for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the HVAC schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate could suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It could also indicate that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which may mean more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Waleska GA HVAC employers to assist graduates obtain apprenticeships or employment.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Most HVAC training programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC companies or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with local Waleska GA HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make sure that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC tech you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Waleska GA HVAC contracting company if they can give you some tips. Also keep in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Waleska GA residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s desirable that you receive as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Speak to some of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to some of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.

Flexible Scheduling.  Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Waleska GA, verify that the programs you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.

Attending HVAC School near Waleska GA?

Waleska, Georgia

The first white settlement in the Waleska area began in the early 1830s. Among these first pioneer settlers were the Reinhardt, Heard and Rhyne families, who moved into the region looking for fresh, fertile farm land. At first, these settlers lived among the Cherokee population already established in the area, but by 1838 all of the Cherokee had been forced westward to Oklahoma in the U.S. government relocation movement known as the Trail of Tears.

Early settler Lewis W. Reinhardt established a church in 1834 in the settlement known as Reinhardt Chapel and befriended many of the native Cherokee population. When the Trail of Tears forced the movement of Warluskee, the daughter of a local Cherokee chief and friend of Reinhardt's, westward, he named this settlement in her honor (see Funk Heritage Center below).

In 1883, Augustus M. Reinhardt, an Atlanta lawyer, former Confederate captain, and son of one of the founders of Waleska, along with his brother-in-law, former Civil War Lieutenant-Colonel John J. A. Sharp, founded Reinhardt Academy in Waleska for the impoverished children of Cherokee County. This school eventually became Reinhardt University.

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Select the Right HVAC Trade School near Waleska GA

Selecting the right HVAC training program is a crucial first step toward a rewarding career in the heating & cooling field. As we have addressed in this post, you need to pick a school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC community. Other features to search for are lots of hands-on training and modern facilities. You need to check out 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. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. In addition, inquire about scheduling choices and whether evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have outlined in our guidelines for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC contractor in Waleska GA.

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