How to Find the Right HVAC Certification Course near Warner Robins Georgia
Once you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioner professional, the next action is to choose an HVAC vocational school near Warner Robins GA. But with so many to choose from, how do you decide on the ideal one to obtain the training that you require? Some future students will make their selection based solely on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. Although these are necessary considerations, they are not the only ones to investigate. Just some of the other things 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 additional criteria will be covered in more detail later within this article. But before we examine how to pick an HVAC technical school, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c contractor does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Contractor in Warner Robins GA
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, although each state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Acquiring professional certification is not mandatory, but an optional way for Warner Robins GA HVAC specialists to demonstrate that they are exceptionally qualified and experienced in their area of specialization. There are multiple recognized certifications within the field that are available. Here are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is earned by passing a competency exam 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 professional experience in addition to passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three 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 required for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing may be required in your location, and you may also wish to obtain certification, it’s important that you enroll in an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the school you select preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are a number of alternatives available for HVAC training in a vocational or trade school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the least period of time, typically accomplished in as little as six months, although some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs might provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will provide more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short explanation of each option offered near Warner Robins GA.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more comprehensive background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Typically taking 2 years to finish, a number of degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more for a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs call for 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.
Choosing the right 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 approach is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Warner Robins GA, later going back to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Schools Online
Attending an HVAC program online is one option in obtaining your training and earning a certificate or degree. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete practical training. Many also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be attended online, this option may be a more practical solution for many Warner Robins GA students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even travelling expenses from Warner Robins and study materials may be minimized, helping to make schooling more budget-friendly. 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 less complicated to fit school into your active schedule.
Questions For HVAC Training Classes near Warner Robins GA
When you have picked the type of degree or certificate that you want to earn, either on campus or online, you can start to limit your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are numerous HVAC trade schools in the Warner Robins GA area and throughout the Country to pick from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a checklist of important qualifications when making school evaluations. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the initial 2 factors you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you will want to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC vocational programs in the Warner Robins GA area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Confirm that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you acquire an excellent education, it can help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many 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 considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate could suggest that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It may also mean that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, 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 affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Warner Robins GA HVAC employers to assist graduates acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC training programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling businesses or trade unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with local Warner Robins GA HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC tech you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Warner Robins GA HVAC contracting company if they can give you some suggestions. Also bear in mind that unless you can move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Warner Robins GA home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Speak with a few of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, 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 programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Warner Robins GA, confirm that the programs you are comparing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family issues.
Attending HVAC School near Warner Robins GA?
Warner Robins, Georgia
Warner Robins is a city in the U.S. state of Georgia, located in Houston County in the central part of the state. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 66,588. From 2000 to 2010, the Warner Robins city population grew by 36.4% (from 48,804 people to 66,588).
Warner Robins is a part of the larger Macon-Warner Robins Combined Statistical Area, with an estimated 2017 population of 420,693. Robins Air Force Base was built in 1942 just outside the city limits. Its expansion has attracted more residents.
Warner Robins was founded in 1942 from the community of Wellston. It was named for General Augustine Warner Robins of the United States Air Force. It was incorporated as a town in 1943 and as a city in 1956.
Enroll in the Right HVAC Trade School near Warner Robins GA
Finding the right HVAC training course is an important beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating and cooling field. As we have covered in this post, you need to pick a trade school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC profession. Other factors to search for are ample hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should go to each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Additionally, inquire about scheduling options and if 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 detailed in our checklist for comparing schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC specialist in Warner Robins GA.
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