HVAC Schools Near Me in Abbeville SC 29620

How to Enroll In an HVAC Certification Class near Abbeville South Carolina

Abbeville SC HVAC tech servicing AC compressorOnce you have made a decision on a career as a heating and cooling technician, the next step is to locate an HVAC vocational school near Abbeville SC. But with so many to pick from, how do you decide on the ideal one to obtain the training that you require? A number of potential students will make their choice based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Although these are important concerns, they are not the only ones to investigate. A few of the other things that you need to look into 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 in this article. But before we tackle how to select an HVAC training program, let’s look at what a heating and a/c contractor does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.

Becoming an HVAC Professional in Abbeville SC

Abbeville SC HVAC tech servicing industrial furnacesHVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors 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 mandated to be licensed, though each state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Acquiring professional certification is not required, but a voluntary way for Abbeville SC HVAC specialists to establish that they are exceptionally proficient and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are a number of respected certifications within the industry that are available. Below are some of the significant ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is achieved 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 field experience together with passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience along with a passing score on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are made available in several specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Because licensing could be mandated in your area, and you may also desire to earn certification, it’s imperative that you enroll in an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be working with refrigerants, make certain that the program you pick preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.

HVAC Certificate and Degree Classes

Abbeville SC HVAC contractor installing residential water heaterThere are a number of options offered for HVAC instruction in a vocational or trade school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the lesser period of time, often accomplished in just six months, however some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree programs might provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will furnish more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short summary of each credential offered near Abbeville SC.

  • Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more exhaustive knowledge of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically taking two years to complete, many degrees include an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored 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 learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.

Selecting the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your future career aspirations are, in addition to the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One option is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Abbeville SC, later going back to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Schools Online

attending HVAC Training School Online in Abbeville SCChoosing an HVAC school online is one option to obtaining your education and earning a certificate or degree. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to complete hands on training. Some also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes may be participated in via the internet, this alternative may be a more practical solution for many Abbeville SC students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are cheaper than other traditional alternatives. Even commuting expenses from Abbeville and study supplies can be reduced, helping to make schooling more economical. And many online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family obligations have left you with limited time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your busy lifestyle.

Questions For HVAC Trade Schools near Abbeville SC

As soon as you have decided on the type of degree or certificate that you would like to acquire, either on campus or online, you can begin to limit your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are numerous HVAC technical schools in the Abbeville SC area and across the United States to select from. That’s why it is essential to have a checklist of key qualifiers when making school assessments. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the initial two variables you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you need to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Many HVAC trade schools in the Abbeville SC area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance HVAC technology. Make certain that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you acquire an excellent education, it can help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, 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 looking at 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 may signify that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It might also signify that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which can mean more contacts for the school to use 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 trade, but also that it has the network of Abbeville SC HVAC employers to assist students secure apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Most HVAC technical programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling companies or labor unions. Check if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with local Abbeville SC HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Confirm that the campus 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 presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC specialist you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Abbeville SC HVAC contractor if they can give you some suggestions. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Abbeville SC home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there might be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s desirable that you get as much individualized 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 large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Speak with a few of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.

Flexible Scheduling.  Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Abbeville SC, check that the programs you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.

Attending HVAC School near Abbeville SC?

Abbeville, South Carolina

Abbeville is a city in Abbeville County, South Carolina, United States, 86 miles (138 km) west of Columbia and 45 miles (72 km) south of Greenville.[3] Its population was 5,237 at the 2010 census.[1] It is the county seat of Abbeville County.[4][5] Settled by French Huguenot settlers, it was named, along with the county, for the French town of the same name.[3][6]

Abbeville has the unique distinction of being both the birthplace and the deathbed of the Confederacy. On November 22, 1860, a meeting was held at Abbeville, at a site since dubbed "Secession Hill", to launch South Carolina's secession from the Union;[8][9] one month later, the state of South Carolina became the first state to secede.

At the end of the Civil War, with the Confederacy in shambles, Confederate President Jefferson Davis fled Richmond, Virginia, and headed south, stopping for a night in Abbeville at the home of his friend Armistead Burt. It was on May 2, 1865, in the front parlor of what is now known as the Burt-Stark Mansion that Jefferson Davis officially acknowledged the dissolution of the Confederate government, in the last official cabinet meeting.[8][9]

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Enroll in the Right HVAC Trade School near Abbeville SC

Enrolling in the right HVAC training course is an important first step toward a gratifying career in the heating & cooling field. As we have addressed in this post, you need to pick a vocational 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 should go to each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to tour the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Also, inquire about scheduling choices and whether evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to ask about financial aid and student loan options too. If you ask the right questions as we have outlined in our guidelines for assessing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC professional in Abbeville SC.

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