HVAC Schools Near Me in Blacksburg SC 29702

How to Choose an HVAC Training Class near Blacksburg South Carolina

Blacksburg SC HVAC tech servicing AC compressorOnce you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning specialist, the next action is to choose an HVAC vocational school near Blacksburg SC. But with so many to choose from, how do you choose the ideal one to receive the training that you need? A number of potential students will make their decision based solely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Although these are necessary considerations, they are not the only ones to take into account. Some of the other factors that you need to research 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 examine how to pick an HVAC vocational school, let’s look at what a heating and a/c contractor does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.

Becoming an HVAC Pro in Blacksburg SC

Blacksburg SC HVAC tech servicing industrial furnacesHVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, however every state and local municipality has its own criteria. Acquiring professional certification is not compulsory, but an alternative way for Blacksburg SC HVAC specialists to prove that they are highly skilled and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are many recognized certifications within the industry that are available. Following 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 proficiency examination 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 as well as passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience together with a passing score on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in several specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is required for techs that handle refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the other 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 imperative that you choose an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be handling refrigerants, make certain that the school you pick prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Degree Schools

Blacksburg SC HVAC contractor installing residential water heaterThere are several options offered for HVAC instruction in a technical or trade school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the minimum amount of time, often achieved in just six months, although some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree training programs may provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will deliver more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief description of each credential offered near Blacksburg SC.

  • Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more exhaustive background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Generally requiring two years to finish, a number of degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more towards a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional 4 year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.

Choosing the ideal credential program will be dependent on what your future career goals are, as well as the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One option is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Blacksburg SC, subsequently going back to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Schools Online

attending HVAC Training School Online in Blacksburg SCEnrolling in an HVAC school online is one option in attaining your education and earning a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. A number also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes can be attended online, this approach may be a more convenient solution for many Blacksburg SC students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other traditional alternatives. Even commuting expenses from Blacksburg and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family commitments have left you with little time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your hectic lifestyle.

What to Ask HVAC Trade Schools near Blacksburg SC

Once you have picked the type of degree or certificate that you desire to acquire, either online or on campus, you can begin to limit your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of HVAC technical schools in the Blacksburg SC area and all over the Country to choose from. That’s why it is essential to have a checklist of important qualifications when making school assessments. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the initial 2 variables you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you should research before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Numerous HVAC technical programs in the Blacksburg SC area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as HVAC technology. Confirm that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you receive a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Also, some states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited for it 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 portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate could suggest that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It may also mean that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s also important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which may mean more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Blacksburg SC HVAC employers to help grads secure apprenticeships or employment.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Most HVAC training programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC contractors or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with local Blacksburg SC HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make sure 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 presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC technician you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Blacksburg SC HVAC contracting company if they can give you some pointers. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Blacksburg SC residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might 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 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 students and instructors. Speak with some of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.

Flexible Scheduling.  Make sure that the class schedules for the programs 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 Blacksburg SC, confirm that the schools you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Attending HVAC School near Blacksburg SC?

Blacksburg, South Carolina

Blacksburg is a small town in Cherokee County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 1,848 at the 2010 census.[3] The communities of Cherokee Falls, Kings Creek, Cashion Crossroads, Buffalo, and Mount Paran are located near the town.

Blacksburg is in Upstate South Carolina on the Interstate 85 corridor about 45 mi (72 km) southwest of Charlotte, North Carolina. It is part of the Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson Combined Statistical Area (CSA) which has a population of 1,173,433 according to 2004 estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Located near the northern border of the state, the present-day site of Blacksburg was first settled by a man named Stark. Mr. Stark, who had lived in Charleston, South Carolina prior to moving to the area, had gotten several people to come along with him on an agriculture venture, but this venture would fail. Those who stayed behind named the area "Stark's Folly".

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Pick the Right HVAC Certification Training near Blacksburg SC

Choosing the ideal HVAC training course is a crucial beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating and air conditioning industry. As we have discussed in this post, you should select a trade school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC profession. Other things to look for are lots of 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 tour the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Additionally, ask about scheduling options and whether or not 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 detailed in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC specialist in Blacksburg SC.

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