HVAC Schools Near Me in Charleston SC 29401

How to Choose an HVAC Certification Course near Charleston South Carolina

Charleston SC HVAC tech servicing AC compressorOnce you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioning professional, the next step is to look for an HVAC trade school near Charleston SC. But with so many to pick from, how do you pick the ideal one to receive the training that you require? A number of potential students will make their selection based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Even though these are significant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Just 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 benchmarks will be discussed in more detail later within this article. But before we explore how to select an HVAC trade school, let’s take a look at what a heating and air conditioning professional does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Tech in Charleston SC

Charleston SC HVAC tech servicing industrial furnacesHVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are generally required to be licensed, however every state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Obtaining professional certification is not compulsory, but a voluntary means for Charleston SC HVAC techs to prove that they are exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are many respected certifications within the field that are available. Below are a few 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 earned in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience as well as passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience together with a passing result on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are made available in multiple specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is required for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Since licensing could be mandated in your location, and you may also wish to earn certification, it’s imperative that you pick an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be working with refrigerants, make sure that the school you select prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Degree and Certificate Classes

Charleston SC HVAC contractor installing residential water heaterThere are a variety of options available for HVAC instruction in a technical or vocational school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the minimum period of time, usually accomplished in as little as six 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 can provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will deliver more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief explanation of each credential offered near Charleston SC.

  • Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more extensive background of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Normally requiring 2 years to finish, many degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more for a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional four year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.

Selecting the appropriate credential program will be based on what your future career goals are, together with 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 gaining some experience in the field in Charleston SC, later 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 Charleston SCEnrolling in an HVAC school online is one alternative in obtaining your training and receiving a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. Many also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes may be attended on the web, this approach may be a more convenient solution for some Charleston SC students that are pressed for time. And some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even commuting expenses from Charleston and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And a large number of online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family obligations have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your hectic schedule.

What to Ask HVAC Certification Classes near Charleston SC

As soon as you have selected the type of certificate or degree that you desire to acquire, either on campus or online, you can start to decrease your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Charleston SC area and across the Country to pick from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of relevant qualifiers when making school comparisons. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the initial 2 factors you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you need to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Many HVAC technical schools in the Charleston SC area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Make certain that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you receive an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Additionally, many states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to be approved 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 program. A lower completion rate might indicate that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It could also mean that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which may result in more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Charleston SC HVAC employers to help students acquire apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Many HVAC technical programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling businesses or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with local Charleston SC HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to establish 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 working with on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC technician you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Charleston SC HVAC contracting company if they can give you some tips. Also keep in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Charleston SC home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s important that you receive as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Speak to a few of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with a few of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.

Flexible Scheduling.  Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Charleston SC, check that the schools you are looking at provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Attending HVAC School near Charleston SC?

Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston is the oldest and largest city in the U.S. state of South Carolina, the county seat of Charleston County,[5] and the principal city in the Charleston–North Charleston–Summerville Metropolitan Statistical Area.[6] The city lies just south of the geographical midpoint of South Carolina's coastline and is located on Charleston Harbor, an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean formed by the confluence of the Ashley, Cooper, and Wando rivers. Charleston had an estimated population of 134,385 in 2016.[7] The estimated population of the Charleston metropolitan area, comprising Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties, was 761,155 residents in 2016, the third-largest in the state and the 78th-largest metropolitan statistical area in the United States.

Charleston was founded in 1670 as Charles Town, honoring King Charles II of England. Its initial location at Albemarle Point on the west bank of the Ashley River (now Charles Towne Landing) was abandoned in 1680 for its present site, which became the fifth-largest city in North America within ten years. Despite its size, it remained unincorporated throughout the colonial period; its government was handled directly by a colonial legislature and a governor sent by London. Election districts were organized according to Anglican parishes, and some social services were managed by Anglican wardens and vestries. Charleston adopted its present spelling with its incorporation as a city in 1783 at the close of the Revolutionary War. Population growth in the interior of South Carolina influenced the removal of the state government to Columbia in 1788, but the port city remained among the ten largest cities in the United States through the 1840 census.[8] Historians estimate that "nearly half of all Africans brought to America arrived in Charleston", most at Gadsden's Wharf.[9] The only major antebellum American city to have a majority-enslaved population, Charleston was controlled by an oligarchy of white planters and merchants who successfully forced the federal government to revise its 1828 and 1832 tariffs during the Nullification Crisis and launched the Civil War in 1861 by seizing the Arsenal, Castle Pinckney, and Fort Sumter from their federal garrisons.

Known for its rich history, well-preserved architecture, distinguished restaurants, and hospitable people, Charleston is a popular tourist destination. It has received numerous accolades, including "America's Most Friendly [City]" by Travel + Leisure in 2011 and in 2013 and 2014 by Condé Nast Traveler,[10][11] and also "the most polite and hospitable city in America" by Southern Living magazine.[12] In 2016, Charleston was ranked the "World's Best City" by Travel + Leisure.[13]

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Enroll in the Right HVAC Trade School near Charleston SC

Picking the right HVAC training course is a crucial beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating and air conditioning field. As we have addressed in this post, you should choose a technical school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC field. Other things to look for are ample hands-on training and modern facilities. You should check out each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to explore the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. In addition, inquire about scheduling choices and if night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to inquire about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have laid out in our guidelines for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC contractor in Charleston SC.

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    Business Results 1 - 10 of 235

    Carolina Climate Control
    34 Reviews
    Heating & Air Conditioning/HVAC
    Phone:
    339 Fleming Rd, Ste B4, Charleston, SC 29412

    Preferred Home Services
    47 Reviews
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    Phone:
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    8 Reviews
    Heating & Air Conditioning/HVAC
    Phone:
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    Smith's
    3 Reviews
    Heating & Air Conditioning/HVAC
    Phone:
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    Pardee Service Experts
    5 Reviews
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    Phone:
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    Charleston Heating & Air
    13 Reviews
    Heating & Air Conditioning/HVAC
    Phone:
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    Smoak's Comfort Control
    3 Reviews
    Heating & Air Conditioning/HVAC
    Phone:
    1781 Harmony St, Charleston, SC 29407

    Myatt Air Conditioning & Heating Specialist
    3 Reviews
    Heating & Air Conditioning/HVAC
    Phone:
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    Southern Air Solutions
    3 Reviews
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    Phone:
    1773 Clark Hills Cir, Charleston, SC 29455