HVAC Schools Near Me in Columbia SC 29201

How to Pick an HVAC Certification Class near Columbia South Carolina

Columbia SC HVAC tech servicing AC compressorOnce you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next action is to locate an HVAC technical school near Columbia SC. But with so many to select from, how do you select the best one to obtain the training that you require? Some potential students will make their choice based entirely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. While these are relevant considerations, they are not the only ones to investigate. A few of the other things that you need to investigate are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and additional benchmarks will be covered in more detail later within this article. But before we explore how to pick an HVAC training program, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning contractor does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Professional in Columbia SC

Columbia SC HVAC tech servicing industrial furnacesHVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are generally mandated to be licensed, though every state and local municipality has its own requirements. Earning professional certification is not mandatory, but an alternative way for Columbia SC HVAC techs to demonstrate that they are highly skilled and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are multiple respected certifications within the field that are offered. Below are a few of the significant ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is achieved by passing a competency exam and may be earned in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience together with passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience as well as a passing result on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are provided in multiple 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 additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Because licensing might be required in your area, and you may also intend to acquire certification, it’s essential that you enroll in an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be working with refrigerants, make certain that the program you choose readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Degree Classes

Columbia SC HVAC contractor installing residential water heaterThere are a number of alternatives offered for HVAC instruction in a trade or technical school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the least amount of time, often achieved in just six months, though 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 training programs can provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will provide more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a short explanation of each option offered near Columbia SC.

  • Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They provide a strong foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more exhaustive background of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually requiring two years to finish, a number of degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more towards a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs require 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 ideal credential program will be dependent on what your future career objectives are, along with the time and money that you have to invest. One option is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Columbia SC, subsequently returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make sure 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 Columbia SCEnrolling in an HVAC school online is one alternative to attaining your training and earning a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. Some also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes may be participated in online, this approach may be a more convenient solution for some Columbia SC students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even commuting expenses from Columbia and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family responsibilities have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to accommodate school into your hectic schedule.

Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Classes near Columbia SC

After you have selected the type of certificate or degree that you want to obtain, either on campus or online, you can start to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Columbia SC area and all over the Country to select from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of important qualifications when making school assessments. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the initial two factors you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you will want to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Numerous HVAC trade schools in the Columbia SC area have attained 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 an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Verify that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you obtain an excellent education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Additionally, some states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the HVAC schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate could suggest that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It may also suggest that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which can produce more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Columbia SC HVAC employers to help graduates obtain apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Most HVAC vocational programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs 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 partnerships with local Columbia SC HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC specialist you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Columbia SC HVAC company if they can give you some pointers. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Columbia SC residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s important that you receive as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Speak to several of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.

Flexible Scheduling.  Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Columbia SC, check that the programs you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.

Attending HVAC School near Columbia SC?

Columbia, South Carolina

Columbia is the capital and second largest city of the U.S. state of South Carolina, with a population estimate of 134,309 as of 2016.[2] The city serves as the county seat of Richland County, and a portion of the city extends into neighboring Lexington County. It is the center of the Columbia metropolitan statistical area, which had a population of 767,598 as of the 2010 United States Census, growing to 817,488 by July 1, 2016, according to 2015 U.S. Census estimates. The name Columbia is a poetic term used for the United States, originating from the name of Christopher Columbus.

The city is located approximately 13 miles (21 km) northwest of the geographic center of South Carolina, and is the primary city of the Midlands region of the state. It lies at the confluence of the Saluda River and the Broad River, which merge at Columbia to form the Congaree River. Columbia is home to the University of South Carolina, the state's flagship university and the largest in the state, and is also the site of Fort Jackson, the largest United States Army installation for Basic Combat Training. Columbia is also located 20 miles west of the site of McEntire Joint National Guard Base, which is operated by the U.S. Air Force and is used as a training base for the 169th Fighter Wing of The South Carolina Air National Guard. Columbia is also the location of the South Carolina State House, which is the center of government for the state. In 1860, the city was the location of the South Carolina Secession Convention, which marked the departure of the first state from the Union in the events leading up to the Civil War.

At the time of European encounter, the inhabitants of the area that became Columbia were a people called the Congaree.[3] In May 1540, a Spanish expedition led by Hernando de Soto traversed what is now Columbia while moving northward. The expedition produced the earliest written historical records of the area, which was part of the regional Cofitachequi chiefdom.[4]

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Pick the Right HVAC Certification Training near Columbia SC

Finding the right HVAC training course is a critical beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating and cooling trade. As we have addressed in this post, you need to select a vocational school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC trade. Other things to search for are sufficient practical training and modern facilities. You should check out each of the schools in person 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 instruction and the interaction between them. Also, inquire about scheduling options and whether evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have outlined in our guidelines for comparing schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC professional in Columbia SC.

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    Business Results 1 - 10 of 59

    Kaminer Heating And Cooling
    6 Reviews
    Heating & Air Conditioning/HVAC
    Phone:
    110 Kaminer Way Pkwy, Columbia, SC 29210

    Mid State Heating and AIr
    6 Reviews
    Heating & Air Conditioning/HVAC
    Phone:
    6807 Monticello Rd, Columbia, SC 29203

    Cool Care Heating and Air
    4 Reviews
    Heating & Air Conditioning/HVAC, Water Heater Installation/Repair, Air Duct Cleaning
    Phone:
    3102 Bronx Rd, Columbia, SC 29204

    2nd Wind Heating & Air Conditioning
    1 Reviews
    Heating & Air Conditioning/HVAC
    Phone:
    6130 Shakespeare Rd, Columbia, SC 29223

    Comfort Services
    2 Reviews
    Heating & Air Conditioning/HVAC
    Phone:
    128 Sparkman Dr, Columbia, SC 29209

    Air Necessities
    1 Reviews
    Heating & Air Conditioning/HVAC
    Phone:
    7718 Two Notch Rd, Columbia, SC 29223

    Cassell Brothers Heating and Cooling
    5 Reviews
    Heating & Air Conditioning/HVAC, Appliances
    Phone:
    10042 Broad River Rd, Irmo, SC 29063

    ARS / Rescue Rooter Columbia
    8 Reviews
    Heating & Air Conditioning/HVAC, Water Heater Installation/Repair
    Phone:
    121 Windhill Rd, Columbia, SC 29203

    Comfort Control Air Conditioning & Heating
    1 Reviews
    Heating & Air Conditioning/HVAC
    Phone:
    160 Harborside Cir, Columbia, SC 29229

    Solutions Heating & Air
    1 Reviews
    Heating & Air Conditioning/HVAC
    Phone:
    3623 Harrogate Rd, Columbia, SC 29210