HVAC Schools Near Me in Cottageville SC 29435

How to Select an HVAC Certification Course near Cottageville South Carolina

Cottageville SC HVAC tech servicing AC compressorOnce you have decided on a career as a heating and cooling specialist, the next step is to find an HVAC technical school near Cottageville SC. But with so many to select from, how do you choose the best one to obtain the training that you need? Some future students will make their decision based solely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. While these are important considerations, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Some of the other things that you need to research are the graduation 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 tackle how to choose an HVAC training program, let’s look at what a heating and a/c specialist does to become a licensed professional tradesman.

Becoming an HVAC Specialist in Cottageville SC

Cottageville 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 technicians specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, however every state and local municipality has its own criteria. Attaining professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary way for Cottageville SC HVAC specialists to demonstrate that they are exceptionally proficient and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are many recognized certifications within the industry that are offered. Here are some 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 exam and can be received in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience as well as passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience together with a passing score on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are provided in multiple specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is required for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Since licensing might be required in your location, and you may also intend to acquire certification, it’s important that you pick an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the program you select readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.

HVAC Certificate and Degree Schools

Cottageville SC HVAC contractor installing residential water heaterThere are a variety of options available for HVAC training in a trade or technical school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the minimum period of time, usually achieved in as little as 6 months, although some courses 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 may provide a competitive edge in the job market and will deliver more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief summary of each credential offered near Cottageville SC.

  • Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They provide a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more detailed background of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually 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 towards a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional four year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.

Picking the ideal credential program will be based on what your long term career objectives are, as well as the time and money that you have to invest. One possibility is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Cottageville SC, eventually going back to obtain 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 Courses Online

attending HVAC Training School Online in Cottageville SCAttending an HVAC program online is one approach in obtaining your training and earning a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to participate 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 balance of the classes can be participated in via the internet, this alternative may be a more convenient solution for some Cottageville SC students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even travelling expenses from Cottageville and study supplies may be minimized, helping to make schooling more economical. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family obligations have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your busy lifestyle.

Questions to Ask HVAC Training Classes near Cottageville SC

Once you have decided on the type of certificate or degree that you wish to obtain, either online or on campus, you can start to decrease your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Cottageville SC area and across the USA to pick from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a checklist of relevant qualifiers when making school evaluations. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the first two variables you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you will want to research before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Many HVAC trade schools in the Cottageville SC area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance HVAC technology. Make certain that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, some states require that the HVAC training program be accredited in order 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 portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate might signify that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It may also suggest that the instructors were not competent to train 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 result in more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Cottageville SC HVAC employers to help grads acquire apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Numerous HVAC technical programs are taught along 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. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with local Cottageville SC HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make certain 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 currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC technician you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Cottageville SC HVAC company if they can give you some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can move, the school must be within driving distance of your Cottageville SC residence. Remember 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 individualized training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Speak to some of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with a few of the teachers and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.

Flexible Scheduling.  Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Cottageville SC, verify that the programs you are comparing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.

Attending HVAC School near Cottageville SC?

Cottageville, South Carolina

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 707 people, 274 households, and 206 families residing in the town. The population density was 222.2 people per square mile (85.8/km²). There were 310 housing units at an average density of 97.4 per square mile (37.6/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 85.71% White, 11.88% African American, 0.42% Native American, 0.42% Asian, 0.14% Pacific Islander, 0.28% from other races, and 1.13% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.42% of the population.

There were 274 households out of which 32.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.9% were married couples living together, 10.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.8% were non-families. 21.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 2.97.

In the town, the population was spread out with 25.3% under the age of 18, 6.2% from 18 to 24, 28.7% from 25 to 44, 26.6% from 45 to 64, and 13.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.3 males.

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Select the Right HVAC Certification Training near Cottageville SC

Picking the right HVAC training program is an important first step toward a gratifying career in the heating and air conditioning industry. As we have covered 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 community. Other features to search for are sufficient practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should check out each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to tour the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. In addition, ask about scheduling choices and whether or not evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to ask about financial assistance 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 options so that you can make an educated decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC technician in Cottageville SC.

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