HVAC Schools Near Me in Jackson SC 29831

How to Choose an HVAC School near Jackson South Carolina

Jackson SC HVAC tech servicing AC compressorNow that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and cooling technician, the next step is to choose an HVAC vocational school near Jackson SC. But with so many to select from, how do you decide on the best one to get the training that you require? A number of prospective students will make their choice based exclusively on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Although these are necessary considerations, they are not the only ones to investigate. Some of the other factors 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. These and other criteria will be discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we explore how to choose an HVAC training program, let’s take a look at what a heating and air conditioning professional does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Tech in Jackson SC

Jackson 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 techs specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, although each state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Acquiring professional certification is not mandatory, but an optional way for Jackson SC HVAC technicians to establish that they are exceptionally qualified and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are several acknowledged certifications within the industry that are available. Here 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 competency exam 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 in addition to passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience as well as a passing result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in several specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for techs that handle refrigerants. There are three types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Considering that licensing might be mandated in your area, and you may also wish to obtain certification, it’s important that you enroll in an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be working with refrigerants, make sure that the program you select prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.

HVAC Certificate and Degree Courses

Jackson SC HVAC contractor installing residential water heaterThere are a variety of alternatives available for HVAC instruction in a technical or vocational school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the least amount of time, often completed in as little as 6 months, although some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree programs might provide a competitive edge in the job market and will deliver more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short summary of each option offered near Jackson SC.

  • Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level residential or commercial HVAC specialists. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more detailed background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Typically requiring 2 years to complete, many degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more for 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 learning 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 dependent on what your future career objectives are, in addition to the time and money that you have to commit. One possibility is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Jackson SC, subsequently returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, be sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Online Classes

attending HVAC Training School Online in Jackson SCChoosing an HVAC school online is one alternative to attaining your education and earning a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will call for some attendance on campus to participate in hands on training. A number also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes may be attended via the internet, this option may be a more practical solution for many Jackson SC students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even driving expenses from Jackson and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And numerous online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family commitments have left you with minimal time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it less complicated to fit school into your hectic schedule.

Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Classes near Jackson SC

Once you have decided on the type of certificate or degree that you would like to attain, either online or on campus, you can begin to narrow down your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Jackson SC area and across the USA to select from. That’s why it is imperative to have a checklist of important qualifications when making school assessments. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the initial two variables you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you will want to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  A large number of HVAC trade schools in the Jackson SC area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Make sure that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it can help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the Heating and Cooling 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 low completion rate may indicate that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It may also signify that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which may result in more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Jackson SC HVAC employers to help students secure apprenticeships or employment.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Many HVAC vocational programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling companies or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with local Jackson SC HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make certain that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC tech you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Jackson SC HVAC company if they can give you some pointers. Also bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Jackson 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 important that you receive as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Talk to several of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to a few of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.

Flexible Scheduling.  Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Jackson SC, confirm that the programs you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.

Attending HVAC School near Jackson SC?

Fort Jackson (South Carolina)

Fort Jackson is a United States Army installation, which TRADOC operates on for Basic Combat Training (BCT), and is located within the city of Columbia, South Carolina. This installation is named for Andrew Jackson, a United States Army General and seventh President of the United States of America (1829–1837) who was born in the border region of North and South Carolina.[1]

Fort Jackson was created in 1917 (as Camp Jackson) as the United States entered World War I. At the conclusion of World War I, Camp Jackson was shut down and the Camp was abandoned 25 April 1922 pursuant to General Orders No. 33, War Department, 27 July 1921. Camp Jackson was reactivated for World War II. At the conclusion of World War II, the post was to have been deactivated by 1950; however, the outbreak of the Korean War caused the post to remain active and it is still functioning in the early 21st Century.

Fort Jackson is the largest and most active initial entry training center in the U.S. Army, training 50 percent of all soldiers and 60 percent of the women entering the Army each year.[2] Providing the Army with new soldiers is the post's primary mission. 35,000 potential soldiers attend basic training and 8,000 advanced individual training soldiers train at Fort Jackson annually.[3] Soldiers who have trained or worked at Fort Jackson live by the base's motto, "Victory Starts Here."[4] The training is provided by the 165th, and 193rd Infantry Brigades Monday through Sunday for a ten-week period.[5]

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Pick the Right HVAC Certification Training near Jackson SC

Selecting the ideal HVAC training course is a critical beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating & cooling field. As we have discussed in this post, you need to pick a technical school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC field. Other features to look for are plenty 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 faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Additionally, inquire about scheduling choices and if night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial aid and student loan options also. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have detailed in our guidelines for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC professional in Jackson SC.

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