HVAC Schools Near Me in Johnston SC 29832

How to Pick an HVAC School near Johnston South Carolina

Johnston SC HVAC tech servicing AC compressorOnce you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner professional, the next action is to choose an HVAC vocational school near Johnston SC. But with so many to select from, how do you decide on the ideal one to get the training that you need? Some potential students will make their decision based entirely on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. Although these are relevant considerations, they are not the only ones to investigate. Just some of the other details that you need to research are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and other benchmarks will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we tackle how to choose an HVAC trade school, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c technician does to become a licensed professional tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Technician in Johnston SC

Johnston 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 professionals 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 generally mandated to be licensed, though each state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Acquiring professional certification is not mandatory, but an alternative means for Johnston SC HVAC technicians to prove that they are exceptionally qualified and experienced in their area of specialization. There are many acknowledged certifications within the trade that are available. Following are some of the significant ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is earned by passing a competency exam and can be received in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification offers 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 need to have three years of experience as well as a passing result on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in several specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is required for techs that work with refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification obtainable, 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 desire to earn certification, it’s imperative that you select an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the program you choose preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Degree Courses

Johnston SC HVAC contractor installing residential water heaterThere are a variety of choices offered for HVAC training in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the minimum amount of time, typically accomplished 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 applicable to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will provide more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief description of each credential offered near Johnston SC.

  • Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more extensive knowledge of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically taking two years to complete, many degrees include an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more for a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a standard four year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.

Choosing the right credential program will be based on what your future career goals are, in addition to the time and money that you have to invest. One approach is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the trade in Johnston SC, later returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, be 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 Johnston SCChoosing an HVAC program online is one option to obtaining your education and earning a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in hands on training. Some also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes may be participated in via the internet, this option may be a more convenient solution for many Johnston SC students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even travelling expenses from Johnston and study supplies 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 job 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 active lifestyle.

Questions For HVAC Training Programs near Johnston SC

When you have selected the type of degree or certificate that you desire to earn, either online or on campus, you can start to decrease your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are many HVAC technical schools in the Johnston SC area and throughout the United States to pick from. That’s why it is imperative to have a checklist of key qualifications when making school evaluations. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the initial two variables you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you need to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  A large number of HVAC trade schools in the Johnston SC area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, 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, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you acquire a superior education, it can help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to be approved 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 complete the program. A low completion rate could indicate that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It might also mean that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which can mean 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 an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Johnston SC HVAC employers to help students secure apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Numerous HVAC technical programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling businesses or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Johnston SC HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make sure that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC specialist you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Johnston SC HVAC company if they can give you some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Johnston SC home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s important that you receive as much personalized training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Talk with a few of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.

Flexible Scheduling.  Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Johnston SC, confirm that the programs you are considering offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.

Attending HVAC School near Johnston SC?

Johnston, South Carolina

Johnston is a town in Edgefield County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 2,362 at the 2010 census.[3] It is part of the Augusta, Georgia, metropolitan area. The town's official welcome sign states that it is "Peach Capital of the World".

Johnston is called The Hub of the Ridge because it is located at the meeting place of the three river systems which flow away from the Ridge, a fertile plateau about 30 miles (48 km) long between clay hills to the north and sand hills to the south. The area has been settled since the mid-1700s. In 1791 as George Washington traveled through the area on his triumphal tour through the country, he stopped at the Lott family plantation, just east of Johnston.

In the late 1860s, the Charlotte, Columbia and Augusta Railroad expanded westward from Columbia to Augusta. Edward Jones Mims, M.D., persuaded William Johnston, president of the railroad, to run the railroad through the 1,200-acre (490 ha) Mims plantation. In return, Dr. Mims agreed to name the new town for Mr. Johnston.

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Pick the Right HVAC Training Classes near Johnston SC

Enrolling in the ideal HVAC training program is a crucial beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating & cooling trade. As we have covered in this post, you need to select a vocational school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC profession. Other factors to look for are lots of hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to check out each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the teaching 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 assistance and student loan options as well. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have detailed in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC technician in Johnston SC.

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