HVAC Schools Near Me in Laurens SC 29360

How to Pick an HVAC Training Course near Laurens South Carolina

Laurens SC HVAC tech servicing AC compressorOnce you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioner specialist, the next action is to look for an HVAC vocational school near Laurens SC. But with so many to choose from, how do you select the right one to obtain the training that you need? Some potential students will make their decision based solely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Although these are significant considerations, they are not the only ones to take into account. A few of the other details that you need to investigate are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and additional benchmarks will be addressed in more detail later within this article. But before we discuss how to pick an HVAC technical school, let’s look at what a heating and a/c technician does to become a licensed professional tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Contractor in Laurens SC

Laurens SC HVAC tech servicing industrial furnacesHVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, though each state and local municipality has its own criteria. Acquiring professional certification is not compulsory, but an alternative way for Laurens SC HVAC techs to demonstrate that they are exceptionally skilled and experienced in their area of expertise. There are several respected certifications within the trade that are offered. Below are some of the significant ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is attained by passing a competency examination and may be earned 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 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. Similar to NATE, certifications are made available in multiple specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for techs that work with refrigerants. There are 3 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 earn certification, it’s imperative that you enroll in an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the school you choose prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Degree Classes

Laurens SC HVAC contractor installing residential water heaterThere are a number of options offered for HVAC training in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the minimum period of time, usually achieved in as little as 6 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 edge for securing employment and will provide more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short summary of each option offered near Laurens SC.

  • Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They provide a strong foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more exhaustive knowledge of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically taking 2 years to finish, many degrees feature 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 4 year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.

Choosing the ideal credential program will be dependent on what your future career objectives are, together with 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 gaining some experience in the trade in Laurens SC, later going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make certain to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Online Courses

attending HVAC Training School Online in Laurens SCEnrolling in an HVAC school online is one option to obtaining your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete practical training. Some also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes can be participated in via the internet, this alternative may be a more accessible solution for many Laurens SC students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even travelling expenses from Laurens and study materials may be minimized, helping to make schooling 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 minimal time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to accommodate school into your active schedule.

Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Classes near Laurens SC

As soon as you have selected the type of degree or certificate that you want to earn, either on campus or online, you can start to limit your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are many HVAC technical schools in the Laurens SC area and throughout the USA to select from. That’s why it is essential to have a list of relevant qualifiers when making school comparisons. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the first 2 factors you will take into consideration. Following are some additional ones that you need to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Many HVAC vocational programs in the Laurens SC area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Make sure that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you receive a superior education, it may assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many states require that the HVAC training program 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 percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate could signify that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It might also suggest that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It’s also essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, 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 validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Laurens SC HVAC employers to assist graduates obtain apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  A large number of HVAC training programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC businesses or trade unions. Check if the schools you are considering have working relationships with local Laurens SC HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make certain that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained 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 specialist you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Laurens SC HVAC contracting company if they can provide some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Laurens SC home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s desirable that you receive as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Talk with several of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to some of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.

Flexible Scheduling.  Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Laurens SC, check that the programs you are considering offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.

Attending HVAC School near Laurens SC?

Laurens, South Carolina

Located in the Upstate region of South Carolina, the city of Laurens is named after Henry Laurens of Revolutionary War fame. It is part of the Greenville–Mauldin–Easley Metropolitan Statistical Area.

The town of Laurens was established by an act of the General Assembly on March 15, 1785 as a location for commercial activities. It was one of the six counties created from the Old Ninety-Six District of South Carolina.[4] Laurens was originally named Laurensville. On December 15, 1845, a charter was issued with the name of Laurensville. The first appearance of the town named Laurens was in an 1873 charter.[5] The town of Laurens was chartered in 1900 and in 1916. The town was named in the honor of Henry Laurens, the South Carolina statesman.[4]

The first inhabitants of Laurens were the Cherokee Indians. They used the land as their hunting and fighting ground. There has been evidence of broken potsherds, weapons, and a mound found linked to Cherokee culture on land now called Laurens. There were many treaties made with the Cherokee Indians over the land known as Laurens County dating back to 1721.[6] Before the America Revolution thousands of immigrants, mainly from Scotland and Ireland, settled in Laurens County. Later Laurens developed into a major intersection of commerce in the colonial America. In the Battle of Musgrove Mill, Laurens witnessed intense fighting.[4]

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Choose the Right HVAC Trade School near Laurens SC

Picking the right HVAC training program is an important first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating & cooling industry. As we have addressed in this article, you should choose a technical school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC field. Other factors to search for are plenty of hands-on training and state-of-the-art 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. Additionally, ask about scheduling options and if night or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the proper questions as we have detailed in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC technician in Laurens SC.

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