HVAC Schools Near Me in Liberty SC 29657

How to Pick an HVAC Training Course near Liberty South Carolina

Liberty SC HVAC tech servicing AC compressorOnce you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioning professional, the next step is to choose an HVAC trade school near Liberty SC. But with so many to select from, how do you choose the right one to obtain the training that you require? Some potential students will make their decision based solely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Even though these are relevant considerations, they are not the only ones to investigate. Just some of the other details 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 additional benchmarks will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we discuss how to select an HVAC training program, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c professional does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Pro in Liberty SC

Liberty SC HVAC tech servicing industrial furnacesHVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are generally mandated to be licensed, however each state and local municipality has its own requirements. Attaining professional certification is not compulsory, but an alternative means for Liberty SC HVAC technicians to prove that they are highly skilled and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are several acknowledged certifications within the field that are available. Below are a few of the important ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is earned by passing a competency examination and may be received in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of professional experience as well as passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience along with a passing result on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are offered in various specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is required for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Because licensing might be mandated in your area, and you may also wish to earn certification, it’s essential that you choose an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the program you decide on preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.

HVAC Certificate and Degree Courses

Liberty SC HVAC contractor installing residential water heaterThere are a number of options offered for HVAC instruction in a technical or trade school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the lesser period of time, often achieved in just six months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will furnish more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a short description of each option offered near Liberty SC.

  • Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more extensive background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Generally requiring 2 years to complete, many degrees include an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more towards a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional 4 year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.

Selecting the ideal credential program will be dependent on what your future career aspirations are, in addition to the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One approach is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Liberty SC, later returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make certain to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Online Training

attending HVAC Training School Online in Liberty SCAttending an HVAC program online is one alternative in attaining your training and receiving a certificate or degree. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. Some also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes may be attended on the web, this option may be a more accessible solution for many Liberty SC students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are more economical than other traditional alternatives. Even driving expenses from Liberty and study supplies can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family responsibilities have left you with minimal time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your busy lifestyle.

What to Ask HVAC Schools near Liberty SC

After you have decided on the type of certificate or degree that you want to acquire, either on campus or online, you can begin to limit your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are a large number of HVAC technical schools in the Liberty SC area and throughout the USA to choose from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a list of important qualifiers when making school evaluations. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the initial 2 variables you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you need to research before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  A large number of HVAC trade schools in the Liberty SC area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as HVAC technology. Make certain that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain a superior education, it may help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, some states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to qualify 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 of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate might signify that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It may also mean that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It’s also important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, 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 affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Liberty SC HVAC employers to help grads obtain apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Numerous HVAC training programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with local Liberty SC HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area 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 concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Liberty SC HVAC contractor if they can provide some pointers. Also bear in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Liberty SC home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there might be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s important that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Talk with several of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.

Flexible Scheduling.  Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Liberty SC, verify that the schools you are comparing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.

Attending HVAC School near Liberty SC?

Liberty, South Carolina

How exactly Liberty got its name has been a source of debate over the years. There are no real historical accounts of why Liberty was given the name it was. The most popular—though probably mythical—story regarding the reason the area was named Liberty was put forth by Mrs. Annie Craig in 1936: "At the close of the Revolutionary war a religious meeting was being held at a church close to a spring near the present town of Liberty when the word came that Cornwallis had surrendered and the colonies had gained their independence. This church was named Liberty and it and the spring were located just beyond where the cemetery is now located, hence the name Liberty."[3]

Some have claimed that Liberty was once named Salubrity Springs, but was renamed Liberty in the late 19th century. References to early land records, however, suggests that such is not the case. While there are many records that refer to the area as Liberty Spring, there are no private or legal documents that contain a reference to Salubrity Spring.[4] The first reference to Salubrity comes from the name of a farm purchased by the Rev. Allen Fuller, Universalist, in 1837. In 1839, Mr. Fuller set up a post office in his home, naming it Salubrity Post Office. This post office remained in operation until February, 1876, three years after the first official Liberty post office was established in 1873.[5] Once the town of Liberty was chartered little more than a month after the Salubrity post office closed, the name Salubrity became little more than a memory.

Liberty today sits on land that was once part of the Cherokee Indians' hunting ground. The Otarre, or Lower Hill Cherokees, had several thriving villages along the riverbanks in the area; perhaps the most notable example being the village of Keowee, located near the modern day Oconee and Pickens County line. Cherokee tribesmen, who often survived by growing crops, and tended to live in small villages, were in many ways more domesticated than other Native American tribes. The Cherokee also hunted game, believing that the foothills were a sacred hunting ground for deer, buffalo, and other large animals.[6]

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Choose the Right HVAC Training Course near Liberty SC

Selecting the right HVAC training course is an important beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating & cooling trade. As we have discussed in this article, you need to pick a vocational school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC profession. Other things to look for are plenty of hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should visit each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to tour the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Additionally, inquire about scheduling options and whether night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial aid and student loan options too. If you ask the right questions as we have detailed in our guidelines for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC contractor in Liberty SC.

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