HVAC Schools Near Me in Marion SC 29571

How to Find the Right HVAC Certification Course near Marion South Carolina

Marion SC HVAC tech servicing AC compressorOnce you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next step is to find an HVAC vocational school near Marion SC. But with so many to pick from, how do you pick the right one to obtain the training that you require? A number of potential students will make their decision based solely on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. Even though these are relevant concerns, they are not the only ones to investigate. Some of the other things that you need to investigate are the graduation completion 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 within this article. But before we examine how to select an HVAC training program, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c contractor does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.

Becoming an HVAC Professional in Marion SC

Marion SC HVAC tech servicing industrial furnacesHVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of 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 requirements. Obtaining professional certification is not required, but an alternative means for Marion SC HVAC techs to establish that they are highly qualified and experienced in their area of specialization. There are multiple recognized certifications within the industry that are available. Following are some of the significant ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is earned by passing a proficiency examination and can be acquired in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of professional experience as well as passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience as well as a passing result on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are made available in various specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for technicians that work with refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification available, 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 obtain certification, it’s imperative that you enroll in an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be working with refrigerants, make certain that the program you select preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.

HVAC Degree Training Programs

Marion SC HVAC contractor installing residential water heaterThere are a number of alternatives offered for HVAC instruction in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, typically completed in as little as 6 months, although some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree programs might provide a competitive edge in the job market and will provide more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief summary of each credential offered near Marion SC.

  • Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They provide a solid foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more comprehensive background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Generally requiring two years to complete, some degrees incorporate 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 standard 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 appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your long term career goals are, as well as the time and money that you have to commit. One option is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the trade in Marion SC, subsequently returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Online Schools

attending HVAC Training School Online in Marion SCAttending an HVAC school online is one option in attaining your education and receiving a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete practical training. Many also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be participated in on the web, this alternative may be a more practical solution for many Marion SC students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are more economical than other on campus alternatives. Even travelling expenses from Marion and study supplies may be minimized, helping to make education more budget-friendly. 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 little time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it easier to accommodate school into your active schedule.

Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Classes near Marion SC

After you have chosen the type of certificate or degree that you want to acquire, either online or on campus, you can begin to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of HVAC trade schools in the Marion SC area and all over the United States to choose from. That’s why it is imperative to have a checklist of key qualifiers when making school comparisons. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the first two variables you will take into consideration. Following are some additional ones that you need to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  A large number of HVAC trade schools in the Marion SC area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Make sure that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it can assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, some states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited for it 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 complete the program. A low completion rate may suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It might also indicate that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader 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 a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Marion SC HVAC employers to assist students obtain apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  A large number of HVAC training programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling businesses or labor unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with local Marion SC HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make certain that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are already 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 Marion SC HVAC contracting company if they can give you some tips. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Marion SC residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s important that you get 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 witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Talk to a few of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to some of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.

Flexible Scheduling.  Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Marion SC, confirm that the programs you are comparing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.

Attending HVAC School near Marion SC?

Marion, South Carolina

Marion is a city in Marion County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 6,711 at the 2016 census. It is the county seat of Marion County.[3] It is named for Francis Marion, a Brigadier General from South Carolina in the American Revolutionary War.

Some sixty years after the first permanent settlement in South Carolina, a group of English settlers sent out by the Lords Proprietor landed in Georgetown and moved up the Pee Dee River to the junction of the Little Pee Dee River about half way between Georgetown and the present town of Marion. Among these families were Brittons, Davis, Flaglers, Giles, Graves and Tyler. At about the same time, and maybe on the same ship from England, came Captain John Godbold, a retired English sea captain. He moved farther up the Big Pee Dee and settled on Catfish Creek. The creek is southwest of and very near to the present city limits of Marion.

During its early colonial years the area was part of Craven County. When Craven was divided, this segment of land was placed in Georgetown District. In 1785, another division was made and the name "Liberty" was used for a short time to designate this area.

The location could not be found.

Select the Right HVAC Trade School near Marion SC

Picking the ideal HVAC training course is a crucial first step toward a gratifying career in the heating & cooling trade. As we have addressed in this post, you should choose a trade school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC trade. Other things to look for are plenty of hands-on training and modern facilities. You should check out each of the schools in person 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 training 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 ask about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the right questions as we have detailed in our guidelines for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC professional in Marion SC.

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