HVAC Schools Near Me in North Charleston SC 29405

How to Select an HVAC Certification Class near North Charleston South Carolina

North Charleston SC HVAC tech servicing AC compressorOnce you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning professional, the next step is to choose an HVAC trade school near North Charleston SC. But with so many to choose from, how do you choose the best one to obtain the training that you need? Some future students will make their decision based solely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Although these are important considerations, 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. Those and other benchmarks will be addressed in more detail later within this article. But before we explore how to choose an HVAC training program, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning contractor does to become a licensed professional tradesman.

Becoming an HVAC Pro in North Charleston SC

North Charleston 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 technicians provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance 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 prerequisites. Acquiring professional certification is not mandatory, but an alternative way for North Charleston SC HVAC techs to demonstrate that they are exceptionally skilled and experienced in their area of expertise. There are many recognized certifications within the trade that are available. Here are a few of the important 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 acquired in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience in addition to passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience in addition to a passing score on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are made available in multiple specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Considering that licensing may be mandated in your location, and you may also wish to obtain certification, it’s imperative that you enroll in an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be working with refrigerants, make sure that the school you choose preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Certificate and Degree Classes

North Charleston SC HVAC contractor installing residential water heaterThere are a variety of alternatives offered for HVAC training in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the lesser period of time, typically completed in as little as 6 months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree training programs may provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will furnish more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief description of each credential offered near North Charleston SC.

  • Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more extensive background of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically requiring 2 years to finish, some degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more for a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional four 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 based on what your long term career objectives are, as well as the time and money that you have to commit. One approach is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in North Charleston SC, later going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Schools Online

attending HVAC Training School Online in North Charleston SCAttending an HVAC program online is one approach in getting your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. Some also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes may be attended via the internet, this option may be a more convenient solution for some North Charleston SC students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even driving expenses from North Charleston and study supplies may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family commitments have left you with limited time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to fit school into your hectic lifestyle.

Questions For HVAC Schools near North Charleston SC

As soon as you have decided on the type of certificate or degree that you desire to attain, either on campus or online, you can start to limit your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are a large number of HVAC technical schools in the North Charleston SC area and across the United States to pick from. That’s why it is essential to have a list of important qualifications when making school evaluations. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the initial two aspects you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you should research before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Many HVAC technical programs in the North Charleston SC area have attained 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 a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Confirm that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you obtain a quality education, it can assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, a number of 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 of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate could suggest that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It might also indicate that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of North Charleston SC HVAC employers to assist students secure apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Numerous HVAC trade programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC contractors or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with local North Charleston SC HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Confirm that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC technician you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local North Charleston SC HVAC contractor if they can give you some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your North Charleston SC residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may 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 difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Talk to some of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to a few of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.

Flexible Scheduling.  Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near North Charleston SC, check that the programs you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.

Attending HVAC School near North Charleston SC?

North Charleston, South Carolina

North Charleston is the third-largest city in the U.S. state of South Carolina[citation needed], with incorporated areas in Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties.[1] On June 12, 1972, the city of North Charleston was incorporated and was rated as the ninth-largest city in South Carolina. As of the 2010 Census, North Charleston had a population of 97,471,[4] growing to an estimated population of 108,304 in 2015, and with a current area of more than 76.6 square miles (198.5 km2).[5][6] As defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, for use by the U.S. Census Bureau and other U.S. Government agencies for statistical purposes only, North Charleston is included within the Charleston–North Charleston–Summerville metropolitan area and the Charleston-North Charleston urban area.[7] North Charleston is one of the state's major industrial centers and is the state's top city in gross retail sales.[8][9]

The large plantations were subdivided into smaller farms in the late 19th century as the urban population began moving northward. Due to the large labor forces of enslaved African Americans who worked these properties for over two centuries, the population of Charleston County in 1870 was 73 percent black; however, they were freedmen by this time. After the Civil War, phosphate fertilizer plants were developed, with extensive strip mining occurring between the Ashley River and Broad Path (Meeting Street Road). The main route for transportation of these phosphates eventually became known as Ashley Phosphate Road.

Since the early 20th century, the section of unincorporated Charleston County that later became the city of North Charleston had been designated by Charleston business and community leaders as a place for development of industry, military and other business sites. The first industry started in this area was the E.P. Burton Lumber Company. In 1901, the Charleston Naval Shipyard was established with agreements between the federal government and local Charleston city leaders. Shortly thereafter, the General Asbestos and Rubber Company (GARCO) built the world's largest asbestos mill under one roof.

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Enroll in the Right HVAC Training Course near North Charleston SC

Selecting the right HVAC training program is a critical beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating & cooling trade. As we have covered in this article, you should select a vocational school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC trade. Other features to search for are plenty of practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should visit each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to explore the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. In addition, inquire about scheduling choices and whether or not night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the proper questions as we have laid out in our checklist for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC professional in North Charleston SC.

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