HVAC Schools Near Me in Summerville SC 29483

How to Pick an HVAC Training Class near Summerville South Carolina

Summerville SC HVAC tech servicing AC compressorOnce you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioning specialist, the next action is to look for an HVAC trade school near Summerville SC. But with so many to pick from, how do you select the right one to obtain the training that you need? A number of prospective students will make their choice based entirely on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. Although these are important concerns, they are not the only ones to investigate. Just some of the other things that you need to investigate are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and other benchmarks will be discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we examine how to select an HVAC trade school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling specialist does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.

Becoming an HVAC Professional in Summerville SC

Summerville SC HVAC tech servicing industrial furnacesHVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are generally required to be licensed, however every state and local municipality has its own criteria. Obtaining professional certification is not required, but an optional way for Summerville SC HVAC specialists to prove that they are exceptionally qualified and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are a number of 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 recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is achieved by passing a competency exam and may be received in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience in addition to passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience as well as a passing result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in various specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is required for techs that work with refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Because licensing could be mandated in your area, and you may also wish to acquire certification, it’s essential that you choose an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be handling refrigerants, make sure that the program you decide on preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Degree and Certificate Classes

Summerville SC HVAC contractor installing residential water heaterThere are several choices offered for HVAC training 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 minimum amount of time, usually accomplished in as little as 6 months, although some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will provide more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short summary of each option offered near Summerville SC.

  • Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They provide a solid foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more extensive understanding of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Usually requiring two years to complete, a number of degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more for 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 mastering how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.

Selecting the ideal credential program will be based on what your long term career goals are, along with the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One approach is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Summerville SC, subsequently going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make certain 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 Summerville SCChoosing an HVAC school online is one possibility to getting your education and earning a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete hands on training. Many also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes can be attended on the web, this option may be a more practical solution for some Summerville SC students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even travelling expenses from Summerville and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family obligations have left you with limited time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it easier to accommodate school into your busy lifestyle.

What to Ask HVAC Schools near Summerville SC

When you have picked the type of certificate or degree that you desire to acquire, either online or on campus, you can begin to limit your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of HVAC trade schools in the Summerville SC area and all over the Country to select from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of key qualifications when making school assessments. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the initial 2 factors you will take into consideration. Following are some additional ones that you should research before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Many HVAC vocational programs in the Summerville SC area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Verify that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee 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. Also, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate may signify that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It may also suggest that the instructors were not competent 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 broader list of graduates, which can mean more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Summerville SC HVAC employers to assist graduates acquire apprenticeships or employment.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Many HVAC training programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC businesses or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with local Summerville SC HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Confirm that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained 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, check with the HVAC technician you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Summerville SC HVAC contractor if they can provide some pointers. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Summerville SC residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be higher tuition fees 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 a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Speak to a few of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.

Flexible Scheduling.  Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Summerville SC, check that the programs you are comparing offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.

Attending HVAC School near Summerville SC?

Summerville, South Carolina

Summerville is a town in the U.S. state of South Carolina situated mostly in Dorchester County with small portions in Berkeley and Charleston counties. It is part of the Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population of Summerville at the 2010 census was 43,392,[3] and the estimated population was 50,213 as of July 1, 2018.

The center of Summerville is in southeastern Dorchester County; the town extends northeast into Berkeley and Charleston counties. It is bordered to the east by the town of Lincolnville and to the southeast by the city of North Charleston. The Summerville town limits extend south as far as the Ashley River next to Old Fort Dorchester State Historical Park.

U.S. Route 78 passes near the center of Summerville, leading southeast 24 miles (39 km) to downtown Charleston and northwest 29 miles (47 km) to Interstate 95 at St. George. Interstate 26 leads through the northeast corner of Summerville with access from Exit 199, leading southeast to Charleston and northwest 90 miles (140 km) to Columbia.

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Select the Right HVAC Certification Training near Summerville SC

Choosing the right HVAC training course is an important first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating and air conditioning trade. As we have addressed in this article, you should select a technical school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC profession. Other things to look for are plenty of hands-on training and modern facilities. You should visit 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 teaching and the interaction between them. In addition, inquire about scheduling choices and if evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the right questions as we have laid out in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC professional in Summerville SC.

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