HVAC Schools Near Me in West Columbia SC 29169

How to Find the Right HVAC Training Course near West Columbia South Carolina

West Columbia SC HVAC tech servicing AC compressorNow that you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioning professional, the next action is to find an HVAC trade school near West Columbia SC. But with so many to pick from, how do you decide on the ideal one to obtain the training that you require? A number of potential students will make their selection based exclusively on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Even though these are necessary concerns, they are not the only ones to investigate. Just some of the other details that you need to look into are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and additional criteria will be covered in more detail later within this article. But before we examine how to select an HVAC vocational school, let’s take a look at what a heating and air conditioning specialist does to become a licensed professional tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Pro in West Columbia SC

West Columbia 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 central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are generally required to be licensed, though each state and local municipality has its own requirements. Earning professional certification is not required, but an alternative way for West Columbia SC HVAC techs to establish that they are highly qualified and experienced in their area of expertise. There are several recognized certifications within the industry that are available. Following are a few of the significant ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is achieved by passing a competency examination and can be received 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 exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience together with a passing score on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in various specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is required for techs that work with refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Because licensing might be mandated in your location, and you may also intend to acquire certification, it’s important that you pick an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be working with refrigerants, make sure that the program you select readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Degree Schools

West Columbia SC HVAC contractor installing residential water heaterThere are a variety of alternatives offered for HVAC instruction 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 least period of time, typically completed in just six months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will furnish more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short summary of each credential offered near West Columbia SC.

  • Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They provide a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more detailed understanding of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Normally taking 2 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 as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional 4 year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.

Picking the ideal credential program will be based on what your long term career aspirations are, along with the time and money that you have to invest. One option is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in West Columbia SC, subsequently going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make certain to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Online Training

attending HVAC Training School Online in West Columbia SCChoosing an HVAC program online is one approach in obtaining your training and earning a degree or certificate. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. Many also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes may be participated in online, this alternative may be a more accessible solution for many West Columbia SC students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are more economical than other on campus choices. Even travelling expenses from West Columbia and study supplies can be reduced, helping to make schooling more affordable. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family commitments have left you with minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to fit school into your busy lifestyle.

Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Classes near West Columbia SC

Once you have chosen the type of certificate or degree that you desire to earn, either on campus or online, you can start to decrease your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are a large number of HVAC trade schools in the West Columbia SC area and all over the United States to select from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a list of relevant qualifiers when making school assessments. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the first two variables you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Many HVAC trade programs in the West Columbia SC area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Make certain that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it can help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many states require that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the HVAC schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate might indicate that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It could also indicate that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have high 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 use 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 West Columbia SC HVAC employers to help graduates obtain apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Many HVAC training programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling businesses or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with local West Columbia SC HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using 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. Otherwise, ask a local West Columbia SC HVAC company if they can give you some tips. Additionally keep in mind that unless you can move, the school must be within commuting distance of your West Columbia SC home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s desirable that you receive as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak to several of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to a few 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 reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near West Columbia SC, verify that the schools you are comparing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.

Attending HVAC School near West Columbia SC?

West Columbia, South Carolina

West Columbia is a city and commuter town in the suburban eastern sections of Lexington County, South Carolina, United States. According to the 2010 census, the population was 14,988. It is a part of the greater Columbia, SC metropolitan statistical area.

West Columbia lies west of Columbia, South Carolina, directly across the Congaree River. It is near Columbia's city center or downtown district as well as the South Carolina State House and the Congaree Vista, known locally as "the Vista."

West Columbia was incorporated in 1894 as Brookland, but the United States Postal Service called the town "New Brookland" since there was another town called Brookland. In 1936, the name was changed to West Columbia to emphasize its proximity to Columbia, South Carolina.[1] Numerous businesses, churches and a high school retain the Brookland and New Brookland names.

The location could not be found.

Select the Right HVAC Training Course near West Columbia SC

Selecting the right HVAC training course is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating and air conditioning field. As we have covered in this post, you should choose a technical school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC community. Other factors to look for are ample hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to go to each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Additionally, ask about scheduling options and whether or not night or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to inquire about financial aid and student loan options also. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have laid out in our guidelines for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC technician in West Columbia SC.

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    Business Results 1 - 10 of 57

    Kaminer Heating And Cooling
    6 Reviews
    Heating & Air Conditioning/HVAC
    Phone:
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    Cool Care Heating and Air
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    Comfort Services
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    Phone:
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    Phone:
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    Mack Heating & Cooling
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