Category Archives: South Carolina

HVAC Schools Near Me in Ridgeway SC 29130

How to Pick an HVAC Training Class near Ridgeway South Carolina

Ridgeway SC HVAC tech servicing AC compressorOnce you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning specialist, the next step is to look for an HVAC technical school near Ridgeway SC. But with so many to select from, how do you select the right one to obtain the training that you need? A number of future students will make their choice based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Although these are significant considerations, they are not the only ones to evaluate. A few of the other details 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 additional 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 specialist does to become a licensed professional tradesman.

Becoming an HVAC Specialist in Ridgeway SC

Ridgeway SC HVAC tech servicing industrial furnacesHVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are generally mandated to be licensed, although every state and local municipality has its own requirements. Obtaining professional certification is not required, but an alternative way for Ridgeway SC HVAC specialists to prove that they are exceptionally qualified and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are several acknowledged certifications within the field that are available. Following are a few of the important ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is earned 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 professional experience as well as passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience in addition to a passing score on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are provided in several specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is required for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are three types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Considering that licensing may be required in your location, and you may also wish to earn certification, it’s important that you choose an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be working with refrigerants, make certain that the program you choose preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.

HVAC Degree and Certificate Schools

Ridgeway SC HVAC contractor installing residential water heaterThere are a number of choices offered for HVAC instruction in a technical or vocational school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the lesser period of time, typically accomplished in just six months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree programs might provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will provide more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief description of each option offered near Ridgeway 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 employment within the trade.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more comprehensive background of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally taking 2 years to complete, many degrees include an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more towards a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a standard four year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.

Choosing the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your future career goals are, as well as the time and money that you have to commit. One approach is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Ridgeway SC, later going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Online Training

attending HVAC Training School Online in Ridgeway SCAttending an HVAC program online is one possibility in obtaining your education and earning a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. Some also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be attended online, this approach may be a more convenient solution for some Ridgeway SC students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even travelling expenses from Ridgeway and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And many online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family obligations have left you with minimal time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your hectic schedule.

What to Ask HVAC Certification Courses near Ridgeway SC

As soon as you have decided on the type of certificate or degree that you desire to earn, either online or on campus, you can begin to limit your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are many HVAC trade schools in the Ridgeway SC area and throughout the Country to pick from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of important qualifiers when making school assessments. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the first two aspects you will take into consideration. Following are some additional ones that you need to research before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Many HVAC trade schools in the Ridgeway SC area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Make certain that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you obtain a quality education, it can help in acquiring 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 for it to qualify for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate may indicate that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It could also mean that the instructors 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 more extensive list of graduates, which may mean more contacts for the school to utilize 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 additionally that it has the network of Ridgeway SC HVAC employers to assist students acquire apprenticeships or employment.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Most HVAC vocational programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC companies or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with local Ridgeway SC HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC technician you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Ridgeway SC HVAC contracting company if they can give you some suggestions. Also bear in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Ridgeway SC home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might 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 challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Talk to a few of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.

Flexible Scheduling.  Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Ridgeway SC, check that the programs you are looking at provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.

Attending HVAC School near Ridgeway SC?

Ridgeway, South Carolina

Blink Bonnie, Camp Welfare, Century House, Hunter House, Mount Hope, Ridgeway Historic District, Ruff's Chapel, St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, Valencia, Vaughn's Stage Coach Stop, and the Monroe Wilson House are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[5]

Ridgeway is located in southeastern Fairfield County at 34°18′21″N 80°57′41″W / 34.30583°N 80.96139°W / 34.30583; -80.96139 (34.305777, -80.961390).[6]U.S. Route 21 passes through the towns, leading north 19 miles (31 km) to Great Falls and south 24 miles (39 km) to Columbia. South Carolina Highway 34 leads west 2 miles (3 km) to Interstate 77 and east 17 miles (27 km) to Lugoff. Winnsboro, the county seat, is 11 miles (18 km) to the northwest via SC 34.

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 328 people, 138 households, and 96 families residing in the town. The population density was 692.7 people per square mile (269.5/km²). There were 157 housing units at an average density of 331.6 per square mile (129.0/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 60.37% White, 37.50% African American, 0.30% Native American, 0.30% from other races, and 1.52% from two or more races.

The location could not be found.

Select the Right HVAC Trade School near Ridgeway SC

Picking the right HVAC training program is a crucial beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating and cooling industry. As we have addressed in this post, you should choose a vocational school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC profession. Other features to look for are lots of hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should go to each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to tour the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Also, inquire about scheduling choices and whether or not night or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to ask about financial assistance and student loan options as well. If you ask the right questions as we have outlined 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 right training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC contractor in Ridgeway SC.

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