How to Enroll In an HVAC Certification Course near Americus Kansas
Now that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next action is to locate an HVAC trade school near Americus KS. But with so many to select from, how do you pick the right one to receive the training that you need? A number of prospective students will make their decision based entirely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. While these are relevant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to evaluate. A few 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 addressed in more detail later in this article. But before we discuss how to choose an HVAC technical school, let’s look at what a heating and a/c technician does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Pro in Americus KS
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are generally required to be licensed, although each state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Attaining professional certification is not compulsory, but an optional way for Americus KS HVAC technicians to demonstrate that they are exceptionally proficient and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are many acknowledged certifications within the trade that are available. Following are some of the important 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 makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience in addition to passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience as well as a passing result on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are made available in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for techs that work with refrigerants. There are three forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing might be mandated in your location, and you may also intend to earn certification, it’s important that you pick an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be working with refrigerants, make certain that the program you choose readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree Courses
There are a number of options offered for HVAC training in a vocational or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the least period of time, typically completed in as little as six months, however some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive edge in the job market and will provide more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief explanation of each credential offered near Americus KS.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more comprehensive understanding of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically requiring 2 years to finish, a number of degrees include 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 traditional 4 year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Choosing the right credential program will be based on what your future career goals are, as well as the time and money that you have to invest. One possibility is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Americus KS, later returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Schools Online
Attending an HVAC school online is one possibility to attaining your training and receiving a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to complete hands on training. Many also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes may be participated in on the web, this approach may be a more practical solution for many Americus KS students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even driving expenses from Americus and study supplies can be lessened, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And numerous 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, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it easier to accommodate school into your hectic lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Trade Schools near Americus KS
After you have decided on the type of certificate or degree that you would like to acquire, either on campus or online, you can start to limit your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are many HVAC vocational schools in the Americus KS area and throughout the United States to select from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school comparisons. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the first two variables you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you should research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC technical programs in the Americus KS area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as HVAC technology. Verify that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you get a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, many states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate may signify that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It may also indicate that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which may result in more contacts for the school to utilize 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 trade, but also that it has the network of Americus KS HVAC employers to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC vocational programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with local Americus KS HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC tech you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Americus KS HVAC contracting company if they can provide some tips. Also keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Americus KS home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging 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 teachers and students. Talk to some of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak 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 schools you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Americus KS, confirm that the schools you are looking at provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Attending HVAC School near Americus KS?
Americus is located at 38°30′23″N 96°15′35″W / 38.50639°N 96.25972°W / 38.50639; -96.25972 (38.506448, -96.259598). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.13 square miles (2.93 km2), of which, 1.12 square miles (2.90 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 894 people, 354 households, and 251 families residing in the city. The population density was 798.2 inhabitants per square mile (308.2/km2). There were 386 housing units at an average density of 344.6 per square mile (133.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.2% White, 0.2% Native American, 0.1% Asian, 0.6% from other races, and 2.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.1% of the population.
There were 354 households of which 36.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.0% were married couples living together, 11.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.9% had a male householder with no wife present, and 29.1% were non-families. 24.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 2.96.
Select the Right HVAC Training Course near Americus KS
Picking the right HVAC training course is a crucial first step toward a gratifying career in the heating and air conditioning industry. As we have discussed in this article, you need to pick a trade school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC community. Other factors to search for are ample practical training and modern facilities. You should check out each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Also, inquire about scheduling options and whether night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to ask about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the proper questions as we have detailed in our guidelines 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 commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC technician in Americus KS.
More Fabulous Cities in Kansas
Business Results 1 - 10 of 4