How to Pick an HVAC Certification Class near Bennington Kansas
Now that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next step is to choose an HVAC vocational school near Bennington KS. But with so many to pick from, how do you decide on the right one to get the training that you require? Many potential students will make their choice based solely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their home. While these are necessary considerations, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Some of the other details that you need to investigate are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and other criteria will be addressed in more detail later in this article. But before we tackle how to choose an HVAC technical school, let’s look at what a heating and cooling specialist does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Technician in Bennington KS
HVAC 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 skilled tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, however each state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Attaining professional certification is not compulsory, but an alternative way for Bennington KS HVAC technicians to demonstrate that they are exceptionally qualified and experienced in their area of specialization. There are many respected certifications within the industry that are available. Following are a few of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is achieved by passing a proficiency examination and can be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience together with passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience together with a passing score on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are made available in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary 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.
Considering that licensing may be required in your location, and you may also desire to obtain certification, it’s essential that you select an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be handling refrigerants, make certain that the school you choose preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are several alternatives offered for HVAC instruction in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, typically accomplished in just 6 months, although some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs may provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will furnish more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a short description of each credential offered near Bennington KS.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level residential or commercial HVAC specialists. They provide a strong foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more detailed knowledge of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically taking 2 years to complete, some degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more for a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs call for 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.
Selecting the ideal credential program will be dependent on what your long term career objectives are, together with the time and money that you have to commit. One option is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Bennington KS, later going back to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Courses
Enrolling in an HVAC school online is one approach in obtaining your education and earning a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. Many also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes may be attended online, this approach may be a more convenient solution for many Bennington KS students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are cheaper than other traditional choices. Even travelling expenses from Bennington and study supplies can be reduced, helping to make schooling more economical. And many online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family commitments 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 schedule.
What to Ask HVAC Training Programs near Bennington KS
When you have picked the type of degree or certificate that you desire to attain, either on campus or online, you can begin to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are a large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Bennington KS area and all over the USA to choose from. That’s why it is essential to have a checklist of relevant qualifications when making school comparisons. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the first two variables you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you should explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC vocational programs in the Bennington KS area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Make certain that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain a superior education, it can help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, many states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC 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 might suggest that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It could also signify that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which can result in more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Bennington KS HVAC employers to help grads secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC technical programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling businesses or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with local Bennington KS HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art 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 under regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Bennington KS HVAC contractor if they can give you some tips. Additionally keep in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Bennington KS home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there might be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Speak with a few of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Bennington KS, check that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Attending HVAC School near Bennington KS?
Bennington was platted in 1878 and grew to a population of over 200 within three years. The city name comes from one of two sources. A paper written on the history of Bennington states that Bennington is an Indian name meaning "place of fine trees." The same article also states that co-city founder George R. Parker gave the town its name after Bennington, Vermont. The Solomon Valley Railroad, a branch of the Kansas Pacific Railroad, reached Bennington in 1878.
In 1879, the first school was located one half mile south of town. In 1918, a new school house was built. In 1938, an auditorium was added; in 1955 a shop was added; and in 1961 a new grade school building was annexed.
Bennington is located at 39°1′59″N 97°35′35″W / 39.03306°N 97.59306°W / 39.03306; -97.59306 (39.033174, -97.593030). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.42 square miles (1.09 km2), all of it land.
Select the Right HVAC Training Classes near Bennington KS
Selecting the ideal HVAC training program is a critical beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating and cooling trade. As we have covered in this article, you need to select a trade school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC field. Other features to look for are ample practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should check out each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to explore the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. In addition, inquire about scheduling options and if night or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have detailed 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 commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC specialist in Bennington KS.
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