HVAC Schools Near Me in Colby KS 67701

How to Select an HVAC Certification Class near Colby Kansas

Colby KS HVAC tech servicing AC compressorNow that you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioner professional, the next action is to choose an HVAC technical school near Colby KS. But with so many to choose from, how do you pick the best one to obtain the training that you need? Some prospective students will make their decision based entirely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Even though these are necessary concerns, they are not the only ones to evaluate. A few 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. These and additional benchmarks will be discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we examine how to choose an HVAC technical school, let’s look at what a heating and cooling contractor does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.

Becoming an HVAC Contractor in Colby KS

Colby KS HVAC tech servicing industrial furnacesHVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, however each state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Earning professional certification is not required, but an optional means for Colby KS HVAC techs to demonstrate that they are highly skilled and experienced in their area of specialization. There are several acknowledged certifications within the trade that are available. Following are some of the significant ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is attained by passing a competency examination and may be acquired in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience as well as passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience in addition to a passing result on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are made available in multiple specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is required for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Since licensing may be mandated in your location, and you may also desire to acquire certification, it’s imperative that you select an HVAC vocational school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be working with refrigerants, make sure that the program you select prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Degree Schools

Colby KS HVAC contractor installing residential water heaterThere are several options offered for HVAC instruction in a vocational or trade school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the least amount of time, typically accomplished in as little as 6 months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree training programs may provide a competitive edge in the job market and will deliver more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief description of each credential offered near Colby KS.

  • Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They provide a strong foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more extensive knowledge of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally taking 2 years to complete, a number of 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 call for 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 dependent on what your long term career goals are, along with the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One approach is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Colby KS, subsequently returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, be sure 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 Colby KSEnrolling in an HVAC school online is one alternative in getting your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. Some also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes may be participated in on the web, this alternative may be a more practical solution for some Colby KS students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even driving expenses from Colby and study supplies can be reduced, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family responsibilities have left you with limited time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to accommodate school into your hectic schedule.

Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Courses near Colby KS

When you have picked the type of degree or certificate that you would like to attain, either on campus or online, you can begin to decrease your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Colby KS area and across the USA to choose from. That’s why it is essential to have a checklist of relevant qualifiers when making school evaluations. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the first 2 variables you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you will want to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Numerous HVAC vocational programs in the Colby KS area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Make certain that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you acquire a superior education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Additionally, some 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 considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate might suggest that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It may also mean that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which can mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Colby KS HVAC employers to assist students acquire apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Many HVAC technical programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC contractors or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have working relationships with local Colby KS HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make sure 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, talk to the HVAC specialist you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Colby KS HVAC contractor if they can give you some suggestions. Also keep in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Colby KS residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s important that you get as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Speak to some of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.

Flexible Scheduling.  Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Colby KS, check that the schools you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family issues.

Attending HVAC School near Colby KS?

Colby, Kansas

In 1882, a post office was established near the center of Thomas County. Area homesteaders lived under harsh conditions in sod houses, creating demand for a town to provide lumber and other provisions to incoming settlers. J.R. Colby, a local land assessor and preacher, obtained a patent to establish the town in April 1884, and land was acquired for the town site three miles north of the post office in March 1885. The following month, the Kansas Secretary of State issued the Town Charter. Kansas Gov. John Martin named Colby the county seat in 1885, and the city was incorporated in 1886. The Union Pacific Railroad reached the city in 1887, and the Rock Island Railroad followed the next year.[8]

In 1941 the St. Thomas Hospital was built as part of the Works Progress Administration plan to build hospitals. This was one of 130 new hospitals to be built with these funds, it was one of two built in Kansas alone. Within the last couple of years, it was renovated to apartments under the name St. Thomas Historic Residences. [9]

Colby is located at 39°23′32″N 101°02′51″W / 39.392093°N 101.047532°W / 39.392093; -101.047532 (39.392093, -101.047532) at an elevation of 3,159 feet (963 m).[5][11] It lies on the south side of Prairie Dog Creek, a tributary of the Republican River, in the High Plains region of the Great Plains.[12] A small tributary of the creek flows northeast through the town.[13] Located at the interchange of Interstate 70 and K-25 in northwestern Kansas, Colby is 212 mi (341 km) east-southeast of Denver, 232 mi (373 km) northwest of Wichita, and 347 mi (558 km) west of Kansas City.[12][14]

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Pick the Right HVAC Certification Training near Colby KS

Choosing the ideal HVAC training course is a critical beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating and air conditioning field. As we have discussed in this post, you should pick a trade school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC field. Other features to search for are ample hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to visit each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to explore 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. Also, inquire about scheduling options and whether or not night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to ask about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the proper questions as we have laid out in our checklist for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC technician in Colby KS.

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