How to Enroll In an HVAC Training Class near Garnett Kansas
Now that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and cooling technician, the next step is to choose an HVAC technical school near Garnett KS. But with so many to select from, how do you select the right one to obtain the training that you need? Many prospective students will make their decision based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. While these are important concerns, they are not the only ones to evaluate. A few of the other things that you need to look into 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 discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we tackle how to pick an HVAC vocational school, let’s take a look at what a heating and air conditioning contractor does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Specialist in Garnett KS
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are generally mandated to be licensed, though each state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Obtaining professional certification is not compulsory, but an alternative way for Garnett KS HVAC specialists to prove that they are exceptionally qualified and accomplished in their area of specialization. There are multiple recognized certifications within the trade that are offered. Following are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is attained by passing a competency exam 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 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 result on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing could be mandated in your area, and you may also wish to acquire certification, it’s essential that you choose an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the school you decide on readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree Training Programs
There are a number of choices available for HVAC training 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 least period of time, typically completed in as little as six months, although some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree training programs might provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will provide more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short summary of each option offered near Garnett KS.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more extensive knowledge of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically taking 2 years to finish, many degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more towards a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a standard 4 year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.
Picking the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your future career objectives are, along with the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One possibility is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Garnett KS, later going back to obtain 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 Schools Online
Enrolling in an HVAC school online is one option to getting your training and receiving a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to complete hands on training. Some also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes may be participated in on the web, this alternative may be a more convenient solution for some Garnett KS students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other traditional choices. Even commuting expenses from Garnett and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family commitments have left you with limited time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to fit school into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask HVAC Trade Schools near Garnett KS
After you have chosen 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 trade schools in the Garnett KS area and all over the USA to select from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of key qualifications when making school evaluations. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the initial two variables you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you need to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC technical schools in the Garnett KS 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, for instance HVAC technology. Make certain that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, a number of states require that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate might signify that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It may also indicate that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It’s also important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which may produce 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 Garnett KS HVAC employers to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC trade programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC contractors or labor unions. Check if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with local Garnett KS HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC technician you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Garnett KS HVAC company if they can give you some pointers. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Garnett 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 fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable 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 students and instructors. Talk to several of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to a few of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Garnett KS, verify that the schools you are looking at provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending HVAC School near Garnett KS?
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Garnett has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
As of the census of 2010, there were 3,415 people, 1,419 households, and 862 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,101.6 inhabitants per square mile (425.3/km2). There were 1,591 housing units at an average density of 513.2 per square mile (198.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.7% White, 0.4% African American, 0.6% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.6% from other races, and 1.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.1% of the population.
There were 1,419 households of which 30.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.5% were married couples living together, 10.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.9% had a male householder with no wife present, and 39.3% were non-families. 34.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 19.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.98.
Select the Right HVAC Training Course near Garnett KS
Picking the ideal HVAC training course is a critical beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating & cooling industry. As we have covered in this post, you need to choose a trade school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC community. Other features to look for are ample practical training and modern facilities. You need to visit each of the schools in person 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 instruction and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling choices and whether or not evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial assistance and student loan options as well. If you ask the right questions as we have laid out in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC contractor in Garnett KS.
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