How to Find the Right HVAC Certification Class near Highland Kansas
Now that you have decided on a career as a heating and cooling specialist, the next step is to find an HVAC vocational school near Highland KS. But with so many to choose from, how do you select the right one to obtain the training that you need? A number of prospective students will make their selection based exclusively on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Although these are important considerations, they are not the only ones to take into account. Some of the other factors 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. These and other benchmarks will be discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we tackle how to select an HVAC technical school, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c technician does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Professional in Highland KS
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, although each state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Attaining professional certification is not mandatory, but an optional way for Highland KS HVAC technicians to demonstrate that they are highly qualified and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are multiple respected certifications within the trade that are available. Below 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 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. Two years of field experience in addition to passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience together with a passing result on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are made available in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for techs 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.
Considering that licensing might be required in your area, and you may also desire to acquire certification, it’s imperative that you choose an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be handling refrigerants, make certain that the program you pick readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Courses
There are several alternatives offered for HVAC training in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the least period of time, usually achieved in just six months, although some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree programs may provide a competitive edge in the job market and will furnish more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short description of each option offered near Highland KS.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more comprehensive background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Generally requiring two years to finish, many degrees feature 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 traditional four year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Selecting the ideal credential program will be dependent on what your future career aspirations are, as well as the time and money that you have to invest. One approach is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Highland KS, later returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Courses Online
Attending an HVAC program online is one approach to attaining your education and receiving a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. Some also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes can be participated in online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution for many Highland KS students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other traditional choices. Even commuting expenses from Highland and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And numerous online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family commitments have left you with minimal time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask HVAC Schools near Highland KS
After you have selected the type of degree or certificate that you wish to earn, either online or on campus, you can begin to limit your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of HVAC trade schools in the Highland KS area and all over the USA to choose from. That’s why it is essential to have a list of important qualifiers when making school evaluations. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the initial two factors you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you need to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Highland KS area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Make certain that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you receive a superior education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, some states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to be approved 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 of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate might indicate that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It might also suggest that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which can mean more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Highland KS HVAC employers to assist graduates secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC technical programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC businesses or trade unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with local Highland KS HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC tech you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Highland KS HVAC company if they can give you some suggestions. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Highland KS home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak to several of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to a few of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Highland KS, verify that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.
Attending HVAC School near Highland KS?
Highland is located at 39°51′36″N 95°16′1″W / 39.86000°N 95.26694°W / 39.86000; -95.26694 (39.860042, -95.266816). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.53 square miles (1.37 km2), all land.
At the 2010 census, there were 1,012 people, 296 households and 155 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,909.4 inhabitants per square mile (737.2/km2). There were 372 housing units at an average density of 701.9 per square mile (271.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 84.7% White, 10.0% African American, 1.1% Native American, 0.4% Asian, 0.8% from other races, and 3.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.0% of the population.
There were 296 households of which 23.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.6% were married couples living together, 7.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.0% had a male householder with no wife present, and 47.6% were non-families. 39.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.16 and the average family size was 2.94.
Enroll in the Right HVAC Certification Training near Highland KS
Choosing the ideal HVAC training course is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating and air conditioning industry. As we have discussed in this post, you should pick a trade school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC profession. Other factors to look for are lots of hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to go to each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to explore the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling choices and whether night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options as well. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have detailed in our guidelines for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC technician in Highland KS.
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