How to Pick an HVAC School near Home Kansas
Once you have decided on a career as a heating and cooling professional, the next action is to find an HVAC trade school near Home KS. But with so many to select from, how do you pick the best one to obtain the training that you require? Some future students will make their selection based entirely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. While these are important considerations, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Some of the other factors that you need to research are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and additional benchmarks will be covered in more detail later within this article. But before we tackle how to select an HVAC technical school, let’s take a look at what a heating and air conditioning technician does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Contractor in Home KS
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, though each state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Obtaining professional certification is not required, but an alternative means for Home KS HVAC techs to establish that they are exceptionally qualified and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are many recognized certifications within the industry that are offered. Following are a few of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is earned by passing a competency exam and can be received in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience in addition to passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience together with a passing score on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are provided in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for technicians that work with refrigerants. There are three forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing could be required in your area, and you may also desire to acquire certification, it’s essential that you select an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be working with refrigerants, make sure that the school you pick preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are a number of alternatives offered for HVAC training in a vocational or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the lesser period of time, often achieved in just 6 months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will furnish more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short description of each option offered near Home KS.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They provide a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more detailed understanding of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Normally taking two years to complete, many degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more for a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional 4 year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Choosing the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your long term 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 getting some experience in the trade in Home KS, eventually going back to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Schools
Attending an HVAC program online is one option in getting your education and receiving a degree or certificate. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. A number also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be attended via the internet, this approach may be a more convenient solution for many Home KS students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are cheaper than other traditional choices. Even driving expenses from Home and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family obligations have left you with limited time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to accommodate school into your busy schedule.
What to Ask HVAC Schools near Home KS
As soon as you have chosen the type of degree or certificate that you want to obtain, either on campus or online, you can start to limit your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many HVAC technical schools in the Home KS area and across the USA to choose from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a list of relevant qualifiers when making school comparisons. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the initial 2 factors you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you will want to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC vocational schools in the Home KS area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance HVAC technology. Confirm that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you receive an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, many states require that the HVAC training program 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 program. A lower completion rate might suggest that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It may also indicate that the instructors were not competent 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 directory of alumni, which may mean more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Home KS HVAC employers to help graduates obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC technical programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC contractors or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with local Home KS HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC specialist you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Home KS HVAC contractor if they can provide some pointers. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Home KS residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Speak with several of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to some of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Home KS, confirm that the programs you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.
Attending HVAC School near Home KS?
Its altitude is 1,345 feet (410 m), and it is located at 39°50′30″N 96°31′11″W / 39.84167°N 96.51972°W / 39.84167; -96.51972 (39.8416678, -96.5197389). Home lies along U.S. Route 36 – the Pony Express Highway – and a Union Pacific rail line, east of the city of Marysville, the county seat of Marshall County.
The town gets its name from the first post office, which was established in 1874 in someone's home. The post office eventually was moved to its own building, which is now facing possible closure due to postal service austerity measures.
Enroll in the Right HVAC Trade School near Home KS
Enrolling in the ideal HVAC training program is an important beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating & cooling trade. As we have covered in this article, you should choose a technical school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC trade. Other things to search for are lots of hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should visit each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to explore the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling choices and whether evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have detailed in our guidelines for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC technician in Home KS.
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