How to Enroll In an HVAC School near Howard Kansas
Now that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner specialist, the next step is to look for an HVAC vocational school near Howard KS. But with so many to pick from, how do you pick the ideal one to obtain the training that you require? A number of future students will make their selection based solely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Even though these are significant considerations, they are not the only ones to take into account. Just some of the other details that you need to look into are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and other benchmarks will be discussed in more detail later within this article. But before we explore how to select an HVAC trade school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling specialist does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Contractor in Howard KS
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently 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 mandated to be licensed, however each state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Obtaining professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary way for Howard KS HVAC technicians to demonstrate that they are exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are several respected certifications within the industry that are available. Below are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is achieved by passing a competency examination and can 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 in addition to passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience in addition to a passing result on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are made available in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for techs that handle refrigerants. There are three forms of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing could be required in your location, and you may also desire to earn certification, it’s essential that you choose an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the program you pick prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Courses
There are several options available for HVAC training in a technical or vocational school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the least amount of time, often accomplished in just 6 months, although some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree programs might provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will deliver more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief explanation of each credential offered near Howard KS.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more comprehensive understanding of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually 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 towards a career in management as well as 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 study how to design them.
Choosing the right credential program will be dependent on what your future career goals are, as well as the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One option is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Howard KS, eventually going back to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make sure to ask the HVAC technician 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 receiving a degree or certificate. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. Some also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes may be participated in via the internet, this approach may be a more convenient solution for many Howard KS students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even driving expenses from Howard and study supplies may be reduced, helping to make schooling more affordable. And numerous online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career 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.
Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Courses near Howard KS
As soon as you have decided on the type of certificate or degree that you desire to acquire, either online or on campus, you can start to narrow down your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many HVAC vocational schools in the Howard KS area and across the United States to select from. That’s why it is essential to have a list of key qualifications when making school comparisons. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the initial 2 factors you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you will want to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC trade programs in the Howard KS area have earned 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 relates to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Make certain that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Also, a number of states require that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate could signify that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It could also indicate that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which may produce more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Howard KS HVAC employers to assist graduates secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC training programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC companies or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local Howard KS HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC tech you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Howard KS HVAC contracting company if they can provide some tips. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Howard KS residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much personalized training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Speak to several of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to some of the teachers and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Howard KS, verify that the programs you are considering offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Attending HVAC School near Howard KS?
Howard was founded in 1870, and it was incorporated as a city in 1877. Howard was named after Oliver O. Howard, a Union Army general during the Civil War and founder of Howard University. The first post office in Howard was established in February, 1870.
Howard is located at 37°28′7″N 96°15′47″W / 37.46861°N 96.26306°W / 37.46861; -96.26306 (37.468517, -96.263014). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.70 square miles (1.81 km2), all of it land.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Howard has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
Enroll in the Right HVAC Trade School near Howard KS
Finding the ideal HVAC training course is a crucial first step toward a rewarding career in the heating and air conditioning field. As we have covered in this article, you should choose a school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC trade. Other things to search for are plenty of 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 talk with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. In addition, ask about scheduling choices and if evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to inquire about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have laid out in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC technician in Howard KS.
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