How to Find the Right HVAC Training Course near Kensington Kansas
Once you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next action is to find an HVAC vocational school near Kensington KS. But with so many to choose from, how do you decide on the best one to receive 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 home. Although these are relevant considerations, they are not the only ones to evaluate. 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. Those and additional benchmarks will be discussed in more detail later within this article. But before we examine how to select an HVAC training program, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning professional does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Professional in Kensington KS
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, however every state and local municipality has its own requirements. Obtaining professional certification is not compulsory, but a voluntary way for Kensington KS HVAC techs to establish that they are exceptionally qualified and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are several respected certifications within the industry that are available. Following are some 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 proficiency exam and may be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience in addition to passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience in addition to a passing result on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are made available in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for techs 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.
Because licensing could be required in your area, and you may also desire to acquire certification, it’s essential that you choose an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be handling refrigerants, make certain that the program you choose prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are a variety of choices available for HVAC instruction in a technical or vocational school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the least amount of time, usually completed in as little as 6 months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will furnish more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a short summary of each credential offered near Kensington KS.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They provide a solid foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more exhaustive knowledge of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally requiring 2 years to complete, a number of degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more for a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional four year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Choosing the right credential program will be dependent on what your future career goals are, along with the time and money that you have to commit. One possibility is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the trade in Kensington KS, later going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Classes Online
Enrolling in an HVAC school online is one approach to getting your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. Some also offer 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 on the web, this approach may be a more practical solution for many Kensington KS students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even driving expenses from Kensington and study supplies can be minimized, helping to make schooling more economical. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family obligations have left you with limited time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your busy schedule.
What to Ask HVAC Trade Schools near Kensington KS
After you have decided on the type of degree or certificate that you would like to obtain, either on campus or online, you can start to narrow down your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are numerous HVAC technical schools in the Kensington KS area and throughout the USA to select from. That’s why it is imperative to have a checklist of key qualifications when making school assessments. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the first two variables you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you will want to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Kensington KS area have earned 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 relates to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Confirm that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you get a superior education, it may assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, some states require that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate could signify that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It might also suggest that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which can 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 field, but additionally that it has the network of Kensington KS HVAC employers to assist students acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC technical programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Kensington KS HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm 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 already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC specialist you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Kensington KS HVAC company if they can give you some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Kensington KS home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much individualized training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Speak to several of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with some of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications 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 attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Kensington KS, check that the schools you are looking at provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, 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 Kensington KS?
Kensington is located at 39°45′58″N 99°1′56″W / 39.76611°N 99.03222°W / 39.76611; -99.03222 (39.766110, -99.032308). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.36 square miles (0.93 km2), all land.
As of the census of 2010, there were 473 people, 203 households, and 126 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,313.9 inhabitants per square mile (507.3/km2). There were 261 housing units at an average density of 725.0 per square mile (279.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 97.7% White, 0.2% Native American, and 2.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.2% of the population.
There were 203 households of which 23.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.2% were married couples living together, 4.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.9% had a male householder with no wife present, and 37.9% were non-families. 36.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 23.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.19 and the average family size was 2.78.
Select the Right HVAC Training Classes near Kensington KS
Choosing the right HVAC training program is a crucial beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating and air conditioning trade. As we have covered in this post, you should pick a school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC trade. Other factors to look for are ample practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should go to each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. In addition, inquire about scheduling choices and if night or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the right questions as we have laid out in our guidelines 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 dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC specialist in Kensington KS.
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