How to Select an HVAC Training Course near Lansing Kansas
Now that you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioner professional, the next action is to look for an HVAC trade school near Lansing KS. But with so many to choose from, how do you select the ideal one to obtain the training that you require? Many potential students will make their selection based exclusively on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. Even though these are necessary considerations, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Some of the other details 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 other criteria will be covered in more detail later within this article. But before we tackle how to select an HVAC vocational school, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c specialist does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Tech in Lansing KS
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, however every state and local municipality has its own requirements. Acquiring professional certification is not compulsory, but an optional means for Lansing KS HVAC specialists to establish that they are exceptionally qualified and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are many respected certifications within the trade that are available. Following are a few of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is achieved by passing a proficiency examination and may be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience together with passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience along with a passing result on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are offered in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are three types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing may be mandated in your location, and you may also desire to obtain certification, it’s imperative that you select an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be working with refrigerants, make sure that the school you choose preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Schools
There are a variety of options available for HVAC instruction in a technical or vocational school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the least amount of time, typically accomplished in as little as six months, however some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive edge in the job market and will provide more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short summary of each option offered near Lansing KS.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning residential or commercial HVAC specialists. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more extensive background of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Normally requiring 2 years to complete, many degrees incorporate 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 standard 4 year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Picking the ideal credential program will be based on what your future career aspirations are, as well as the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One approach is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Lansing KS, later returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Courses
Enrolling in an HVAC program online is one alternative to obtaining your training and earning a certificate or degree. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to participate in hands on training. Many also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes can be participated in via the internet, this approach may be a more convenient solution for some Lansing KS students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are more economical than other on campus alternatives. Even driving expenses from Lansing and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family obligations have left you with little time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to fit school into your busy schedule.
What to Ask HVAC Certification Classes near Lansing KS
As soon as you have decided on the type of degree or certificate that you wish to attain, either online or on campus, you can start to narrow down your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Lansing KS area and all over the United States to select from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a checklist of important qualifiers when making school evaluations. As earlier 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 should research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC technical schools in the Lansing KS area have attained 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 relates to an individual program, such as HVAC technology. Verify that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you receive a superior education, it can help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of states require that the HVAC training course be accredited for it 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 portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate may suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It could also suggest that the instructors were not qualified 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 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 will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Lansing KS HVAC employers to assist graduates acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC trade programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling contractors or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with local Lansing KS HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC specialist you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Lansing KS HVAC contractor if they can provide some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Lansing KS home. Remember 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 receive as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Talk to a few of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to some of the teachers and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Lansing KS, confirm that the programs you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Attending HVAC School near Lansing KS?
Lansing is a city situated along the Missouri River in the eastern part of Leavenworth County, located in northeast Kansas, in the Central United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 11,265. It is the second most populous city of Leavenworth County and is a part of the Kansas City metropolitan area.
Lansing is named for James Lansing, a pioneer settler. Formerly William Lansing Taylor, James changed his name upon his enlistment in 1862 as a hospital steward in the 7th Kansas Cavalry. Following the Civil War, he earned a position at the new state penitentiary in Kansas as a hospital steward. He later resigned and opened a general mercantile store, which held the post office and an apothecary business, in the area called “Town of Progress”. “Doc Lansing”, as he became known, and his friend John C. Schmidt became co-owners of 90 acres (360,000 m2) of land that was platted into town lots in 1878; they named the area “Town of Lansing”. Lansing did not become an incorporated city until 1959.
The Kansas State Penitentiary, later renamed the Lansing Correctional Facility in 1990, was authorized by the Kansas Constitution in 1859; it is the state's largest and oldest facility for detention and rehabilitation of male adult felons. With the opening of the coal mine at the prison the town became an important shipping point for this product.
Choose the Right HVAC Training Course near Lansing KS
Picking the right HVAC training program is a crucial beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating & cooling trade. As we have discussed in this article, you should pick a vocational school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC trade. Other things to search for are lots of practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should go to each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to explore the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Additionally, inquire about scheduling choices and if night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to ask about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the proper questions as we have laid out in our checklist for comparing schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC technician in Lansing KS.
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