How to Enroll In an HVAC Training Course near Louisburg Kansas
Once you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next step is to choose an HVAC vocational school near Louisburg KS. But with so many to pick from, how do you choose the right one to obtain the training that you need? Some future students will make their selection based exclusively on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. While these are relevant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Just 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 other benchmarks will be addressed in more detail later in this article. But before we tackle how to select an HVAC trade school, let’s take a look at what a heating and air conditioning technician does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Tech in Louisburg KS
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, though every state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Acquiring professional certification is not compulsory, but an alternative way for Louisburg KS HVAC technicians to prove that they are highly proficient and experienced in their area of specialization. There are a number of respected certifications within the trade 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 proficiency exam and can be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience in addition to passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience as well as a passing score on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are made available in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for technicians that work with refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing may be mandated in your area, and you may also wish to acquire certification, it’s important that you choose 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 pick readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Classes
There are a variety of alternatives offered for HVAC instruction 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 lesser period of time, usually completed in just six months, however some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will furnish more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief summary of each option offered near Louisburg KS.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning 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 supplies a more exhaustive background of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally taking two years to finish, some degrees include 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 4 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.
Picking the appropriate credential program will be based on what your long term career goals are, in addition to the time and money that you have to commit. One option is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Louisburg KS, later going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make certain to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Training Online
Attending an HVAC program online is one alternative in getting your education and earning a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will call for 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 rest of the classes can be attended online, this alternative may be a more accessible solution for some Louisburg KS students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are cheaper than other traditional alternatives. Even driving expenses from Louisburg and study supplies can be reduced, helping to make schooling 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 minimal time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to fit school into your active lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Schools near Louisburg KS
When you have selected the type of certificate or degree that you desire to attain, either on campus or online, you can begin to narrow down your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Louisburg KS area and all over the USA to pick from. That’s why it is essential to have a list of relevant qualifiers when making school comparisons. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the initial two aspects you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you need to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC trade programs in the Louisburg KS area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Confirm that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you acquire an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, many states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to qualify 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 low completion rate could indicate that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It might also indicate that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which can result in 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 industry, but also that it has the network of Louisburg KS HVAC employers to help students obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC vocational programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational 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 comparing have referring partnerships with local Louisburg KS HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed 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, talk to the HVAC specialist you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Louisburg KS HVAC contracting company if they can provide some suggestions. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Louisburg KS home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Speak to several of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk 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. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Louisburg KS, verify that the programs you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.
Attending HVAC School near Louisburg KS?
Prior to the American Civil War, the land of what is now called Louisburg was part of an area reserved for members of various tribes of Native Americans who were ceding their lands in Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana. Settling there were the Peoria, Wea, Piankeshaw, and Kaskaskia tribes  which together eventually became the Confederated Tribe of Peoria. Traders and missionaries often visited the area, and by 1854 Euro-American farmers began moving nearby, establishing homes. Upon the organization of the state of Kansas in 1861, the Confederated Tribes were being charged with taxes, and the new state laws conflicted with their own. By 1866, following the Civil War, the government moved the Confederated Tribe of Peoria to Oklahoma, and the land they once occupied was sold to settlers. A community of homes resulted by 1867, and was called St. Louis. Soon, it was often referred to as New St. Louis or Little St. Louis in an effort to distinguish it from St. Louis.
From 1868 to 1870, the settlement of Little St. Louis grew to include businesses and churches, and a railroad depot was to be completed. Because the Missouri, Kansas, and Texas Railroad (MKT Railroad) would be coming to serve the community, and to avoid additional confusion, Little St. Louis was renamed Louisburg in 1870. The railroad depot was completed by 1871, and Louisburg's first school opened the same year. The community had some disorder during this time. As a town near the border, there remained conflicts between Kansas Jayhawkers and Missouri Raiders. In addition, the railroad tracks running through the community divided it into north and south areas. Circa 1875, many businesses and homes were moved from north of the railroad to the south, and formed what was to become downtown Louisburg.
Louisburg was incorporated as a city of the third class November 3, 1882, and held its first city election two weeks later on November 17, 1882. The population was listed as 400, and 141 of those residents voted in the first election.
Enroll in the Right HVAC Training Classes near Louisburg KS
Picking the ideal HVAC training program is an important beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating and air conditioning industry. As we have discussed in this article, you should select a school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC profession. Other things to search for are ample hands-on training and modern facilities. You should visit each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to tour the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. In addition, ask about scheduling options and whether evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to ask about financial aid and student loan options also. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have laid out in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC professional in Louisburg KS.
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