How to Select an HVAC Certification Course near Lyndon Kansas
Once you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next step is to find an HVAC trade school near Lyndon KS. But with so many to choose from, how do you choose the ideal one to get the training that you need? A number of prospective students will make their selection based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Even though these are necessary factors to consider, they are not the only ones to take into account. Some of the other things 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 additional benchmarks will be addressed in more detail later in this article. But before we explore how to choose an HVAC vocational school, let’s look at what a heating and a/c professional does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Specialist in Lyndon KS
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot 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 compulsory, but an alternative way for Lyndon KS HVAC techs to prove that they are exceptionally skilled and experienced in their area of expertise. There are multiple respected certifications within the field that are available. Following are a few of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is earned by passing a proficiency exam and can be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of professional experience together with passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience as well as a passing score on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are offered in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are three types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing could be required in your area, and you may also wish to obtain certification, it’s imperative that you pick an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be working with refrigerants, make certain that the program you choose preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Schools
There are several options available for HVAC instruction in a vocational or trade school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the least period of time, often accomplished in just 6 months, however some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree training programs may provide a competitive edge in the job market and will provide more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a short summary of each credential offered near Lyndon KS.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more extensive knowledge of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally requiring 2 years to complete, some 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 or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional 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 appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your future career goals are, along with the time and money that you have to invest. One approach is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Lyndon KS, later returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Classes
Enrolling in an HVAC program online is one possibility in obtaining your education and receiving a degree or certificate. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to complete practical training. Some also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes may be attended online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution for some Lyndon KS students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are more economical than other traditional alternatives. Even driving expenses from Lyndon and study materials may be minimized, helping to make schooling more affordable. And numerous online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family obligations have left you with little time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it easier to accommodate school into your active lifestyle.
Questions to Ask HVAC Training Programs near Lyndon KS
When you have decided on the type of certificate or degree that you wish to acquire, either online or on campus, you can start to decrease your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are numerous HVAC trade schools in the Lyndon KS area and across the Country to choose from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of important qualifications when making school comparisons. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the initial two variables you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you will want to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC vocational schools in the Lyndon KS area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance HVAC technology. Make sure that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you obtain a quality education, it can help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate could signify that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It could also signify that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which can produce more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Lyndon KS HVAC employers to assist grads acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC technical programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC contractors or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with local Lyndon KS HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC specialist you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Lyndon KS HVAC contractor if they can give you some suggestions. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Lyndon KS residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be higher 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 larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Speak with some of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Lyndon KS, check that the schools you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Attending HVAC School near Lyndon KS?
Lyndon is located at 38°36′37″N 95°41′7″W / 38.61028°N 95.68528°W / 38.61028; -95.68528 (38.610233, -95.685352). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.83 square miles (2.15 km2), all 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, Lyndon has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,052 people, 422 households, and 285 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,267.5 inhabitants per square mile (489.4/km2). There were 464 housing units at an average density of 559.0 per square mile (215.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 97.5% White, 0.4% African American, 0.7% Native American, 0.1% Asian, and 1.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.0% of the population.
Enroll in the Right HVAC Training Classes near Lyndon KS
Enrolling in the right HVAC training course is an important first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating and cooling field. As we have covered in this post, you should choose a school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC profession. Other things to search for are sufficient practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should visit each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to explore 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. Additionally, inquire about scheduling choices and whether evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial aid and student loan options also. 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 educated decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC specialist in Lyndon KS.
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