How to Enroll In an HVAC Training Course near Mound City Kansas
Now that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning professional, the next step is to locate an HVAC vocational school near Mound City KS. But with so many to select from, how do you select the best one to get the training that you need? Many future students will make their choice based solely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Although these are important considerations, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Some of the other details that you need to research are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and additional benchmarks will be addressed in more detail later within this article. But before we tackle how to pick an HVAC vocational school, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c technician does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Professional in Mound City 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, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, although each state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Obtaining professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary way for Mound City KS HVAC technicians to prove that they are highly proficient and accomplished in their area of specialization. There are multiple recognized certifications within the industry that are offered. Below are a few of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is attained 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. 2 years of field experience together with passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience along with a passing result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are made available in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing may be mandated in your location, and you may also wish to earn certification, it’s essential that you pick an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the program you decide on preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Courses
There are a number of choices offered for HVAC instruction in a trade or technical school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the lesser period of time, usually accomplished in as little as six months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will furnish more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short summary of each option offered near Mound City KS.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They provide a strong foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more detailed understanding of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually requiring 2 years to complete, many degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more for a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional four year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.
Choosing the ideal credential program will be dependent on what your future career goals are, as well as the time and money that you have to commit. One option is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Mound City KS, later returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Training
Enrolling in an HVAC program online is one possibility in getting your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to complete practical training. Some also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes may be attended via the internet, this option may be a more accessible solution for many Mound City KS students that are pressed for time. And some online degree programs are more economical than other traditional alternatives. Even travelling expenses from Mound City and study materials may be lessened, helping to make schooling more budget-friendly. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family commitments have left you with minimal time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your active lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Training Programs near Mound City KS
Once you have picked the type of certificate or degree that you would like 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 trade schools in the Mound City KS area and across the United States to select from. That’s why it is imperative to have a checklist of important qualifications when making school evaluations. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the first two variables you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you will want to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC technical programs in the Mound City KS area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain 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 program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you get a superior education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, many states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to be approved 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 finish the course. A low completion rate could suggest that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It might also mean that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which can result in more contacts for the school to use 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 field, but also that it has the network of Mound City KS HVAC employers to help grads obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC trade programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC companies or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with local Mound City KS HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC tech you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Mound City KS HVAC contractor if they can give you some pointers. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Mound City KS residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Speak with a few of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Mound City KS, confirm that the schools you are considering offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.
Attending HVAC School near Mound City KS?
Mound City, Kansas
During the Civil War, a military post was established at Mound City. On October 25, 1864, Mound City was attacked twice by Confederates retreating south after their defeat at the Battle of Westport. The military post was closed and abandoned in June 1865 after the end of the war.
Mound City is located at 38°8′31″N 94°48′44″W / 38.14194°N 94.81222°W / 38.14194; -94.81222 (38.142026, -94.812186). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.27 square miles (3.29 km2), of which, 1.07 square miles (2.77 km2) is land and 0.20 square miles (0.52 km2) is water.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Mound City has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
Enroll in the Right HVAC Training Course near Mound City KS
Picking the ideal HVAC training program is a crucial beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating & cooling industry. As we have discussed in this post, you need to choose a vocational school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC profession. Other features to look for are sufficient practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should go to each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Additionally, 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 as well. If you ask the proper questions as we have laid out in our checklist for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC contractor in Mound City KS.
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