How to Pick an HVAC Training Course near Osage City Kansas
Now that you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioner professional, the next step is to choose an HVAC vocational school near Osage City KS. But with so many to pick from, how do you pick the ideal one to receive the training that you need? Many potential students will make their selection based solely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Even though these are significant concerns, they are not the only ones to investigate. Some of the other things that you need to investigate are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and additional criteria will be addressed in more detail later within this article. But before we tackle how to choose an HVAC technical school, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning technician does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Specialist in Osage City KS
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are generally mandated to be licensed, although every state and local municipality has its own requirements. Attaining professional certification is not required, but an alternative way for Osage City KS HVAC specialists to demonstrate that they are exceptionally qualified and experienced in their area of specialization. There are multiple acknowledged certifications within the field that are available. Below are a few of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is attained by passing a competency examination and may be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of professional experience in addition to passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience as well as a passing result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are three types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing might be required in your location, and you may also wish to acquire certification, it’s important that you choose an HVAC vocational school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be working with refrigerants, make sure that the school you pick preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are a number of alternatives offered for HVAC training in a technical or vocational school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the minimum period of time, typically achieved in just 6 months, however some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will provide more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a short explanation of each option offered near Osage City KS.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more exhaustive knowledge of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically taking 2 years to complete, some degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more towards a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional 4 year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Selecting the appropriate 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 option is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the trade in Osage City KS, subsequently going back to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Schools Online
Enrolling in an HVAC school online is one option to attaining your training and earning a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to complete practical training. Many also provide 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 via the internet, this approach may be a more practical solution for some Osage City KS students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are more economical than other traditional choices. Even travelling expenses from Osage City and study supplies may be lessened, helping to make schooling more affordable. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family responsibilities have left you with limited time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to accommodate school into your active lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Training Classes near Osage City KS
After you have chosen the type of degree or certificate that you desire to obtain, either online or on campus, you can begin to decrease your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Osage City KS area and across the United States to choose from. That’s why it is essential to have a checklist of relevant qualifiers when making school evaluations. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the first 2 variables you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you will want to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC vocational programs in the Osage City KS area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Make sure that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you get a superior education, it can assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many states require that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate may indicate that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It may also indicate that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly essential 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 use 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 trade, but also that it has the network of Osage City KS HVAC employers to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC technical programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC businesses or trade unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with local Osage City KS HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed 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 tech you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Osage City KS HVAC contracting company if they can give you some tips. Also keep in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Osage City KS residence. 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 desirable that you receive as much individualized training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Speak to some of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to some of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Osage City KS, check that the programs you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Attending HVAC School near Osage City KS?
Osage City, Kansas
Osage City was surveyed and platted in late 1869, after the route of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway had been fixed, but before it had been built to the city. Osage City was incorporated as a city in April 1872. Like Osage County, the city was named for the Osage Nation.
Osage City was a very busy coal mining town in the 19th century. In the summer of 1870, the first coal mines were opened by the Osage Carbon, Coal & Mining Company. At one time, there were twenty-eight mine shafts and 1,200 men employed.
Osage City is located at 38°38′3″N 95°49′36″W / 38.63417°N 95.82667°W / 38.63417; -95.82667 (38.634069, -95.826759). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.29 square miles (8.52 km2), of which, 3.21 square miles (8.31 km2) is land and 0.08 square miles (0.21 km2) is water.
Pick the Right HVAC Trade School near Osage City KS
Finding the right HVAC training course is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating and air conditioning trade. As we have discussed in this post, you should choose a trade school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC trade. Other features to search for are plenty of practical training and modern facilities. You should go to each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to explore 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. Also, inquire about scheduling choices and whether night 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 outlined in our checklist for comparing schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC contractor in Osage City KS.
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