How to Enroll In an HVAC Certification Class near Phillipsburg Kansas
Once you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next step is to choose an HVAC trade school near Phillipsburg KS. But with so many to pick from, how do you decide on the best one to receive the training that you need? Some prospective students will make their decision based exclusively on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. Even though these are significant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to evaluate. A few 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 additional benchmarks will be discussed in more detail later within this article. But before we examine how to pick an HVAC vocational school, let’s take a look at what a heating and air conditioning technician does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Technician in Phillipsburg KS
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, though each state and local municipality has its own criteria. Earning professional certification is not required, but a voluntary way for Phillipsburg KS HVAC technicians to establish that they are highly skilled and experienced in their area of specialization. There are a number of acknowledged certifications within the industry that are offered. Below are a few of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is achieved by passing a proficiency exam and can be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience as well as passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience along with a passing score on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for techs that handle refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing might be mandated in your area, and you may also intend to obtain certification, it’s essential that you choose an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be handling refrigerants, make certain that the program you decide on prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Schools
There are a variety of alternatives available for HVAC training in a vocational or trade school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the least amount of time, usually achieved in as little as 6 months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, especially 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 short summary of each option offered near Phillipsburg KS.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They provide a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more extensive knowledge of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally taking 2 years to complete, many degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more towards a career in management or even 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 learn how to design them.
Picking the ideal credential program will be dependent on what your long term career aspirations are, in addition to the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One option is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the trade in Phillipsburg KS, later going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Schools Online
Attending an HVAC school online is one option to attaining your education and receiving a certificate or degree. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete practical training. A number also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes may be attended on the web, this alternative may be a more practical solution for some Phillipsburg KS students that are pressed for time. And some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even travelling expenses from Phillipsburg and study materials can be minimized, helping to make schooling more economical. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family responsibilities have left you with minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to accommodate school into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask HVAC Schools near Phillipsburg KS
When you have decided on the type of certificate or degree that you would like to obtain, either online or on campus, you can start to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are a large number of HVAC trade schools in the Phillipsburg KS area and all over the Country to choose from. That’s why it is essential to have a checklist of relevant qualifications when making school comparisons. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the first 2 variables you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you will want to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Phillipsburg KS area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Make sure that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you acquire a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, many states require 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 complete the program. A low completion rate could signify that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It may also suggest that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which may mean more contacts for the school to utilize 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 industry, but additionally that it has the network of Phillipsburg KS HVAC employers to assist grads secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC vocational programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools 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 reviewing have referring partnerships with local Phillipsburg KS HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus 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 presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC tech you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Phillipsburg KS HVAC contracting company if they can provide some pointers. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Phillipsburg KS residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Speak with a few of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with some of the teachers and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify 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 in the evening or on weekends near Phillipsburg KS, verify that the schools you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select permits 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 Phillipsburg KS?
Phillipsburg was organized in 1872 and named the county seat due to its central location in the county on July 26, even though the first residents didn't arrive until the fall of that year. It was named for politician and journalist William A. Phillips. Phillipsburg was incorporated as a city in 1880.
The first post office was established in Phillipsburg on December 23, 1872, with the first postmaster being Fred A Dutton, but the name of the post office was spelled Phillipsburgh until 1893. Named in honor of John Bissel, Fort Bissel was built in 1872 to protect against perceived hostility from Native Americans and closed in 1878. The Fort was reconstructed in city park in 1962. The first cemetery in the town, Close cemetery, was established on March 19, 1879 by the Fairview cmetary association and was deeded to the city on June 4, 1889. A branch of the Chicago, Kansas and Nebraska Railway was established through Phillipsburg in 1887. Also in 1887 complete telephone systems were installed in the city. A fire nearly destroyed the entire town square in 1906. The current courthouse was constructed in 1912. "Kansas' Biggest Rodeo" was first held in 1929 and is held annually on the last weekend in July or first weekend in August.
Phillipsburg is located at 39°45′19″N 99°19′20″W / 39.75528°N 99.32222°W / 39.75528; -99.32222 (39.755173, -99.322331) in northwestern Kansas on the western edge of the Smoky Hills region of the Great Plains. Phillipsburg is located in the middle of Phillips County, approximately 20 miles south of the Nebraska border. The city sits on the north side of Deer Creek, a tributary of the North Fork of the Solomon River. Plotner Creek, a tributary of Deer Creek, flows south along the western edge of the city. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.67 square miles (4.33 km2), all land.
Choose the Right HVAC Trade School near Phillipsburg KS
Choosing the ideal HVAC training course is a crucial beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating and cooling field. As we have discussed in this post, you should choose a vocational school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC profession. Other factors to look for are ample hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to 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. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling options and whether or not evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to inquire about financial aid and student loan options also. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have laid out in our guidelines for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC specialist in Phillipsburg KS.
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