How to Pick an HVAC Certification Class near Pittsburg Kansas
Now that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next step is to look for an HVAC technical school near Pittsburg KS. But with so many to choose from, how do you pick the right one to receive the training that you require? Many prospective students will make their decision based entirely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Although these are necessary factors to consider, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Just 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. Those and other criteria will be covered in more detail later within this article. But before we explore how to select an HVAC trade school, let’s look at what a heating and a/c specialist does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Pro in Pittsburg 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 central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, although each state and local municipality has its own requirements. Attaining professional certification is not compulsory, but a voluntary way for Pittsburg KS HVAC specialists to prove that they are exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are many acknowledged certifications within the trade that are offered. 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 examination and may be received 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 needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience in addition to a passing score on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are made available in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for techs that work with refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing may be mandated in your area, and you may also wish to obtain certification, it’s essential that you select an HVAC vocational school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the program you decide on preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Schools
There are several alternatives offered for HVAC training in a vocational or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, usually achieved in just 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 training programs can provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will provide more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a short description of each option offered near Pittsburg KS.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more comprehensive understanding of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Generally taking two years to finish, many degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more for a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional four year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Picking the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your long term career goals are, along with the time and money that you have to invest. One option is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Pittsburg KS, eventually returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Training Online
Choosing an HVAC school online is one alternative to getting your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. Many also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes can be attended on the web, this approach may be a more accessible solution for some Pittsburg KS students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are more economical than other traditional options. Even travelling expenses from Pittsburg and study materials can be reduced, helping to make schooling more affordable. And a large number of online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family commitments have left you with limited time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your busy schedule.
Questions For HVAC Training Classes near Pittsburg KS
As soon as you have picked the type of degree or certificate that you would like to earn, either online or on campus, you can begin to limit your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many HVAC vocational schools in the Pittsburg KS area and all over the Country to select from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of important qualifiers when making school evaluations. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the first 2 factors you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you will want to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC technical programs in the Pittsburg KS area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as HVAC technology. Make certain that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, a number of 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 percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate may signify that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It could also suggest that the teachers were not qualified 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 more extensive list of graduates, which may result in more contacts for the school to employ 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 field, but also that it has the network of Pittsburg KS HVAC employers to assist graduates secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC technical programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC businesses or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with local Pittsburg KS HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC specialist you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Pittsburg KS HVAC contractor if they can give you some suggestions. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Pittsburg KS residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Talk to some of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Pittsburg KS, confirm that the schools you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Attending HVAC School near Pittsburg KS?
Pittsburg is a city in Crawford County, Kansas, United States, located in Southeast Kansas near the Missouri state border. It is the most populous city in Crawford County and southeast Kansas. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 20,233.
On October 23, 1864, a wagon train of refugees had come from Fort Smith, Arkansas, and was escorted by troops from the 6th Kansas Cavalry under the command of Col. William Campbell. These were local men from Cherokee, Crawford, and Bourbon counties. Their enlistment was over, and they were on their way to Fort Leavenworth to be dismissed from service. They ran into the 1st Indian Brigade led by Maj. Andrew Jackson Piercy near the current Pittsburg Waste Water Treatment Plant. They continued to the north when a small group of wagons broke away in an unsuccessful rush to safety. The Confederate troops caught up with them and burned the wagons. The death toll was three Union soldiers and 13 civilian men who had been with the wagon train. It was likely that one of the Confederates had also been killed. A granite marker memorial for the "Cow Creek Skirmish" was placed near the Crawford County Historical Museum on October 30, 2011.
Pittsburg sprang up in the fall of 1876 on a railroad line being built through the neighborhood. It was named after Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and maps of the time give the town's name as "New Pittsburgh". George Hobson and Franklin Playter are credited with being the city's founders, establishing a government after its beginnings as a coal mining camp in the 1870s. The city was incorporated in 1879. The “New” was dropped upon incorporation of the City as a third class city on June 21, 1880, with M. M. Snow as its first Mayor. In 1892 it was advanced to a city of the second class, in 1905 Pittsburg attained the rank of first class. During this period, the 'h' was dropped from the official spelling, as the name was pronounced with a "berg" ending, and not a "burra" ending (Scottish). For this reason, the United States Board on Geographic Names altered the city's official name as part of a country-wide standardization effort. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania similarly lost its 'h' from 1891 to 1911, before winning a rare name reversal following a twenty-year appeal.
Choose the Right HVAC Training Course near Pittsburg KS
Choosing the right HVAC training program is an important first step toward a rewarding career in the heating and air conditioning field. As we have covered in this post, you should choose a trade school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC profession. Other features to search for are lots of practical training and modern facilities. You need to go to each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to explore the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Also, inquire 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 proper questions as we have outlined in our checklist for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC specialist in Pittsburg KS.
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