How to Find the Right HVAC Training Course near Rexford Kansas
Now that you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next step is to choose an HVAC vocational school near Rexford KS. But with so many to choose from, how do you choose the best one to get the training that you need? A number of future students will make their selection based entirely on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Although these are significant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to take into account. Just some of the other factors 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. These and additional benchmarks will be covered in more detail later within this article. But before we explore how to pick an HVAC vocational school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling contractor does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Tech in Rexford KS
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, however each state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Acquiring professional certification is not compulsory, but an alternative way for Rexford KS HVAC specialists to demonstrate that they are exceptionally qualified and accomplished in their area of specialization. There are many acknowledged certifications within the industry that are offered. Following are a few of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is earned by passing a competency examination 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 professional experience together with passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience along with a passing score on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are three types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing could be mandated in your area, and you may also desire to obtain certification, it’s important that you select an HVAC vocational school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be handling refrigerants, make certain that the school you decide on prepares 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 obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the least amount of time, usually achieved in as little as six months, although some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree programs may provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will furnish more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short description of each credential offered near Rexford KS.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more extensive background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Usually requiring 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 traditional four year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Picking the right credential program will be dependent on what your future career aspirations are, in addition to the time and money that you have to commit. One approach is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Rexford KS, eventually returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Schools Online
Choosing an HVAC program online is one option in attaining your education and earning a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. Many also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to 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 Rexford KS students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other traditional alternatives. Even commuting expenses from Rexford and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And many online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family commitments have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your active lifestyle.
Questions For HVAC Trade Schools near Rexford KS
Once you have picked the type of certificate or degree that you want to attain, either online or on campus, you can begin to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Rexford KS area and all over the USA to pick from. That’s why it is essential to have a list of relevant qualifiers when making school comparisons. As earlier 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 should research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC technical programs in the Rexford KS area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance HVAC technology. Verify that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, 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 looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate could suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It might also signify that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which may produce 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 industry, but additionally that it has the network of Rexford KS HVAC employers to help grads obtain 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 schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local Rexford KS HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC specialist you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Rexford KS HVAC company if they can provide some tips. Also keep in mind that unless you can move, the school must be within driving distance of your Rexford KS home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may 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 bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Talk to a few of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to a few of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Rexford KS, check that the schools you are comparing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.
Attending HVAC School near Rexford KS?
Rexford was founded in approximately 1887. It was named in honor of a member of the Rexford family who died in a fire that engulfed the family home. They were some of the first settlers in the area and had been there for years.
Rexford is located at 39°28′14″N 100°44′38″W / 39.47056°N 100.74389°W / 39.47056; -100.74389 (39.470512, -100.743975). Rexford is located along U.S. Route 83 about 20 miles north of Interstate 70. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.26 square miles (0.67 km2), all of it land.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. Occasionally, the area has large blizards in which the entire are can be without electricity. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Rexford has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
Choose the Right HVAC Training Classes near Rexford KS
Selecting the right HVAC training course is a crucial first step toward a rewarding career in the heating and cooling industry. As we have addressed in this article, you need to choose a vocational school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC community. Other factors to look for are lots of hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should visit each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to explore the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Additionally, ask about scheduling choices and if evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial aid and student loan options too. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have outlined in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC specialist in Rexford KS.
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