How to Select an HVAC Training Class near Washington Kansas
Now that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning specialist, the next action is to choose an HVAC vocational school near Washington KS. But with so many to select from, how do you decide on the ideal one to get the training that you require? Many prospective students will make their choice based entirely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Even though these are necessary factors to consider, they are not the only ones to take into account. Just some of the other factors that you need to investigate 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 discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we examine how to pick an HVAC vocational school, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning specialist does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Tech in Washington KS
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are generally required to be licensed, though every state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Obtaining professional certification is not compulsory, but an alternative way for Washington KS HVAC techs to demonstrate that they are exceptionally proficient and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are several recognized certifications within the industry that are offered. Here are a few of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is attained by passing a proficiency exam and may be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience in addition to passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience in addition to a passing score on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are made available in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are three types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing may be required in your area, and you may also intend to acquire certification, it’s important that you enroll in an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be handling refrigerants, make certain that the school you choose prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Classes
There are a variety of alternatives available for HVAC training in a technical or trade school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the minimum period of time, often completed in just 6 months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will furnish more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief explanation of each option offered near Washington KS.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more extensive background of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally requiring 2 years to complete, some degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more towards a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a standard 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.
Selecting the right credential program will be dependent on what your future career goals are, together with the time and money that you have to commit. One option is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Washington KS, later going back to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Classes
Attending an HVAC school online is one alternative in obtaining your education and receiving a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. A number also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes can be participated in via the internet, this alternative may be a more convenient solution for many Washington KS students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are more economical than other traditional options. Even travelling expenses from Washington and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous 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 easier to accommodate school into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask HVAC Training Programs near Washington KS
Once you have chosen the type of degree or certificate that you wish to acquire, either on campus or online, you can start to limit your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are numerous HVAC technical schools in the Washington KS area and throughout the United States to pick from. That’s why it is essential to have a list of key qualifications when making school assessments. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the first 2 variables you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you will want to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC vocational programs in the Washington KS area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Confirm that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you obtain a superior education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, a number of states require that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate could signify that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It might also signify that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which may produce 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 also that it has the network of Washington KS HVAC employers to help graduates acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC technical programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling contractors or trade unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with local Washington KS HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC specialist you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Washington KS HVAC contractor if they can give you some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Washington KS home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in 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 desirable that you receive as much personalized training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Talk to some of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Washington 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, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Attending HVAC School near Washington KS?
Washington was established in spring 1860, and in the same year named county seat. Until the end of the American Civil War it was protected by two stockaded buildings, the Washington Company House and Woolbert's Stockade Hotel.
Washington is 39°N 97°W / 39°N 97°W / 39; -97 (39.816877, -97.052503). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.91 square miles (2.36 km2), of which 0.87 square miles (2.25 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,131 people, 512 households, and 311 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,300.0 inhabitants per square mile (501.9/km2). There were 582 housing units at an average density of 669.0 per square mile (258.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 97.8% White, 0.3% African American, 0.1% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.4% from other races, and 1.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.3% of the population.
Pick the Right HVAC Training Classes near Washington KS
Picking the right HVAC training course is a critical beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating & cooling industry. As we have addressed in this article, you should choose a technical school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC trade. Other factors to search for are lots of 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 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. Additionally, inquire about scheduling choices and whether evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have laid out in our checklist for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC specialist in Washington KS.
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