How to Find the Right HVAC School near Weskan Kansas
Now that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning specialist, the next action is to find an HVAC trade school near Weskan KS. But with so many to pick from, how do you select the right one to obtain the training that you need? A number of future students will make their selection based entirely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Even though these are significant considerations, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Just some of the other details 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 discussed in more detail later within this article. But before we discuss how to pick an HVAC technical school, let’s look at what a heating and a/c professional does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Professional in Weskan KS
HVAC is an acronym that is widely 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, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, however every state and local municipality has its own requirements. Earning professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary way for Weskan KS HVAC technicians to establish that they are exceptionally qualified and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are multiple acknowledged certifications within the industry that are offered. Below are some 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 competency examination and may be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of professional experience as well as passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience along with 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 work with refrigerants. There are three forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing might be mandated in your area, and you may also desire to earn certification, it’s essential that you choose an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be working with refrigerants, make sure that the school you decide on prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Schools
There are a variety of alternatives available for HVAC instruction in a trade or technical school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, often achieved in as little as 6 months, although some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive edge in the job market and will provide more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief description of each credential offered near Weskan KS.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more exhaustive knowledge of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Generally taking 2 years to complete, a number of degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more for a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional four year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Picking the appropriate credential program will be based on what your long term career aspirations are, together with the time and money that you have to invest. One approach is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Weskan KS, eventually returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make certain to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Training
Choosing an HVAC school online is one alternative to obtaining your education and earning a certificate or degree. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. A number also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be attended on the web, this option may be a more accessible solution for many Weskan KS students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even travelling expenses from Weskan and study supplies may be lessened, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And numerous online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family obligations have left you with minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to fit school into your active lifestyle.
Questions to Ask HVAC Training Classes near Weskan KS
Once you have decided on the type of degree or certificate that you wish to obtain, either on campus or online, you can start to narrow down your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are numerous HVAC technical schools in the Weskan KS area and all over the USA to choose from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a checklist of key qualifiers when making school evaluations. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the initial two variables you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you need to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC technical programs in the Weskan KS area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, such as HVAC technology. Make certain that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you receive a superior education, it can help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Also, many states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate might suggest that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It might also suggest that the instructors were not competent 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 more extensive list of alumni, which may produce more contacts for the school to employ 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 additionally that it has the network of Weskan KS HVAC employers to help graduates secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC trade programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC businesses or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with local Weskan KS HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC tech you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Weskan KS HVAC contractor if they can provide some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Weskan KS home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Speak to a few of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to some of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify 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 Weskan KS, verify that the programs you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.
Attending HVAC School near Weskan KS?
Weskan is an unincorporated community and census-designated place in Wallace County, Kansas, United States. Weskan is located along U.S. Route 40, 11.5 miles (18.5 km) west-southwest of Sharon Springs. Weskan has a post office with ZIP code 67762 and there is one high school located within the community. The post office in Weskan was established in August 1887.
Enroll in the Right HVAC Training Classes near Weskan KS
Finding the right HVAC training course is a crucial beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating and air conditioning industry. As we have covered in this article, you should choose a school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC field. Other factors to look for are lots of hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should go to each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling options and whether evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the proper questions as we have detailed in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC specialist in Weskan KS.
More Fabulous Cities in Kansas