How to Find the Right HVAC School near Argonia Kansas
Once you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next step is to locate an HVAC trade school near Argonia KS. But with so many to choose from, how do you pick the right one to obtain the training that you require? Many future students will make their choice based exclusively on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Even though these are important considerations, they are not the only ones to take into account. Some of the other things 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 cooling professional does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Contractor in Argonia KS
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs 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, although each state and local municipality has its own requirements. Obtaining professional certification is not compulsory, but an alternative way for Argonia KS HVAC techs to prove that they are highly proficient and experienced in their area of expertise. There are many recognized certifications within the field that are available. Here are some of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is earned by passing a competency examination 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 professional experience in addition to passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience together with a passing result on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are offered in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for technicians that work with refrigerants. There are three types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing may be mandated in your location, and you may also desire to acquire certification, it’s important that you choose an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be working with refrigerants, make certain that the program you decide on prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Courses
There are several alternatives offered 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 achieved in as little as 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 training programs may provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will provide more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief summary of each option offered near Argonia 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 industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more detailed background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Normally requiring 2 years to complete, many degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more towards a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional 4 year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Selecting the appropriate credential program will be based on what your long term career goals are, in addition to the time and money that you have to invest. One possibility is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Argonia KS, later returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Schools Online
Enrolling in an HVAC program online is one option in obtaining your training and earning a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. A number also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes can be attended online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution for many Argonia KS students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even driving expenses from Argonia and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And a large number of online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family commitments have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your busy lifestyle.
Questions For HVAC Certification Classes near Argonia KS
When you have selected the type of certificate or degree that you wish to acquire, either on campus or online, you can begin to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Argonia KS area and across the United States to choose from. That’s why it is imperative to have a checklist of important qualifications when making school evaluations. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the initial two factors you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you need to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC trade programs in the Argonia KS area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Make certain that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you acquire an excellent education, it can assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, a number of states require that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are looking at 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 suggest that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It could also mean that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also important that the schools have high 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 utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Argonia KS HVAC employers to assist graduates obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC technical programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC businesses or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with local Argonia KS HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed 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, talk to the HVAC specialist you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Argonia KS HVAC company if they can provide some pointers. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Argonia KS residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much individualized 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 students and teachers. Speak with a few of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Argonia KS, verify that the programs you are comparing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.
Attending HVAC School near Argonia KS?
Argonia was founded in 1881. It was named for the ship Argo in Greek mythology. In 1887, Susanna M. Salter became the first woman to win political office in United States history when she was elected Mayor of Argonia as a member of the Prohibition Party.
Argonia is located at 37°15′55″N 97°45′58″W / 37.26528°N 97.76611°W / 37.26528; -97.76611 (37.265299, -97.766123). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.66 square miles (1.71 km2), all of it land.
As of the census of 2010, there were 501 people, 216 households, and 135 families residing in the city. The population density was 759.1 inhabitants per square mile (293.1/km2). There were 244 housing units at an average density of 369.7 per square mile (142.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.6% White, 0.8% African American, 0.6% Native American, and 2.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.6% of the population.
Select the Right HVAC Training Classes near Argonia KS
Picking the right HVAC training course is a crucial first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating & cooling field. As we have discussed in this post, you should choose a technical school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC community. Other things to look for are plenty of hands-on training and modern facilities. You need to visit each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to explore the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Also, inquire about scheduling options and whether night or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the proper questions as we have detailed in our guidelines for assessing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC technician in Argonia KS.
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