How to Find the Right HVAC School near Atchison Kansas
Once you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioning specialist, the next step is to look for an HVAC vocational school near Atchison KS. But with so many to pick from, how do you select the best one to obtain the training that you need? A number of future students will make their selection based exclusively on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their home. While these are necessary concerns, they are not the only ones to take into account. A few 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 additional criteria will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we tackle how to select an HVAC trade school, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning technician does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Contractor in Atchison KS
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are generally mandated to be licensed, however every state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Earning professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary way for Atchison KS HVAC techs to demonstrate that they are exceptionally proficient and accomplished in their area of specialization. There are several respected certifications within the industry that are offered. Below are a few of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is achieved by passing a competency examination and may be received in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience as well as passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience in addition to a passing result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are made available in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing may be required in your location, and you may also desire to earn certification, it’s essential that you enroll in an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be working with refrigerants, make certain that the program you pick preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Courses
There are several choices offered for HVAC training in a technical or vocational school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the least amount of time, often achieved in as little as six months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree training programs might provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will deliver more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a short description of each credential offered near Atchison KS.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They provide a solid foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more detailed understanding of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally taking 2 years to finish, a number of degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more for a career in management as well as 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 air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Picking the ideal credential program will be dependent on what your future career goals are, as well as the time and money that you have to commit. One option is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the trade in Atchison KS, subsequently returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make certain to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Training
Enrolling in an HVAC school online is one option to attaining your training and earning a degree or certificate. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to complete practical training. A number also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes can be participated in via the internet, this alternative may be a more accessible solution for many Atchison KS students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other traditional alternatives. Even commuting expenses from Atchison and study supplies may be lessened, helping to make schooling more economical. And a large number of online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family obligations have left you with limited time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to fit school into your active lifestyle.
Questions For HVAC Certification Courses near Atchison KS
When you have picked the type of degree or certificate that you desire to obtain, either online or on campus, you can begin to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many HVAC technical schools in the Atchison KS area and all over the United States to select from. That’s why it is very important to have a checklist of relevant qualifications when making school assessments. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the first 2 factors you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you will want to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC trade schools in the Atchison KS area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive 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. Confirm that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it can assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many states require that the HVAC training course be accredited for it 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 or portion of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate may indicate that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It might also suggest that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which can result in more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Atchison KS HVAC employers to assist graduates acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC training programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling companies or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with local Atchison KS HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC tech you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Atchison KS HVAC contractor if they can give you some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Atchison KS residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Talk to some of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Atchison KS, check that the programs you are considering offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family issues.
Attending HVAC School near Atchison KS?
Atchison is a city and county seat of Atchison County, Kansas, United States, and situated along the Missouri River. As of the 2010 census, its population was 11,021. The city is named in honor of David Rice Atchison, United States senator from Missouri, and was the original eastern terminus of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. Atchison was the birthplace of aviator Amelia Earhart, and the Amelia Earhart Festival is held annually in July. Atchison is also home of Benedictine College, a Catholic liberal-arts college.
Atchison was founded in 1854 and named in honor of Senator David Rice Atchison, who, when Kansas was opened for settlement, interested some of his friends in the scheme of forming a city in the new territory. Senator Atchison was interested in ensuring that the population of the new Kansas Territory would be majority pro-slavery, as he had been a prominent promoter of both slavery and the idea of popular sovereignty over the issue in the new lands. However, it seems that all were not agreed upon the location he had selected, and on July 20, 1854, Dr. John H. Stringfellow, Ira Norris, Leonidas Oldham, James B. Martin and Neal Owens left Platte City, Missouri, to decide definitely upon a site. They found a site that was the natural outlet of a remarkably rich agricultural region just open to settlement. George M. Million and Samuel Dickson had staked claims near the river; Dr. Stringfellow staked a tract north of Million's. Million sold his claim for $1,000—an exorbitant price. Eighteen persons were present when the town company was formally organized by electing Peter T. Abell, president; James Burns, treasurer; and Dr. Stringfellow, secretary. The site was divided into 100 shares by the company, of which each member retained five shares, the remainder being reserved for common benefit of all. By September 20, 1854, Henry Kuhn had surveyed the 480 acres (1.9 km²) and made a plat, and the next day was fixed for the sale of lots, an event of great importance as it had become understood that Senator Atchison would make a speech upon the political question of the day, hence the sale would be of political as well as business significance. At his meeting on the 21st, two public institutions of vital interest to a new community were planned for—a hotel and a newspaper. Each share of stock in the town company was assessed $25, the proceeds to be used to build the National Hotel, which was completed in the spring of 1855, and $400 was donated to Dr. Stringfellow and Robert S. Kelley to erect a printing office.
The Squatter Sovereign, a paper with strong pro-slavery sentiments, was first issued on February 3, 1855. It had formerly been published at Liberty, Missouri, under the name of the Democratic Platform. In the spring of 1857 it was purchased by Samuel C. Pomeroy, Robert McBratney and F.G. Adams, who changed its policy and published it as a free-state paper until the fall of the same year, when Pomeroy became the sole owner.
Select the Right HVAC Trade School near Atchison KS
Selecting the ideal HVAC training program is an important beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating and air conditioning trade. As we have covered in this article, you should choose a school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC field. Other things to look for are ample practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to go to each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to tour the campus and speak 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 offered if needed. And remember to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options as well. If you ask the right questions as we have detailed in our guidelines for assessing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC professional in Atchison KS.
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