How to Enroll In an HVAC School near Bonner Springs Kansas
Once you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next step is to look for an HVAC technical school near Bonner Springs KS. But with so many to choose from, how do you pick the right one to receive the training that you need? Many potential students will make their choice based solely on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their home. While these are necessary factors to consider, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Just 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. These and other benchmarks will be addressed in more detail later in this article. But before we discuss how to select an HVAC training program, let’s look at what a heating and a/c specialist does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Pro in Bonner Springs KS
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, however each state and local municipality has its own criteria. Obtaining professional certification is not required, but an optional way for Bonner Springs KS HVAC technicians to establish that they are highly qualified and experienced in their area of specialization. There are a number of acknowledged certifications within the trade that are offered. Here 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 exam 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 field experience together with passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience in addition to a passing score on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are provided in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are three forms of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing may be mandated in your area, and you may also intend to obtain certification, it’s important that you select an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be handling refrigerants, make sure that the program you decide on preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are a number of choices offered for HVAC training 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, typically completed in just 6 months, however some courses 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 training programs can provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will furnish more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short explanation of each credential offered near Bonner Springs KS.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more extensive background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Normally requiring 2 years to finish, some degrees feature 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 call for an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional four year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Picking the ideal credential program will be based on what your future career goals are, along with the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One possibility is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Bonner Springs KS, subsequently returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Schools
Attending an HVAC program online is one option to attaining your training and earning a certificate or degree. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. Some also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be attended on the web, this approach may be a more accessible solution for some Bonner Springs KS students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even travelling expenses from Bonner Springs and study supplies may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family responsibilities have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it easier to fit school into your busy lifestyle.
Questions to Ask HVAC Schools near Bonner Springs KS
Once you have decided on the type of certificate or degree that you wish to earn, either online or on campus, you can begin to narrow down your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are many HVAC vocational schools in the Bonner Springs KS area and all over the USA to select from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a checklist of relevant qualifications when making school evaluations. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the initial 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 schools in the Bonner Springs KS area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance HVAC technology. Make sure that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you receive a superior education, it may help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, some states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate could signify that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It could also signify that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, 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 affirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Bonner Springs KS HVAC employers to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC trade programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC contractors or trade unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with local Bonner Springs KS HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC specialist you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Bonner Springs KS HVAC company if they can provide some pointers. Additionally keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Bonner Springs KS residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be increased tuition fees 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 see how large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Speak with some of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Bonner Springs KS, check that the schools you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Attending HVAC School near Bonner Springs KS?
Bonner Springs, Kansas
Bonner Springs is a city in Wyandotte, Leavenworth, and Johnson counties, Kansas, United States. It is part of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 7,314, and in 2016 the estimated population was 7,665. It is reputed to be the first commercial center and permanent settlement in Kansas, dating to 1812.:318 Bonner Springs was incorporated as a city on November 10, 1898.:321
Bonner Springs is home to several national and regional attractions, including the Providence Medical Center Amphitheater, the National Agricultural Center and Hall of Fame, and the annual Kansas City Renaissance Festival.
Spanish explorer Francisco Vázquez de Coronado spent the winter of 1541-1542 at what is now the area of Bonner Springs. The diary of Father Juan Padilla records that the expedition reached the 40th degree (Kansas northern border) and came to a great river (the Missouri). An inscription found on a stone near Atchison has been translated as, "Thus far came Francisco de Coronado, General of an Expedition." The explorers traveled downstream to the mouth of another great river, the Kansas, and preceded upstream 16 leagues to camp in what is now Bonner Springs before returning to Mexico. Due to the mineral springs, this legend gave the area its first recorded name, "Coronado Springs".:318
Choose the Right HVAC Trade School near Bonner Springs KS
Choosing the right HVAC training course is an important beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating and air conditioning trade. As we have covered in this post, you should pick a school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC field. Other features to search for are plenty of hands-on training and modern facilities. You should visit each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to tour the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. In addition, ask about scheduling choices and whether or not night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to inquire about financial aid and student loan options too. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have outlined in our guidelines for assessing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC contractor in Bonner Springs KS.
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