How to Pick an HVAC Certification Class near Clay Center Kansas
Now that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning specialist, the next step is to choose an HVAC vocational school near Clay Center KS. But with so many to select from, how do you choose the ideal one to obtain the training that you require? Many potential students will make their decision based exclusively on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Even though these are relevant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to take into account. Some of the other details that you need to investigate are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and other benchmarks will be addressed in more detail later in this article. But before we explore how to pick an HVAC technical school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling technician does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Tech in Clay Center 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 air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, although every state and local municipality has its own requirements. Acquiring professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary means for Clay Center KS HVAC techs to prove that they are exceptionally proficient and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are several respected certifications within the trade that are available. Following are some of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is earned by passing a competency exam and can be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of professional experience in addition to passing a comprehensive exam 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 handle 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 may be mandated in your location, and you may also desire to earn certification, it’s important that you pick an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be working with refrigerants, make sure that the program you choose readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree Schools
There are several choices offered for HVAC training 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 least period of time, often completed in as little as six months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will deliver more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a short description of each option offered near Clay Center KS.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They provide a strong foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more extensive background of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Normally requiring two years to finish, many degrees incorporate 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 4 year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Picking the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your future career objectives are, in addition to the time and money that you have to invest. One approach is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Clay Center KS, later going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Classes Online
Attending an HVAC program online is one possibility to obtaining your education and receiving a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to complete practical training. A number also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes may be participated in on the web, this option may be a more practical solution for some Clay Center KS students that are pressed for time. And some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even commuting expenses from Clay Center and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family obligations have left you with limited time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your active schedule.
Questions For HVAC Trade Schools near Clay Center KS
As soon as you have decided on the type of degree or certificate that you wish to acquire, either online or on campus, you can start to narrow down your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many HVAC trade schools in the Clay Center KS area and throughout the United States to choose from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school assessments. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the initial 2 variables you will take into consideration. Following are some additional ones that you need to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC trade programs in the Clay Center KS area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Confirm that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you get a superior education, it may help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, a number of states require that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning 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 low completion rate might indicate that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It could also indicate 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 graduates, which can mean 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 Clay Center KS HVAC employers to help grads obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC training programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling companies or labor unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with local Clay Center KS HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC technician you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Clay Center KS HVAC contracting company if they can provide some pointers. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Clay Center KS home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Talk with some of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with a few of the teachers and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Clay Center KS, check that the programs you are comparing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending HVAC School near Clay Center KS?
Clay Center, Kansas
Clay Center is located at 39°22′48″N 97°7′23″W / 39.38000°N 97.12306°W / 39.38000; -97.12306 (39.379920, -97.123168). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.08 square miles (7.98 km2), all of it land. Clay Center is unique, because it is the geographic midpoint between Los Angeles, California and New York City, the two largest American cities. Both cities are exactly 1,224 mi (1,970 km) from Clay Center.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Clay Center has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
As of the census of 2010, there were 4,334 people, 1,920 households, and 1,172 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,407.1 inhabitants per square mile (543.3/km2). There were 2,158 housing units at an average density of 700.6 per square mile (270.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.9% White, 0.5% African American, 0.6% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 0.4% from other races, and 1.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.8% of the population.
Select the Right HVAC Certification Training near Clay Center KS
Enrolling in the right HVAC training course is a critical beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating & cooling industry. As we have discussed in this article, you need to choose a technical school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC profession. Other things to look for are ample hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to check out 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. 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 evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to ask about financial assistance and student loan options as well. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have detailed in our checklist for evaluating 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 dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC contractor in Clay Center KS.
More Fabulous Cities in Kansas
Business Results 1 - 10 of 6