How to Find the Right HVAC Training Class near Edwardsville Kansas
Once you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioner professional, the next action is to find an HVAC technical school near Edwardsville KS. But with so many to pick from, how do you choose the best one to get the training that you require? A number of future students will make their choice based entirely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Although these are important concerns, they are not the only ones to investigate. A few of the other things that you need to research are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and other criteria will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we tackle how to choose an HVAC trade school, let’s look at what a heating and cooling professional does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Tech in Edwardsville KS
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, though every state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Attaining professional certification is not mandatory, but an optional means for Edwardsville KS HVAC techs to prove that they are exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are many recognized certifications within the industry that are offered. Here 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 proficiency examination and may be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of professional experience in addition to passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience together with a passing score on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are offered in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are three types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing may be required in your location, and you may also intend to obtain certification, it’s essential that you choose an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the school you decide on prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Schools
There are several options available for HVAC training in a vocational or trade school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the lesser period of time, usually completed in as little as 6 months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will provide more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a short summary of each credential offered near Edwardsville KS.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more exhaustive background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Typically taking two years to complete, a number of degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more for a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs call for 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.
Choosing the ideal credential program will be dependent on what your long term career objectives are, together with the time and money that you have to commit. One option is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Edwardsville KS, later going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Courses Online
Enrolling in an HVAC school online is one alternative to getting your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. A number also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes can be participated in online, this approach may be a more practical solution for many Edwardsville KS students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are less costly than other traditional options. Even driving expenses from Edwardsville and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family commitments have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it less complicated to fit school into your active schedule.
Questions For HVAC Schools near Edwardsville KS
After you have decided on the type of degree or certificate that you want to attain, either online or on campus, you can begin to limit your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are a large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Edwardsville KS area and across the USA to choose from. That’s why it is essential to have a list of key qualifications when making school comparisons. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the first two factors you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you should research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC technical programs in the Edwardsville KS area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance HVAC technology. Make sure that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you get an excellent education, it can assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many states require that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to be approved 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 finish the program. A low completion rate may suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It might also signify that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which can produce more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Edwardsville KS HVAC employers to help grads obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC technical programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC contractors or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have working relationships with local Edwardsville KS HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC specialist you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Edwardsville KS HVAC contractor if they can give you some tips. Also bear in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Edwardsville KS home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Speak with several of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with a few of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Edwardsville KS, check that the schools you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Attending HVAC School near Edwardsville KS?
Edwardsville is a city in Wyandotte County, Kansas, United States and is part of the "Unified Government" which also contains Kansas City, Kansas, most of Bonner Springs, and roughly one quarter of Lake Quivira. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 4,340.
Edwardsville was surveyed in 1869 on land formerly belonging to Half Moon, an Indian chief of the Delawares. It was named for John H. Edwards, a general passenger agent for the Union Pacific Railroad, who later served as a justice of the peace and state senator from Ellis County, Kansas.
Edwardsville is located at 39°03′48″N 94°48′52″W / 39.063428°N 94.814347°W / 39.063428; -94.814347 (39.063428, -94.814347). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.36 square miles (24.24 km2), of which, 9.04 square miles (23.41 km2) is land and 0.32 square miles (0.83 km2) is water.
Select the Right HVAC Training Course near Edwardsville KS
Selecting the right HVAC training course is a crucial beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating and cooling field. As we have addressed in this article, you should select a school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC trade. Other features to search 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 tour the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Additionally, ask about scheduling options and whether night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to ask about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have laid out in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC technician in Edwardsville KS.
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