How to Pick an HVAC Training Class near Ellis Kansas
Once you have decided on a career as a heating and cooling professional, the next step is to locate an HVAC vocational school near Ellis KS. But with so many to choose from, how do you select the right one to obtain the training that you need? A number of prospective students will make their choice based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Even though these are important considerations, they are not the only ones to investigate. Just 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 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 look at what a heating and a/c contractor does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Specialist in Ellis KS
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are generally mandated to be licensed, however every state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Attaining professional certification is not compulsory, but a voluntary means for Ellis KS HVAC techs to establish that they are exceptionally qualified and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are many recognized certifications within the trade that are offered. Below are a few of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. 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 as well as 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. Similar to NATE, certifications are made available in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are three types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing could be mandated in your location, and you may also intend to obtain certification, it’s imperative that you select an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be handling refrigerants, make certain that the school you select readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Schools
There are a number of alternatives available for HVAC training in a technical or vocational school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the minimum amount of time, often completed in as little as six months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree training programs may provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will deliver more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief description of each option offered near Ellis KS.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They provide a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more exhaustive background of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically requiring 2 years to finish, a number of 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 call for an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional 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.
Choosing the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your future career goals are, along with the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One possibility is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Ellis KS, later going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Training
Attending an HVAC school online is one option in attaining your education and earning a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. Many also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be participated in online, this approach may be a more accessible solution for some Ellis KS students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even commuting expenses from Ellis and study supplies can be reduced, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And a large number of online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family obligations have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to fit school into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask HVAC Trade Schools near Ellis KS
When you have selected the type of certificate or degree that you want to attain, either on campus or online, you can start to decrease your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Ellis KS area and across the United States to choose from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school evaluations. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the first two aspects you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you need to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC vocational schools in the Ellis KS area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Verify that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized 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 frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, many states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to be approved 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 finish the program. A low completion rate might indicate that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It may also suggest that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s also important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which may mean 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 field, but additionally that it has the network of Ellis KS HVAC employers to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC training programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC contractors or trade unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with local Ellis KS HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional 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 working with in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC specialist you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Ellis KS HVAC contracting company if they can give you some pointers. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Ellis KS home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be challenging 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 teachers and students. Speak to some of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with a few of the teachers 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 schools you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Ellis KS, check that the schools you are considering offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.
Attending HVAC School near Ellis KS?
The Kansas Pacific Railway built a water station at the site of present-day Ellis in 1867 and then purchased the site under the Homestead Act. Three years later, in 1870, the U.S. Post Office Department opened a post office at Ellis, marking the town's foundation. Kansas Pacific laid out the town in 1873, establishing a depot, a hotel, and a few shops. That same year, settlers from Syracuse, New York, and later from Louisville, Kentucky, arrived to work for the railroad. The first church opened in Ellis in 1873, the first school in 1874. Starting in 1875 and for the rest of the 1870s, Ellis was a cowtown, serving as a shipping point for cattle herds from the south.Bukovina Germans began settling in the area in 1886. Ellis incorporated as a city in January 1888.
Ellis is located at 38°56′10″N 99°33′33″W / 38.93611°N 99.55917°W / 38.93611; -99.55917 (38.936211, -99.559269), at an elevation of 2,119 feet (646 m). Located in northwestern Kansas on Interstate 70, Ellis is 13 miles (21 km) west-northwest of Hays, the county seat. It is approximately 146 miles (235 km) northwest of Wichita and 260 miles (420 km) west of Kansas City.
Ellis lies on the western edge of the Smoky Hills region of the Great Plains.Big Creek, a tributary of the Smoky Hill River, runs east through the city and has been dammed to form a long, narrow reservoir, Big Creek Lake.
Pick the Right HVAC Training Course near Ellis KS
Picking the right HVAC training program is a crucial beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating and air conditioning trade. As we have covered in this post, you should choose a vocational school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC community. Other factors to look for are sufficient practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should 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. Additionally, inquire about scheduling options and whether or not evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the right questions as we have outlined in our guidelines for comparing schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC specialist in Ellis KS.
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