How to Select an HVAC Training Class near Erie Kansas
Now that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning specialist, the next action is to locate an HVAC trade school near Erie KS. But with so many to select from, how do you pick the best one to get the training that you require? Many potential students will make their decision based solely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. While these are necessary concerns, they are not the only ones to take into account. 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. Those and additional criteria will be addressed in more detail later within this article. But before we explore how to select an HVAC training program, let’s look at what a heating and cooling specialist does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Tech in Erie KS
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, though each state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Attaining professional certification is not compulsory, but an alternative means for Erie KS HVAC specialists to prove that they are exceptionally qualified and experienced in their area of specialization. There are multiple recognized certifications within the industry that are offered. Following are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is achieved by passing a proficiency exam and may be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience as well as passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience along with a passing score on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are three forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing might be mandated in your area, and you may also desire to obtain certification, it’s essential that you choose an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be working with refrigerants, make certain that the school you pick readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Classes
There are a number of choices available for HVAC instruction in a technical or vocational school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, typically achieved in as little as 6 months, although some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree training programs may provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will provide more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short summary of each credential offered near Erie KS.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more exhaustive knowledge of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Typically requiring two years to finish, many degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more towards a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a standard 4 year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.
Choosing the ideal credential program will be dependent on what your long term career aspirations are, as well as the time and money that you have to invest. One approach is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Erie KS, later returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Training
Attending an HVAC program online is one option in attaining your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete hands on training. Some also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes may be participated in via the internet, this alternative may be a more accessible solution for some Erie KS students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are more economical than other traditional alternatives. Even commuting expenses from Erie and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And many online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family obligations have left you with minimal 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 Training Classes near Erie KS
When you have selected the type of degree or certificate that you wish to acquire, either on campus or online, you can begin to limit your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are many HVAC trade schools in the Erie KS area and all over the USA to choose from. That’s why it is imperative to have a checklist of key qualifiers when making school evaluations. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the first two aspects you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you should research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC trade schools in the Erie KS area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Make sure that the program and school are 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 acquire an excellent education, it can assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of 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 looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate may suggest that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It might also mean that the instructors 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 directory of alumni, which may result in more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Erie KS HVAC employers to help grads secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC vocational programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling businesses or labor unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with local Erie KS HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school 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 tech you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Erie KS HVAC contracting company if they can give you some suggestions. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Erie KS residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much individualized training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Speak with some of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Erie KS, verify that the programs you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending HVAC School near Erie KS?
Erie is a city in and the county seat of Neosho County, Kansas, United States, and situated in the valley of the Neosho River, about a mile Northeast of the river. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 1,150.
A settlement named "Erie", later referred to as "Old Erie" and "Beantown USA", was platted 2 miles (3.2 km) northwest of the present townsite, while another community, known as Crawfordsville, was started two miles northeast of the current site. In 1866, the proprietors of these two towns made a compromise to abandon the towns and combine with the settlement at the present Erie site. Four men gave 40 acres each, that butted together, out of their 160-acre shares, to create the city plat of Erie. These men were: David W. Bray, Luther Puckett, John F. Himmelwright and Peter Walter. In November of that year the Erie Town Company was formed. Each member of this company donated forty acres of land in the center of Section 32, Township 28, Range 20 east. Each member was to buy city plots and improve them.
Erie's first fire company was established in November 1866; its charter members were those men who had donated the land on which the community was built. The first log home in Erie was built in 1866, while the first businesses were built in the following year. By 1883, the city had two general stores, two blacksmith shops, one drug store, two hotels, one newspaper office, two churches, and a population of about 300.
Pick the Right HVAC Certification Training near Erie KS
Selecting the right HVAC training program is a critical first step toward a rewarding career in the heating and air conditioning industry. As we have covered in this post, you need to choose a school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC trade. Other factors to search for are sufficient practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should go to each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to explore the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. In addition, inquire about scheduling choices and whether or not evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have laid out in our guidelines for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC contractor in Erie KS.
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