How to Enroll In an HVAC School near Gas Kansas
Once you have made a decision on a career as a heating and cooling specialist, the next action is to look for an HVAC vocational school near Gas KS. But with so many to pick from, how do you select the best one to receive the training that you require? A number of future students will make their selection based exclusively on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Although these are necessary factors to consider, they are not the only ones to evaluate. A few of the other factors 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 tackle how to select an HVAC vocational school, let’s look at what a heating and cooling contractor does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Tech in Gas KS
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair 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 regional municipality has its own criteria. Acquiring professional certification is not mandatory, but an alternative way for Gas KS HVAC technicians to demonstrate that they are highly skilled and experienced in their area of expertise. There are several acknowledged certifications within the field that are offered. Here are a few of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is achieved by passing a proficiency examination and may be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience together with passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience together with a passing result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are made available in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for technicians that work with refrigerants. There are three types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing might be mandated in your area, and you may also desire to acquire certification, it’s essential that you choose an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be handling refrigerants, make sure that the school you select preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Courses
There are a variety of alternatives available for HVAC training in a technical or trade school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the least period of time, often accomplished in as little as 6 months, although some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification related 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 brief description of each option offered near Gas KS.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more comprehensive background of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically requiring 2 years to complete, many degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more towards a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional 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 right credential program will be dependent on what your future career goals are, together with the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One approach is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the trade in Gas KS, later going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, be sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Training Online
Enrolling in an HVAC school online is one possibility to attaining your education and receiving a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. A number also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes may be participated in on the web, this approach may be a more practical solution for some Gas KS students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even commuting expenses from Gas and study materials may be reduced, helping to make schooling more economical. And numerous online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family commitments 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 lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Trade Schools near Gas KS
When you have decided on the type of certificate or degree that you would like to acquire, either on campus or online, you can begin to limit your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Gas KS area and throughout the Country to pick from. That’s why it is essential to have a checklist of relevant qualifiers when making school comparisons. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the initial 2 factors you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC technical schools in the Gas KS area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Make sure that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you acquire a quality education, it can help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, a number of states mandate 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 reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate may indicate that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It could also signify that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which can mean 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 trade, but additionally that it has the network of Gas KS HVAC employers to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC vocational programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling companies or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with local Gas KS HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC tech you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Gas KS HVAC contracting company if they can provide some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Gas KS residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Speak with some of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Gas KS, verify that the programs you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.
Attending HVAC School near Gas KS?
Gas is a city in the northwestern part of Allen County, located in southeast Kansas, in the Central United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 564. The city was named for the abundant natural gas that was found in the area.
When natural gas was discovered in Elm Township in the summer of 1898 E.K. Taylor sold 60 acres (24 ha) of his farm to some spelter companies and in October sub-divided the remainder into lots, which was the beginning of "Gas City". The place grew rapidly, the cheap fuel afforded by the immense supply of natural gas bringing in a number of large manufacturing plants of various kinds. In 1910 the population was 1,281, and the city had a bank, a daily and a weekly newspaper, an opera house, an international money order postoffice (first opened in August 1899) from which mail was distributed to the surrounding country by rural free delivery, several good mercantile houses, telegraph and express offices.
Gas is located at 37°55′26″N 95°20′46″W / 37.92389°N 95.34611°W / 37.92389; -95.34611 (37.923851, -95.346168). Situated along U.S. Route 54 in Elm Township, the city is about three miles (5 km) east of the city of Iola (the county seat) and 2½ miles west of the city of La Harpe. The interchange between U.S. Routes 54 and 169 is about two miles (3 km) west of Gas.
Enroll in the Right HVAC Certification Training near Gas KS
Picking the right HVAC training course is an important first step toward a rewarding career in the heating and air conditioning field. As we have addressed in this post, you need to pick a vocational school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC field. Other factors to search for are lots of practical training and modern facilities. You should check out each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Also, inquire 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 too. If you ask the right questions as we have laid out in our guidelines for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC professional in Gas KS.
More Fabulous Cities in Kansas