How to Pick an HVAC School near Goddard Kansas
Now that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and cooling technician, the next step is to look for an HVAC vocational school near Goddard KS. But with so many to choose from, how do you decide on the right one to get the training that you need? A number of future students will make their decision based entirely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. While these are necessary factors to consider, they are not the only ones to take into account. Just some of the other factors that you need to look into 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 covered in more detail later within this article. But before we examine how to select an HVAC trade 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 Professional in Goddard KS
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, however each state and local municipality has its own criteria. Attaining professional certification is not required, but an optional way for Goddard KS HVAC technicians to prove that they are exceptionally skilled and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are multiple recognized certifications within the industry that are available. Here are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is earned by passing a proficiency examination and can be received in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience in addition to passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience as well as a passing score on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are offered in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing might be required in your location, and you may also intend to acquire certification, it’s imperative that you pick an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be working with refrigerants, make certain that the school you pick preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Classes
There are several choices available for HVAC training in a trade or technical school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, typically accomplished in just six months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree training programs might provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will provide more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short summary of each credential offered near Goddard KS.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning commercial or residential 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 comprehensive background of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically requiring two years to complete, a number of 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 call for an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional four year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Selecting the ideal credential program will be based on what your future career goals are, along with the time and money that you have to invest. One option is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Goddard KS, later returning to earn 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 Classes Online
Attending an HVAC program online is one approach in attaining your education and receiving a degree or certificate. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. Some also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes may be attended via the internet, this approach may be a more accessible solution for many Goddard KS students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are more economical than other traditional alternatives. Even commuting expenses from Goddard and study supplies may be lessened, helping to make schooling more budget-friendly. And numerous online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family responsibilities have left you with limited time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to fit school into your busy schedule.
What to Ask HVAC Certification Courses near Goddard KS
Once you have decided on the type of certificate or degree that you would like to acquire, either online or on campus, you can start to decrease your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are numerous HVAC technical schools in the Goddard KS area and all over the USA to pick from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of relevant qualifiers when making school comparisons. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the initial two factors you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC technical schools in the Goddard KS area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Verify that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, some 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 considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate could signify that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It might also mean that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which can result in 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 an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Goddard KS HVAC employers to assist grads acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC trade programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling businesses or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local Goddard KS HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC technician you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Goddard KS HVAC contracting company if they can give you some pointers. Also bear in mind that unless you can move, the school must be within driving distance of your Goddard KS home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might 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 difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak with some of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to some of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Goddard KS, check that the programs you are considering offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, 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 due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Attending HVAC School near Goddard KS?
In 1883, Ezekiel Wilder purchased farmland on the planned railway of the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway south of Blendon, Kansas, approximately 10 miles (16 km) west of Wichita. There, he established the town of Goddard in honor of J. F. Goddard, former third vice-president of the ATSF Railway. The railroad reached Goddard in 1884, and a post office was established there the same year. Several buildings were relocated from Blendon, including the town hall and the planned Methodist church. Goddard was officially incorporated in 1910. On June 23, 1969, an F4 tornado struck Goddard. No fatalities occurred, but six people were injured.
Goddard is located at 37°39′35″N 97°34′27″W / 37.65972°N 97.57417°W / 37.65972; -97.57417 (37.659706, -97.574271) at an elevation of 1,463 feet (446 m). Goddard lies on U.S. Route 54 in south-central Kansas immediately west of Wichita.
The community lies approximately 12 miles (19 km) southwest of the Arkansas River and 8 miles (13 km) north-northeast of the Ninnescah River in the Wellington-McPherson Lowlands region of the Great Plains.
Select the Right HVAC Training Classes near Goddard KS
Choosing the right HVAC training course is a critical first step toward a rewarding career in the heating and cooling field. As we have covered in this article, you need to select a vocational school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC profession. Other features to search for are lots of practical training and modern 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 faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Also, inquire about scheduling options and if night or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial aid and student loan options too. 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 educated decision. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC specialist in Goddard KS.
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