How to Choose an HVAC Training Course near Hanover Kansas
Now that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner professional, the next step is to find an HVAC vocational school near Hanover KS. But with so many to select from, how do you pick the best one to obtain the training that you require? Many prospective students will make their choice based exclusively on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Even though these are necessary factors to consider, they are not the only ones to take into account. A few of the other factors that you need to investigate 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 discuss how to select an HVAC trade school, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning technician does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Pro in Hanover KS
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, however each state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Acquiring professional certification is not required, but an alternative means for Hanover KS HVAC techs to establish that they are highly skilled and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are multiple acknowledged certifications within the trade that are available. Here are a few of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is achieved by passing a competency examination and can be acquired 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 examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience in addition to a passing score on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for technicians that work with refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing might be required in your area, and you may also wish to acquire certification, it’s important that you pick an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the program you pick preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Schools
There are a variety of choices available for HVAC instruction in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the minimum period of time, typically completed in just 6 months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree training programs may provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will provide more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief description of each option offered near Hanover KS.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They provide a solid foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more comprehensive knowledge of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally taking 2 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 require an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional four year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.
Picking the ideal credential program will be dependent on what your long term career aspirations are, as well as the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One option is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Hanover KS, subsequently returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Classes
Enrolling in an HVAC school online is one option in attaining your training and earning a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. Many also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes may be attended via the internet, this option may be a more accessible solution for many Hanover KS students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are less expensive than other traditional choices. Even commuting expenses from Hanover and study supplies can 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 obligations have left you with little time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your active lifestyle.
Questions For HVAC Trade Schools near Hanover KS
When you have selected the type of degree or certificate that you desire to earn, either on campus or online, you can start to decrease your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are many HVAC vocational schools in the Hanover KS area and all over the Country to select from. That’s why it is very important to have a checklist of important qualifiers when making school evaluations. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the first two variables you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you will want to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC technical programs in the Hanover KS area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Verify that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you receive a superior education, it can help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate might suggest that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It may also signify that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s also essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which can produce more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Hanover KS HVAC employers to help graduates secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC technical programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational 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 considering have referring relationships with local Hanover KS HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC specialist you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Hanover KS HVAC company if they can give you some tips. Also bear in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Hanover KS residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there might be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Speak to a few of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to some of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Hanover KS, confirm that the schools you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Attending HVAC School near Hanover KS?
Hanover is a city in Washington County, Kansas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 682; as of 2014, it was estimated to have decreased to 665. It is the second most populous town within Washington County.
The city is primarily agricultural, and the surrounding countryside is filled with small family farms. The Hanover area is also a popular destination for deer hunting. Named after Hanover, Germany, the town is a traditional German community with strong German cultural influences. The local area is home to numerous other German communities such as Hollenberg, Hermansburg, Frankfort, and Bremen.
The "Hollenberg Station" became an important hub along the way for Pony Express travelers and Geret Hollenberg eventually established a grocery and stage depot on his farm in 1858. The Hollenberg farm housed nine boarding rooms, and the success of "Hollenberg Station" as a business attracted more people to the area and many settled alongside the Hollengbergs in the decade leading up to the establishment of Hanover.
Choose the Right HVAC Trade School near Hanover KS
Picking the ideal HVAC training program is a critical beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating and air conditioning field. As we have addressed in this post, you need to pick a technical school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC field. Other factors to search for are plenty of practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should visit each of the schools personally 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. In addition, ask about scheduling options and whether or not night or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial assistance and student loan options as well. If you ask the proper questions as we have laid out in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC technician in Hanover KS.
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