How to Choose an HVAC School near Haven Kansas
Now that you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioning professional, the next action is to choose an HVAC vocational school near Haven KS. But with so many to pick from, how do you decide on the best one to obtain the training that you require? Many prospective students will make their choice based entirely on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. Even though these are necessary concerns, they are not the only ones to take into account. A few 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. These and additional criteria will be discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we explore how to select an HVAC trade school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling contractor does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Tech in Haven KS
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are generally mandated to be licensed, though each state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Obtaining professional certification is not required, but an optional way for Haven KS HVAC specialists to demonstrate that they are highly proficient and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are several recognized certifications within the industry that are offered. Here are some of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is earned by passing a competency 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 as well as passing a comprehensive exam are required 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. As with NATE, certifications are made available in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are three types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing may be required in your location, and you may also wish to acquire certification, it’s important that you enroll in an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the school you choose prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Classes
There are several choices offered for HVAC training in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the minimum period of time, usually accomplished in just 6 months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree programs might provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will furnish more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short summary of each option offered near Haven KS.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning residential or commercial HVAC specialists. They provide a solid foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more comprehensive understanding of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Normally taking two years to complete, many degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more towards 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 learning how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.
Selecting the ideal credential program will be dependent on what your long term career objectives are, as well as the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One option is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Haven KS, eventually returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Schools Online
Choosing an HVAC program online is one alternative in obtaining your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to complete hands on training. A number also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be attended via the internet, this alternative may be a more practical solution for some Haven KS students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even driving expenses from Haven and study supplies may be minimized, helping to make schooling more economical. And numerous 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, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to fit school into your busy schedule.
Questions For HVAC Training Programs near Haven KS
When you have selected the type of certificate or degree that you want to acquire, either online or on campus, you can start to narrow down your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many HVAC trade schools in the Haven 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 earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the first 2 factors you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you need to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC vocational schools in the Haven KS area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance HVAC technology. Verify that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you get an excellent education, it can help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, some states require that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to qualify 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 complete the program. A low completion rate might signify that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It could also indicate that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, 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 validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Haven KS HVAC employers to assist students obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC trade programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with local Haven KS HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional 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 working with on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC technician you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Haven KS HVAC contractor if they can give you some tips. Also keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Haven KS home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be increased tuition charges 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 a few of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Talk with a few of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Haven KS, check that the programs you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending HVAC School near Haven KS?
South Haven, Kansas
South Haven is located at 37°3′1″N 97°24′7″W / 37.05028°N 97.40194°W / 37.05028; -97.40194 (37.050187, -97.401997). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.79 square miles (2.05 km2), all of it land.
As of the census of 2010, there were 363 people, 142 households, and 97 families residing in the city. The population density was 459.5 inhabitants per square mile (177.4/km2). There were 172 housing units at an average density of 217.7 per square mile (84.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.2% White, 0.3% African American, 1.7% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 1.9% from other races, and 1.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.4% of the population.
There were 142 households of which 37.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.1% were married couples living together, 9.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 6.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 31.7% were non-families. 29.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 3.20.
Enroll in the Right HVAC Trade School near Haven KS
Enrolling in the right HVAC training program is a critical first step toward a rewarding career in the heating & cooling field. As we have addressed in this post, you need to choose a vocational school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC profession. Other factors to look for are ample hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should go to each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to explore the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Additionally, ask about scheduling options and if night or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to ask about financial assistance and student loan options as well. If you ask the proper questions as we have laid out in our guidelines for assessing 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 ultimately become a licensed HVAC technician in Haven KS.
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