How to Choose an HVAC Certification Class near Humboldt Kansas
Now that you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next step is to choose an HVAC trade school near Humboldt KS. But with so many to choose from, how do you choose the right one to get the training that you require? A number of prospective students will make their selection based entirely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Although these are necessary factors to consider, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Some 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. Those and additional benchmarks will be addressed in more detail later within this article. But before we explore how to select an HVAC vocational school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling technician does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Tech in Humboldt KS
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the business 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 skilled tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, though each state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Obtaining professional certification is not required, but a voluntary way for Humboldt KS HVAC techs to prove that they are highly proficient and experienced in their area of specialization. There are many acknowledged certifications within the field that are available. Following are some 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 exam and can be received 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 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 exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing may be mandated in your location, and you may also wish to acquire certification, it’s imperative that you select an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the program you decide on preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Schools
There are a variety of alternatives offered for HVAC training in a vocational or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the least period of time, often completed in as little as 6 months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree training programs may provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will deliver more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a short summary of each credential offered near Humboldt KS.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more exhaustive knowledge of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Typically requiring two years to complete, some degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more for a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a standard four year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Choosing the ideal credential program will be based on what your long term career aspirations are, in addition to the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One possibility is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Humboldt KS, later returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Training
Choosing an HVAC program online is one option to obtaining your education and receiving a degree or certificate. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. Many also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes may be attended on the web, this alternative may be a more practical solution for many Humboldt KS students that are pressed for time. And some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even travelling expenses from Humboldt and study supplies can be reduced, helping to make schooling more affordable. And many online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family obligations have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it easier to accommodate school into your active lifestyle.
Questions For HVAC Training Programs near Humboldt KS
When you have picked the type of degree or certificate that you wish to earn, either on campus or online, you can start to decrease your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are many HVAC trade schools in the Humboldt KS area and across the Country to select from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school evaluations. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the first two aspects you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you need to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC trade programs in the Humboldt KS area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Verify that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate may suggest that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It may also indicate 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 graduates, which may 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 a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Humboldt KS HVAC employers to help students acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC technical programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical programs 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 considering have working relationships with local Humboldt KS HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC specialist you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Humboldt KS HVAC contracting company if they can provide some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Humboldt KS home. 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 important that you receive as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Speak with some of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with a few of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Humboldt KS, check that the programs you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, 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 issues.
Attending HVAC School near Humboldt KS?
Humboldt, named after Baron von Humboldt, was founded in 1857. Germans migrating from Hartford, Connecticut, began organizing a colony during the winter of 1856–57. They arrived in Lawrence, Kansas, in March 1857, and at the townsite on May 10, 1857. Orlin Thurston, a young attorney, moved to Humboldt during the summer of 1857 and put up a steam sawmill; he began sawing wood and building houses on the prairie side of town. The first frame building was erected by J.A. Coffey; and in May 1858, W.C. O'Brien opened the first gristmill in the county. The United Brethren Denomination erected the first church in 1859.
In 1861 Humboldt was attacked by a collection of border ruffians and Osages led by John Mathews out of Oswego, Kansas who took several recently freed African-Americans back into captivity. The Humboldt Home Guard joined with the Kansas 6th Cavalry under James G. Blunt to counter-attack. In a battle on September. 18, 1861 Mathews was killed at Chetopa, Kansas.
The city was organized as a village in 1866 and incorporated as a city of the second class by the act of February 28, 1870. In October 1870 the Leavenworth, Lawrence & Galveston railway was run through Humboldt; the railway is currently a short line owned by BNSF Railway.
Pick the Right HVAC Training Course near Humboldt KS
Enrolling in the right HVAC training course is an important beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating and cooling trade. As we have covered in this article, you should choose a vocational school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC trade. Other things to search for are plenty of hands-on training and modern facilities. You should visit each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to tour the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling options and if night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to inquire about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have laid out in our checklist for comparing 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 contractor in Humboldt KS.
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