How to Select an HVAC Certification Class near Junction City Kansas
Once you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning professional, the next action is to look for an HVAC vocational school near Junction City KS. But with so many to choose from, how do you select the right one to get the training that you require? Many potential students will make their decision based solely on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. While these are relevant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Just some of the other things 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 benchmarks will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we examine how to pick an HVAC technical school, let’s look at what a heating and cooling contractor does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Pro in Junction City 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 air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, however every state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Obtaining professional certification is not compulsory, but an alternative way for Junction City KS HVAC techs to demonstrate that they are exceptionally skilled and experienced in their area of expertise. There are multiple recognized certifications within the industry that are offered. Following 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 competency exam and may 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 together with passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience in addition to a passing result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing could be mandated in your area, and you may also intend to acquire certification, it’s important that you enroll in an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be handling refrigerants, make certain that the program you select preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Classes
There are several choices offered for HVAC instruction in a technical or trade school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the least period of time, typically accomplished in just six 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 applicable to the position. The degree programs might provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will furnish more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short summary of each option offered near Junction City KS.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level residential or commercial HVAC specialists. They provide a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more detailed knowledge of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally taking two years to complete, some degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more for a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional 4 year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Selecting the ideal credential program will be dependent on what your future career objectives are, together with the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One option is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Junction City KS, later returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make certain to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Training Online
Attending an HVAC school online is one option to getting your education and earning a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete practical training. Some also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be attended via the internet, this alternative may be a more convenient solution for some Junction City KS students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other traditional alternatives. Even driving expenses from Junction City and study materials can be minimized, helping to make schooling more affordable. And numerous online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family obligations have left you with limited time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your busy lifestyle.
Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Classes near Junction City KS
As soon as you have decided on the type of degree or certificate that you want to attain, either online or on campus, you can start to narrow down your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are numerous HVAC trade schools in the Junction City KS area and throughout the Country to choose from. That’s why it is essential to have a checklist of key qualifications when making school evaluations. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the initial 2 variables you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC trade schools in the Junction City KS area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as HVAC technology. Confirm that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, some states require that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Cooling 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 might indicate that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It might also indicate that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which can mean 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 additionally that it has the network of Junction City KS HVAC employers to assist students acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC training programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling contractors or labor unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with local Junction City KS HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local 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 in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC tech you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Junction City KS HVAC contractor if they can provide some pointers. Additionally keep in mind that unless you can move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Junction City KS home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Speak to some of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to a few of the teachers and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Junction City KS, check that the schools you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Attending HVAC School near Junction City KS?
Junction City, Kansas
In 1854, Andrew J. Mead of New York of the Cincinnati-Manhattan Company, Free Staters connected to the Massachusetts Emigrant Aid Company planned a community there called Manhattan (there was also a discussion to call it New Cincinnati). When the steamship Hartford delivering the immigrants could not reach the community because of low water on the Kansas River, the Free Staters settled 20 miles east in what today is Manhattan, Kansas. The community was renamed Millard City for Captain Millard of the Hartford on October 3, 1855. It was renamed briefly Humboldt in 1857 by local farmers and renamed again later that year to Junction City. It was formally incorporated in 1859.
In 1923, John R. Brinkley established Radio Station KFKB (which stood for ‘’Kansas First, Kansas Best’’) using a 1 kW transmitter. It is one of the first—if not the very first—radio stations in Kansas. Brinkley used the station to espouse his belief that goat testicles could be implanted in men to enhance their virility.
Among Junction City's residents is film director Kevin Wilmott, whose movies, including Ninth Street, are set in Junction City. Ninth Street specifically refers to a bawdy area of the community that was frequented by Fort Riley soldiers in the 1960s. In the 1980s a major initiative was undertaken to clean up the Ninth St. area.
Select the Right HVAC Training Classes near Junction City KS
Picking the ideal HVAC training program is a crucial first step toward a gratifying career in the heating and cooling trade. As we have addressed in this post, you need to select a technical school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC field. Other things to look for are lots of practical training and modern facilities. You need to visit each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to explore the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Also, inquire about scheduling choices and whether night or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial aid 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 options so that you can make an informed decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC professional in Junction City KS.
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