How to Select an HVAC Certification Class near Kiowa Kansas
Now that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning specialist, the next step is to choose an HVAC technical school near Kiowa KS. But with so many to select from, how do you pick the ideal one to obtain the training that you require? Many prospective students will make their choice based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Although these are necessary concerns, they are not the only ones to evaluate. 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 other criteria will be discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we tackle how to select an HVAC vocational school, let’s look at what a heating and cooling professional does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Tech in Kiowa KS
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, although each state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Obtaining professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary way for Kiowa KS HVAC techs to prove that they are exceptionally proficient and experienced in their area of specialization. There are multiple acknowledged certifications within the field that are available. Following are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is earned by passing a proficiency examination and may be received in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience together with passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must 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 work with refrigerants. There are three types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing could be mandated in your area, and you may also desire to earn certification, it’s imperative that you choose an HVAC vocational school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be handling refrigerants, make sure that the program you choose preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree Training Programs
There are several choices offered for HVAC instruction in a technical or vocational 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 completed in just 6 months, although some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs may provide a competitive edge in the job market and will furnish more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short explanation of each option offered near Kiowa KS.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They provide a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more extensive knowledge of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically taking 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 towards a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional 4 year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Choosing the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your long term career goals are, along with 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 acquiring some experience in the field in Kiowa KS, eventually going back to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Courses Online
Enrolling in an HVAC school online is one option to getting your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. Some also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes can be participated in via the internet, this alternative may be a more convenient solution for many Kiowa KS students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are more economical than other traditional options. Even travelling expenses from Kiowa and study supplies can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family responsibilities have left you with limited time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to fit school into your active lifestyle.
Questions to Ask HVAC Training Programs near Kiowa KS
As soon as you have chosen the type of certificate or degree that you want to earn, either online or on campus, you can begin to narrow down your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of HVAC technical schools in the Kiowa KS area and across the Country to choose from. That’s why it is essential to have a list of key qualifications when making school evaluations. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the first two factors you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you need to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC technical schools in the Kiowa KS area have earned 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 an individual program, for instance HVAC technology. Verify that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, many states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited in order 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 of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate could suggest that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It might also indicate that the teachers were not qualified to train 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 use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Kiowa KS HVAC employers to assist graduates obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC trade programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC contractors or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with local Kiowa KS HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC tech you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Kiowa KS HVAC company if they can give you some suggestions. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Kiowa KS residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much individualized training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Talk to a few of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to a few of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Kiowa KS, confirm that the programs you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, 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 Kiowa KS?
In 1905, the Denver, Enid and Gulf Railroad was built from Enid, Oklahoma to Kiowa. In 1907, it was sold to the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. In 1996, the line from Kiowa to Blanton, Oklahoma was abandoned.
Kiowa is located at 37°1′3″N 98°29′5″W / 37.01750°N 98.48472°W / 37.01750; -98.48472 (37.017520, -98.484721). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.07 square miles (2.77 km2), all of it land.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,026 people, 466 households, and 273 families residing in the city. The population density was 958.9 inhabitants per square mile (370.2/km2). There were 578 housing units at an average density of 540.2 per square mile (208.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 95.3% White, 0.2% African American, 1.2% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 1.8% from other races, and 1.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.1% of the population.
Pick the Right HVAC Certification Training near Kiowa KS
Selecting the right HVAC training program is a crucial first step toward a gratifying career in the heating and air conditioning trade. As we have addressed 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 field. Other things to look for are lots of hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to visit each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to explore the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Additionally, inquire about scheduling options and whether evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the proper questions as we have detailed in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to filter 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 Kiowa KS.
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