How to Find the Right HVAC School near Lincoln Kansas
Now that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and cooling technician, the next action is to locate an HVAC technical school near Lincoln KS. But with so many to choose from, how do you choose the ideal one to get the training that you require? Many potential students will make their choice based entirely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Even though these are relevant concerns, they are not the only ones to investigate. A few of the other details that you need to look into are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and other benchmarks will be addressed in more detail later within this article. But before we tackle how to choose an HVAC trade school, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning specialist does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Professional in Lincoln KS
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, however every state and local municipality has its own requirements. Acquiring professional certification is not compulsory, but an optional way for Lincoln KS HVAC techs to prove that they are exceptionally proficient and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are multiple respected certifications within the industry that are available. Below are some of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is attained by passing a proficiency 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 field experience in addition to passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience along with a passing result on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are made available in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for technicians that work with refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing may be mandated in your location, and you may also wish to obtain certification, it’s essential that you pick an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be working with refrigerants, make certain that the program you decide on readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Training Programs
There are a variety of options offered for HVAC instruction in a vocational or trade school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring 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, especially if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will provide more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short explanation of each option offered near Lincoln KS.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more extensive understanding of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally taking two years to complete, a number of degrees include 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 call for an Associate Degree, while others are a standard 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 future 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 perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Lincoln KS, subsequently going back to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Courses
Attending an HVAC school online is one possibility to getting your education and earning a certificate or degree. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. Many also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes can be participated in on the web, this approach may be a more convenient solution for some Lincoln KS students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are more economical than other traditional choices. Even travelling expenses from Lincoln and study supplies may be reduced, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family commitments have left you with limited time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it easier to accommodate school into your hectic lifestyle.
Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Classes near Lincoln KS
After you have selected the type of certificate or degree that you desire to earn, either online or on campus, you can begin to decrease your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are many HVAC technical schools in the Lincoln KS area and across the USA to select from. That’s why it is essential to have a checklist of important qualifications when making school assessments. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the first two variables you will take into consideration. Following are some additional ones that you will want to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC trade programs in the Lincoln KS area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Make certain that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, many states require that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to be approved 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 program. A low completion rate might signify that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It might also mean that the teachers 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 will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Lincoln KS HVAC employers to help grads obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC training programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC companies or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local Lincoln KS HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC specialist you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Lincoln KS HVAC contracting company if they can provide some suggestions. Also keep in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Lincoln KS residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much personalized training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Talk with several of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Lincoln KS, check that the programs you are comparing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family issues.
Attending HVAC School near Lincoln KS?
Lincoln Center, Kansas
Settler George Green founded the town of Lincoln in 1870, naming it after the county. "Center" was added to its name to indicate its location in the central part of the county. County residents initially voted to place the county seat in Lincoln Center. However, elections in November 1870 resulted in the seat relocating to nearby Abram, sparking a county seat war. Another vote in February 1872 reversed the switch, and Lincoln Center became the permanent county seat. In addition, residents relocated all the buildings in Abram to Lincoln, merging the two communities. The town was incorporated as the city of Lincoln Center in 1879, and is still officially referred to as such in the United States Census. However, both the city government and local chamber of commerce refer to the city as Lincoln, and it appears as such on state maps and signs.
Lincoln grew rapidly over the following decade, more than doubling in size, and the city gradually modernized. Kansas Christian College opened in Lincoln in 1885. The Union Pacific Railroad opened a branch line through the city in 1886, bringing mail service. In 1900, after the previous courthouse burned down, a new one was built out of native limestone known locally as "post rock". Rural mail delivery began in 1904, and telephony service began in 1905. In 1906, the city's first power plant opened, providing electric power. By 1950, the state highway commission had completed K-14 and K-18 through Lincoln.
Lincoln Center is located at 39°2′30″N 98°8′48″W / 39.04167°N 98.14667°W / 39.04167; -98.14667 (39.041744, -98.146760) at an elevation of 1,417 feet (432 m). The city lies on the north side of the Saline River in the Smoky Hills region of the Great Plains. Yauger Creek, a tributary of the Saline River, flows south along the eastern edge of the city to its confluence with the Saline immediately south of the city. The confluence of the Saline and Lost Creek, another of the river's tributaries, is located immediately southwest of the city. Located at the intersection of Kansas Highway 14 (K-14) and Kansas Highway 18 (K-18) in north-central Kansas, Lincoln Center is 101 miles (163 km) northwest of Wichita, 190 miles (310 km) west of Kansas City, and 371 miles (597 km) east-southeast of Denver.
Select the Right HVAC Training Classes near Lincoln KS
Finding the right HVAC training course is a critical first step toward a gratifying career in the heating and air conditioning trade. As we have discussed in this post, you should pick a vocational school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC field. Other factors to look for are plenty of practical training and modern facilities. You need to visit each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to inspect 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 choices and whether evening 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 detailed in our checklist for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC specialist in Lincoln KS.
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