How to Find the Right HVAC School near Little River Kansas
Once you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner specialist, the next step is to choose an HVAC vocational school near Little River KS. But with so many to choose from, how do you select the right one to get the training that you need? Many prospective students will make their decision based solely on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Even though these are important considerations, they are not the only ones to investigate. A few of the other details that you need to research are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and other criteria will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we examine how to choose an HVAC technical school, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c technician does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Contractor in Little River KS
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are generally required to be licensed, although each state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Attaining professional certification is not compulsory, but an optional means for Little River KS HVAC technicians to demonstrate that they are highly qualified and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are many respected certifications within the industry that are available. Following are a few of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is earned by passing a proficiency exam and may be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience together with passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience as well as a passing result on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for techs that handle refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing may be mandated in your location, and you may also desire to acquire certification, it’s important that you choose an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the school you choose prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Schools
There are a number of alternatives available for HVAC instruction in a technical or trade school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the minimum period of time, often accomplished in just 6 months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree programs might provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will deliver more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short explanation of each credential offered near Little River KS.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They provide a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more comprehensive understanding of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically taking 2 years to finish, many 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 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 cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Picking the ideal credential program will be based on what your long term career aspirations are, as well as the time and money that you have to invest. One approach is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the trade in Little River KS, eventually going back to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Schools
Choosing an HVAC school online is one possibility in attaining your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Most schools will require 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 attended online, this option may be a more practical solution for many Little River KS students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are less costly than other traditional choices. Even commuting expenses from Little River and study supplies may be lessened, helping to make schooling more budget-friendly. And a large number of online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family responsibilities have left you with limited time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your active lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Trade Schools near Little River KS
As soon as you have chosen the type of degree or certificate that you desire to obtain, either online or on campus, you can start to limit your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many HVAC vocational schools in the Little River KS area and all over the United States to choose from. That’s why it is essential to have a checklist of important qualifications when making school evaluations. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the first two factors you will take into consideration. Following are some additional ones that you will want to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC vocational programs in the Little River KS area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, such as HVAC technology. Confirm 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. In addition to helping guarantee that you acquire a superior education, it can assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, many states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate may indicate that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It could also mean that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It’s also essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which can 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 Little River KS HVAC employers to help graduates obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC trade programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC businesses or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with local Little River KS HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus 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 currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC technician you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Little River KS HVAC contracting company if they can provide some tips. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Little River KS home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak to several of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some 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 schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Little River KS, verify that the schools you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.
Attending HVAC School near Little River KS?
Little River, Kansas
For millennia, the land now known as Kansas was inhabited by Native Americans. In 1803, most of modern Kansas was secured by the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase. In 1854, the Kansas Territory was organized, then in 1861 Kansas became the 34th U.S. state. In 1867, Rice County was founded.
In 1878, Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway and parties from Marion and McPherson counties chartered the Marion and McPherson Railway Company. In 1879, a branch line was built from Florence to McPherson; in 1880 it was extended to Lyons and in 1881 it was extended to Ellinwood. The line was leased and operated by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. The line from Florence to Marion, was abandoned in 1968. In 1992, the line from Marion to McPherson was sold to Central Kansas Railway. In 1993, after heavy flood damage, the line from Marion to McPherson was abandoned. The original branch line connected Florence, Marion, Canada, Hillsboro, Lehigh, Canton, Galva, McPherson, Conway, Windom, Little River, Mitchell, Lyons, Chase and Ellinwood.
Little River is located at 38°23′50″N 98°0′41″W / 38.39722°N 98.01139°W / 38.39722; -98.01139 (38.397217, -98.011489). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.44 square miles (1.14 km2), all land.
Choose the Right HVAC Certification Training near Little River KS
Selecting the right HVAC training course is an important first step toward a gratifying career in the heating & cooling field. As we have addressed in this post, you should select a technical school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC trade. Other features to search for are ample hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to visit each of the schools personally 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, inquire about scheduling options and whether evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to inquire about financial aid and student loan options too. If you ask the proper questions as we have laid out in our checklist for assessing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC professional in Little River KS.
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