How to Select an HVAC Training Course near Marysville Kansas
Once you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and cooling technician, the next step is to locate an HVAC vocational school near Marysville KS. But with so many to select from, how do you pick the best one to obtain the training that you require? Many future students will make their decision based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Even though these are relevant concerns, they are not the only ones to investigate. Some of the other things that you need to investigate are the graduation completion 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 pick an HVAC technical school, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c professional does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Pro in Marysville 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, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, though each state and local municipality has its own requirements. Obtaining professional certification is not required, but a voluntary means for Marysville KS HVAC techs to prove that they are highly proficient and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are several respected certifications within the field that are offered. Here 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 exam and can be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of professional experience in addition to passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience in addition to a passing score on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are offered in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other 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 imperative that you enroll in an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be working with refrigerants, make certain that the program you decide on preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree Training Programs
There are several alternatives offered for HVAC instruction in a trade or technical school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the minimum period of time, usually completed in just 6 months, although some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify 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 for securing employment and will deliver more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief explanation of each credential offered near Marysville KS.
- Certificate. Generally 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 comprehensive understanding of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Normally requiring two years to complete, many degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more for a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional four year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.
Selecting the right credential program will be dependent on what your future career objectives are, together with the time and money that you have to commit. One approach is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Marysville KS, subsequently returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Schools Online
Attending an HVAC program online is one alternative in getting your education and earning a degree or certificate. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. A number also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be attended online, this approach may be a more accessible solution for many Marysville KS students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even travelling expenses from Marysville and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And numerous online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family obligations have left you with limited time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it easier to accommodate school into your busy schedule.
What to Ask HVAC Training Programs near Marysville KS
Once you have selected the type of degree or certificate that you desire to attain, either online or on campus, you can begin to limit your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Marysville KS area and throughout the United States to pick from. That’s why it is essential to have a checklist of important qualifiers when making school evaluations. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the initial two factors you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you will want to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC technical programs in the Marysville KS area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Make sure that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, some states require that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to be approved 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 percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate could suggest that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It might also mean that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which can result in 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 a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Marysville KS HVAC employers to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC training programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC companies or trade unions. Check if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with local Marysville KS HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the tools 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, talk to the HVAC specialist you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Marysville KS HVAC contracting company if they can provide some pointers. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Marysville KS residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might 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 difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Speak to a few of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to some of the teachers and find out 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 reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Marysville KS, verify that the programs you are comparing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.
Attending HVAC School near Marysville KS?
Marysville was located on the Oregon Trail and the route of the Pony Express, the St. Joe Road, the Overland Stage, The Military Road, and the Otoe-Missouria Trail. British explorer Richard Francis Burton en route to California in 1860 noted: "Passing by Marysville, in old maps Palmetto City, a country-town which thrives by selling whiskey to ruffians of all descriptions ..." The old Pony Express Station still stands in downtown Marysville.
Marysville owes much of its prosperity to the Union Pacific Railroad. The railroad has been a major employer in the town for nearly 100 years. Over 60 trains pass through the town daily and the railroad recently completed an underpass which redirects the tracks below US-36, rather than crossing the highway and backing up traffic.
Marysville is also known as the "Black Squirrel City" due to an isolated community of all-black squirrels that make their homes in the town. The squirrels are said to be the result of escapees from a traveling circus.
Choose the Right HVAC Certification Training near Marysville KS
Enrolling in the ideal HVAC training program is an important beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating and air conditioning industry. As we have discussed in this article, you need to select a vocational school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC trade. Other factors 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 talk with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. In addition, inquire about scheduling options and whether night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the right questions as we have outlined in our checklist for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC contractor in Marysville KS.
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