How to Choose an HVAC Training Class near Ness City Kansas
Once you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next action is to look for an HVAC vocational school near Ness City KS. But with so many to pick from, how do you pick the best one to get the training that you require? Many potential students will make their choice based entirely on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. While these are necessary factors to consider, they are not the only ones to take into account. Just some of the other factors 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 criteria will be covered in more detail later within this article. But before we explore how to pick an HVAC trade school, let’s take a look at what a heating and air conditioning technician does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Tech in Ness City KS
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the industry 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 skilled tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, however each state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Attaining professional certification is not mandatory, but an alternative way for Ness City KS HVAC specialists to establish that they are highly skilled and accomplished in their area of specialization. There are many recognized certifications within the industry that are available. Below 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 competency examination and may 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 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. As with NATE, certifications are made available in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are three types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing might be required in your area, and you may also desire to acquire certification, it’s imperative that you select an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be working with refrigerants, make sure that the school you select preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree Courses
There are several options offered for HVAC training in a technical or vocational school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the lesser period of time, typically accomplished in just 6 months, however some programs 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 can provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will deliver more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief summary of each option offered near Ness City KS.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning residential or commercial HVAC specialists. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more comprehensive background of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally taking two years to complete, some degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more for a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional 4 year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Picking the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your future career objectives are, as well as the time and money that you have to invest. One approach is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Ness City KS, later going back to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, be sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Courses
Choosing an HVAC program online is one possibility in attaining your education and receiving a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in hands on training. Some also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes can be attended on the web, this option may be a more accessible solution for many Ness City KS students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even commuting expenses from Ness City and study materials can be minimized, helping to make schooling more economical. And numerous 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, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to accommodate school into your active lifestyle.
Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Classes near Ness City KS
When you have chosen the type of certificate or degree that you want to attain, either on campus or online, you can begin to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Ness City KS area and all over the USA to select from. That’s why it is imperative to have a checklist of relevant qualifiers when making school evaluations. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the first 2 factors you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you will want to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC vocational schools in the Ness City KS area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as HVAC technology. Verify that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a superior education, it may help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited programs. Additionally, many 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 reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate may indicate that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It might also mean that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of graduates, which may produce more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Ness City KS HVAC employers to assist graduates acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC vocational programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling businesses or trade unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with local Ness City KS HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC technician you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Ness City KS HVAC contractor if they can provide some tips. Also bear in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Ness City KS residence. Remember 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 important that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Talk to several of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to a few of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
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 Ness City KS, check that the schools you are comparing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Attending HVAC School near Ness City KS?
Ness City, Kansas
Ness City is a city in and the county seat of Ness County, Kansas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 1,449. Ness City is famous for its four-story Old Ness County Bank Building located downtown, and nicknamed Skyscraper of the Plains.
Ness City and the surrounding county have suffered from the chronic decline in population common to rural areas of the Plains States since the 1930s known as the Rural Exodus. As evidence, fewer than 15 new homes have been built in Ness City in the past decade. The value of these homes and the per-capita build rate are both well below the national average for this period.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,449 people, 635 households, and 392 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,420.6 inhabitants per square mile (548.5/km2). There were 739 housing units at an average density of 724.5 per square mile (279.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 97.0% White, 0.3% African American, 0.1% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 1.6% from other races, and 0.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.9% of the population.
Pick the Right HVAC Trade School near Ness City KS
Enrolling in the right HVAC training program is an important first step toward a rewarding career in the heating & cooling trade. As we have covered in this post, you should choose a school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC community. Other things to look for are sufficient hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should 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. Additionally, inquire about scheduling choices and whether evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial aid and student loan options too. If you ask the right questions as we have outlined in our checklist for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC specialist in Ness City KS.
More Fabulous Cities in Kansas