How to Choose an HVAC Certification Class near Newton Kansas
Once you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioner specialist, the next step is to find an HVAC technical school near Newton KS. But with so many to choose from, how do you decide on the right one to obtain the training that you need? Some potential students will make their selection based solely on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Even though these are necessary factors to consider, they are not the only ones to investigate. A few of the other factors 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 additional criteria will be discussed in more detail later within this article. But before we tackle how to select an HVAC vocational school, let’s look at what a heating and a/c technician does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Contractor in Newton KS
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, however each state and local municipality has its own requirements. Attaining professional certification is not required, but an optional means for Newton KS HVAC technicians to prove that they are highly proficient and experienced in their area of specialization. There are several acknowledged certifications within the field that are available. Following are a few of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is earned by passing a competency examination and can be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience as well as passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience as well as a passing result on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are offered in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for techs that handle refrigerants. There are three types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing could be required in your location, and you may also desire to earn certification, it’s important that you select an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be working with refrigerants, make certain that the school you pick readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are a number of alternatives offered for HVAC training 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 least period of time, often accomplished in just six months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree programs might provide a competitive edge in the job market and will provide more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short summary of each option offered near Newton KS.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They provide a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more detailed knowledge of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually taking 2 years to finish, some degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more towards a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a standard four 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 financial resources that you have to invest. One approach is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Newton KS, subsequently returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Courses
Enrolling in an HVAC school online is one option in attaining your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. Some also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be participated in via the internet, this approach may be a more accessible solution for many Newton KS students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even travelling expenses from Newton and study supplies can be lessened, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And many online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family obligations have left you with minimal time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to fit school into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Classes near Newton KS
Once you have selected the type of certificate or degree that you wish to acquire, either online or on campus, you can begin to decrease your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are many HVAC vocational schools in the Newton KS area and all over the USA to choose from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of important qualifiers when making school evaluations. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the initial 2 variables you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you need to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC trade schools in the Newton KS area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Confirm that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it can help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, some states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited in order 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 percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate might signify that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It might also mean that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which may result in more contacts for the school to use 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 also that it has the network of Newton KS HVAC employers to help grads obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC technical programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC businesses or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with local Newton KS HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC tech you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Newton KS HVAC contracting company if they can give you some suggestions. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Newton KS residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Talk with several of the students and get their comments relating to 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 hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Newton KS, verify that the schools you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Attending HVAC School near Newton KS?
Newton is a city in and the county seat of Harvey County, Kansas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 19,132. Newton is located 25 miles (40 km) north of Wichita. The city of North Newton is located immediately north, existing as a separate political entity.
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 1872, Harvey County was founded.
In August 1871, there was a Gunfight at Hide Park, in which a total of eight men were killed. The incident began with an argument between two local lawmen, Billy Bailey and Mike McCluskie. Because of this incident, Newton became known as "bloody and lawless—the wickedest city in the west.".
Choose the Right HVAC Training Classes near Newton KS
Choosing the right HVAC training course is a crucial beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating and air conditioning trade. As we have discussed in this article, you should pick a technical school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC profession. Other things to look for are sufficient practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to check out each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to explore the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. In addition, ask about scheduling options and whether evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to ask about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the right questions as we have detailed in our guidelines for comparing schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC professional in Newton KS.
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