How to Choose an HVAC Training Class near Sharon Springs Kansas
Once you have decided on a career as a heating and cooling technician, the next action is to find an HVAC trade school near Sharon Springs KS. But with so many to select from, how do you choose the best one to obtain the training that you require? Some future students will make their choice based entirely on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. Although these are significant considerations, they are not the only ones to take into account. Some of the other factors that you need to research are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and other benchmarks will be discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we tackle how to select an HVAC trade school, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning technician does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Technician in Sharon Springs KS
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, although each state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Obtaining professional certification is not compulsory, but an optional way for Sharon Springs KS HVAC specialists to prove that they are highly proficient and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are many recognized certifications within the trade that are offered. Here are some of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is attained by passing a proficiency examination and may 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 in addition to passing a comprehensive examination 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 provided in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for technicians that work with refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing may be required in your location, and you may also intend to acquire certification, it’s essential that you select an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the program you select prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Courses
There are a variety of alternatives offered for HVAC training 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 lesser amount of time, typically accomplished in as little as 6 months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will deliver more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short description of each credential offered near Sharon Springs KS.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more exhaustive background of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Normally taking two years to complete, some degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more for a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional four year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning 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 approach is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Sharon Springs KS, eventually going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make certain to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Classes
Choosing an HVAC school online is one option in attaining your training and earning a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete practical training. Some also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes can be participated in online, this option may be a more convenient solution for many Sharon Springs KS students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even commuting expenses from Sharon Springs and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And a large number of online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family commitments have left you with limited time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to fit school into your hectic lifestyle.
Questions For HVAC Training Programs near Sharon Springs KS
After you have selected the type of degree or certificate that you desire to acquire, either online or on campus, you can start to narrow down your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are many HVAC trade schools in the Sharon Springs KS area and all over the USA to select from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a list of key qualifications when making school evaluations. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the initial two aspects you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you will want to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Sharon Springs KS area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance HVAC technology. Make sure that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you receive an excellent education, it can help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Also, some states mandate 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 course. A low completion rate might indicate that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It might also signify that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which can produce more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Sharon Springs KS HVAC employers to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC trade programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC contractors or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with local Sharon Springs KS HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm 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 presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC specialist you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Sharon Springs KS HVAC contracting company if they can give you some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Sharon Springs KS home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there might be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Speak with a few of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to some of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify 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 Sharon Springs KS, verify that the schools 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, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Attending HVAC School near Sharon Springs KS?
Sharon Springs, Kansas
Sharon Springs was originally called Eagle Tail Station when it was founded in 1868. It was renamed Sharon Springs in 1886, after Sharon Springs, New York. Sharon Springs was incorporated as a city in 1890.
Sharon Springs is located at 38°53′44″N 101°45′3″W / 38.89556°N 101.75083°W / 38.89556; -101.75083 (38.895513, -101.750881). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.91 square miles (2.36 km2), all land.
As of the census of 2010, there were 748 people, 327 households, and 197 families residing in the city. The population density was 822.0 inhabitants per square mile (317.4/km2). There were 407 housing units at an average density of 447.3 per square mile (172.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.5% White, 0.1% African American, 0.4% Native American, 3.6% from other races, and 1.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.7% of the population.
Enroll in the Right HVAC Trade School near Sharon Springs KS
Finding the ideal HVAC training course is an important beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating & cooling field. As we have addressed in this post, you should pick a trade school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC community. Other factors to look for are sufficient hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to check out each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Also, inquire about scheduling options and if evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to inquire about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have outlined in our guidelines for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC technician in Sharon Springs KS.
More Fabulous Cities in Kansas