How to Pick an HVAC Training Class near Spring Hill Kansas
Now that you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioner specialist, the next step is to locate an HVAC trade school near Spring Hill KS. But with so many to choose from, how do you pick the ideal one to receive the training that you require? Many future students will make their selection based solely on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their home. While these are necessary factors to consider, they are not the only ones to investigate. Some of the other factors that you need to investigate 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 addressed in more detail later within this article. But before we discuss how to choose an HVAC trade school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling specialist does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Professional in Spring Hill KS
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, though each state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Earning professional certification is not required, but a voluntary means for Spring Hill KS HVAC specialists to establish that they are highly proficient and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are a number of respected certifications within the trade that are available. Following are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is earned by passing a proficiency examination and can be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of professional experience in addition to passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience along with a passing result on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are made available in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for specialists 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 might be required in your location, and you may also desire to obtain certification, it’s essential that you select an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be working with refrigerants, make sure that the school you select prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Training Programs
There are a number of alternatives offered for HVAC instruction in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the least period of time, typically completed in just six months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will provide more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a short description of each option offered near Spring Hill KS.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level residential or commercial HVAC specialists. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more extensive knowledge of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally taking 2 years to complete, a number of 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 call for an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional 4 year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.
Selecting the ideal credential program will be based on what your future career aspirations are, along with the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One option is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Spring Hill KS, subsequently returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Courses Online
Enrolling in an HVAC program online is one alternative to obtaining your education and receiving a degree or certificate. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. Some also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes can be participated in via the internet, this approach may be a more accessible solution for some Spring Hill KS students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are more economical than other on campus alternatives. Even travelling expenses from Spring Hill and study supplies may be reduced, helping to make schooling more economical. And numerous online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family responsibilities have left you with limited time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it easier to fit school into your hectic lifestyle.
Questions to Ask HVAC Training Programs near Spring Hill KS
After you have decided on the type of degree or certificate that you want to acquire, either online or on campus, you can start to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are many HVAC technical schools in the Spring Hill KS area and across the USA to pick from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of key qualifiers when making school comparisons. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the first 2 aspects you will take into consideration. Following are some additional ones that you will want to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC trade schools in the Spring Hill KS area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example 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. Along with helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate could signify that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It could also indicate that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which can mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Spring Hill KS HVAC employers to help students acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC training programs are taught together 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 Heating and Cooling companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Spring Hill KS HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC tech you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Spring Hill KS HVAC company if they can give you some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Spring Hill KS home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive 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 big they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Speak to several of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Spring Hill KS, confirm that the schools you are considering offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Attending HVAC School near Spring Hill KS?
Spring Hill, Kansas
In 1856, James B. Hovey named the community after a town near Mobile, Alabama. “Being somewhat enthusiastic in my estimation of its future, it having all advantages of timber and water, and on a line that must be traveled between Olathe and Paola, I concluded to myself, as there was no one else to conclude with, that this was a good place for a town.” – J.B. Hovey, 1857  The town was incorporated in 1857, and Hovey then served as the town’s first postmaster. Also that year, Hovey built the first building in town, the Spring Hill Hotel. The two-story structure, also known as the “Old Traveler’s Rest” was located on the highest elevation in town.
In January 1859 Celia Ann Dayton, a doctor in Vermont, became the first woman doctor in the state of Kansas by moving to Spring Hill. She arrived with her adopted son Hiram Eugene, also a doctor, and her husband Amos arrived a few months later. Hiram was killed in January 1862 during the American Civil War after being discovered as a spy for the Union. Also in 1862, Celia divorced her husband, which was very uncommon for the time period. Celia frequently aided black refugees, and is reported to have been part of the underground railroad. In the fall of 1862, Spring Hill avoided Quantrill's Raiders entering the town when a farmer talked to them on their way. He calmly convinced them there were soldiers in town, when there were not. This deterred them from continuing. However, a year later in 1863, the Quantrill Raiders did march on Spring Hill, looting businesses in town and stealing from local farmers. At least one citizen was killed.
By the 1870s, Spring Hill was growing in population and commerce. However, a railroad to come right through the town wanted to bypass Spring Hill unless it paid $15,000 to grade the land there. The residents didn’t want to share the costs, and the tracks were moved to approximately a half-mile east of the original town square. The town’s businesses then quickly moved to be closer to the train depot and tracks. In 1874, the country’s economic depression hit Spring Hill. Also that year, swarms of grasshoppers devoured plant life, then moved on to items such as clothes, blankets and shoes. Even leather harnesses, pitch fork handles, and fence posts were not immune to them. As a result, water sources were polluted, and gardens and crops were devastated. Livestock were nearly inedible.
Choose the Right HVAC Training Classes near Spring Hill KS
Enrolling in the right HVAC training program is a crucial beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating and cooling industry. As we have discussed in this post, you should choose a vocational school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC community. Other features to search for are plenty of hands-on 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 speak with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Additionally, ask about scheduling choices and whether night or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial aid and student loan options too. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have laid out in our checklist for assessing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC professional in Spring Hill KS.
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