How to Choose an HVAC Training Course near Strong City Kansas
Once you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next action is to choose an HVAC technical school near Strong City KS. But with so many to pick from, how do you decide on the right one to obtain the training that you need? A number of potential students will make their selection based solely on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. Although these are necessary concerns, they are not the only ones to take into account. A few of the other factors that you need to research are the graduation completion 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 in this article. But before we tackle how to select an HVAC training program, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c professional does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Contractor in Strong City KS
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, though each state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Acquiring professional certification is not mandatory, but an optional means for Strong City KS HVAC techs to demonstrate that they are highly skilled and experienced in their area of specialization. There are multiple respected certifications within the trade that are available. Here are a few of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is achieved by passing a proficiency examination and may be received in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of professional experience as well as passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience as well as a passing result on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are provided in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for techs that handle refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing might be required in your area, and you may also intend to obtain certification, it’s essential that you enroll in an HVAC vocational school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be working with refrigerants, make certain that the school you decide on preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Courses
There are a variety of options available for HVAC instruction in a vocational or trade school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the minimum amount of time, often accomplished in as little as 6 months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs may provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will provide more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief description of each credential offered near Strong City KS.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They provide a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more exhaustive background of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually taking two years to complete, many degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more towards a career in management or even 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 cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Choosing the right credential program will be dependent on what your long term career goals are, in addition to 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 trade in Strong City KS, subsequently returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Schools Online
Enrolling in an HVAC program online is one alternative to getting your education and earning a degree or certificate. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. A number also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes may be participated in on the web, this option may be a more practical solution for many Strong City KS students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are less expensive than other traditional choices. Even travelling expenses from Strong City and study materials can be lessened, helping to make schooling more budget-friendly. And numerous online schools 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 online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to fit school into your busy lifestyle.
Questions to Ask HVAC Training Classes near Strong City KS
Once you have selected the type of certificate or degree that you desire to obtain, either online or on campus, you can begin to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Strong City KS area and throughout the USA to choose from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a list of important qualifiers when making school evaluations. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the first 2 factors you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you will want to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC trade programs in the Strong City KS area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Verify that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you get an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, some states require 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 finish the program. A lower completion rate may signify that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It may also signify that the instructors were not competent to instruct 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 result in more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Strong City KS HVAC employers to help graduates secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC training programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC contractors or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with local Strong City KS HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to establish 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 up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC specialist you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Strong City KS HVAC company if they can provide some pointers. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Strong City KS residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging 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. Speak to several of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Strong City KS, check that the programs you are comparing offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.
Attending HVAC School near Strong City KS?
Strong City, Kansas
Strong City is a city in Chase County, Kansas, United States. Originally known as Cottonwood Station, in 1881 it was renamed Strong City after William Barstow Strong, then vice-president and general manager, and later president of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 485.
For many millennia, the Great Plains of North America was inhabited by nomadic Native Americans. From the 16th century to 18th century, the Kingdom of France claimed ownership of large parts of North America. In 1762, after the French and Indian War, France secretly ceded New France to Spain, per the Treaty of Fontainebleau.
In 1802, Spain returned most of the land to France. In 1803, most of the land for modern day Kansas was acquired by the United States from France as part of the 828,000 square mile Louisiana Purchase for 2.83 cents per acre.
Enroll in the Right HVAC Certification Training near Strong City KS
Picking the ideal HVAC training program is an important first step toward a rewarding career in the heating and air conditioning industry. As we have covered in this article, you need to select a trade school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC field. Other things to look for are lots of practical 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 instruction and the interaction between them. In addition, ask about scheduling choices and if evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to inquire about financial aid and student loan options too. If you ask the proper 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 appropriate training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC specialist in Strong City KS.
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