How to Choose an HVAC Training Class near Summerfield Kansas
Now that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning professional, the next action is to locate an HVAC trade school near Summerfield KS. But with so many to choose from, how do you select the ideal one to get the training that you need? Many future students will make their decision based exclusively on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Even though these are significant concerns, 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 other benchmarks will be discussed in more detail later within this article. But before we explore how to choose an HVAC training program, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c specialist does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Professional in Summerfield KS
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, though each state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Acquiring professional certification is not mandatory, but an alternative way for Summerfield KS HVAC technicians to demonstrate that they are exceptionally proficient and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are many recognized certifications within the trade that are offered. Following are a few of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is achieved by passing a competency exam and may be received in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience as well as passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience in addition to a passing result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are made available in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing may be mandated in your location, and you may also wish to obtain certification, it’s important that you enroll in an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the program you pick prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Courses
There are a variety of options available for HVAC training in a technical or vocational school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the minimum period of time, usually completed in as little as six months, though some programs 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 training programs may provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will deliver more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short summary of each credential offered near Summerfield KS.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning residential or commercial HVAC technicians. 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 understanding of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Generally taking two years to finish, many degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more for 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 learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Selecting the ideal credential program will be based on what your future career objectives are, together with the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One option is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Summerfield KS, eventually going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, be sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Classes Online
Attending an HVAC school online is one possibility in attaining your education and receiving a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. A number also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be attended online, this option may be a more practical solution for many Summerfield KS students that are pressed for time. And some online degree programs are less costly than other traditional options. Even commuting expenses from Summerfield and study materials can be reduced, helping to make schooling more economical. And a large number of online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family commitments have left you with minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it easier to fit school into your busy schedule.
What to Ask HVAC Trade Schools near Summerfield KS
Once you have selected the type of certificate or degree that you desire to attain, either on campus or online, you can begin to limit your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Summerfield KS area and across the United States to pick from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a checklist of important qualifiers when making school comparisons. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the first 2 aspects you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you should explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC vocational schools in the Summerfield KS area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance HVAC technology. Verify that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you receive a quality education, it can help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training program 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 percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate could signify that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It could also indicate that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which may result in more contacts for the school to employ 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 industry, but additionally that it has the network of Summerfield KS HVAC employers to help grads secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC trade programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with local Summerfield KS HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC technician you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Summerfield KS HVAC company if they can provide some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Summerfield KS home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Talk with a few of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Summerfield KS, confirm that the programs you are considering offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending HVAC School near Summerfield KS?
Summerfield is located at 39°59′47″N 96°20′57″W / 39.99639°N 96.34917°W / 39.99639; -96.34917 (39.996439, -96.349249). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.34 square miles (0.88 km2), all of it land.
As of the census of 2010, there were 156 people, 79 households, and 41 families residing in the city. The population density was 458.8 inhabitants per square mile (177.1/km2). There were 107 housing units at an average density of 314.7 per square mile (121.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 98.1% White, 0.6% African American, and 1.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.3% of the population.
There were 79 households of which 20.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.5% were married couples living together, 7.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 48.1% were non-families. 39.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.97 and the average family size was 2.68.
Pick the Right HVAC Training Course near Summerfield KS
Picking the right HVAC training course is an important first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating & cooling trade. As we have addressed in this post, you need to choose a trade school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC profession. Other features to look for are lots of practical training and modern facilities. You should go to each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to explore the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Additionally, inquire about scheduling options and if 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 laid out in our guidelines for comparing schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC professional in Summerfield KS.
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