Best HVAC Training Schools Ashland KS

How to Find the Right HVAC Training Class near Ashland Kansas

air conditioner condensers in Ashland KSNow that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning professional, the next action is to choose an HVAC vocational school near Ashland KS. But with so many to pick from, how do you pick the best one to obtain the training that you require? Some potential students will make their selection based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Although these are necessary concerns, they are not the only ones to evaluate. A few 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. Those and additional criteria will be covered in more detail later within this article. But before we tackle how to select an HVAC vocational school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling professional does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Tech

Ashland KS HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, however every state and local municipality has its own criteria. Earning professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary means for Ashland KS HVAC techs to establish that they are highly skilled and experienced in their area of specialization. There are a number of acknowledged certifications within the industry that are offered. 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 attained by passing a proficiency exam 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 professional experience in addition to passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience together with a passing score on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are provided in various specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for techs that handle refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Since licensing may be mandated in your area, and you may also desire to obtain certification, it’s important that you choose an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be working with refrigerants, make certain that the school you pick preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.

HVAC Degree Courses

radiator heater in Ashland KS homeThere are a number of choices available for HVAC training in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the minimum amount of time, usually accomplished in just 6 months, although some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive edge in the job market and will furnish more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a short explanation of each credential offered near Ashland KS.

  • Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They provide a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more extensive background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Usually requiring 2 years to finish, 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 or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a standard 4 year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.

Choosing the right credential program will be based on what your future career aspirations are, as well as the time and money that you have to invest. One option is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Ashland KS, subsequently returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, be sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Online Training

Ashland KS student attending HVAC school onlineAttending an HVAC program online is one approach to getting your training and receiving a certificate or degree. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. Some also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes may be attended on the web, this option may be a more practical solution for many Ashland KS students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even driving expenses from Ashland and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family commitments have left you with minimal time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to fit school into your hectic schedule.

Questions to Ask HVAC Training Programs

Questions to ask Ashland KS HVAC training schoolsOnce you have chosen the type of degree or certificate that you desire to acquire, either on campus or online, you can begin to limit your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of HVAC technical schools in the Ashland KS area and across the Country to select from. That’s why it is very important to have a checklist of relevant qualifiers when making school evaluations. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the first two factors you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you need to research before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  A large number of HVAC trade schools in the Ashland KS area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Confirm that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you receive a quality education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning 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 low completion rate could signify that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It might also suggest that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have higher 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 employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Ashland KS HVAC employers to assist students obtain apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Many HVAC vocational programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling contractors or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with local Ashland KS HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make sure 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 presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC technician you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Ashland KS HVAC contracting company if they can provide some pointers. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Ashland KS home. Take note that if you decide to attend 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 important that you receive as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Speak to some of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to a few of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.

Flexible Scheduling.  Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Ashland KS, check that the programs you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Considering an HVAC School near Ashland KS?

Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Ashland Kansas area.  If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.

Ashland, Kansas

Ashland lies along what was once a military road from Fort Dodge (now Dodge City, Kansas) to the north and Fort Supply in the Indian Territory to the south. In 1870, during the Comanche Campaign against the Native Americans, the Army built two redoubts along the Dodge/Supply trail near the current site of Ashland: the Bear Creek Redoubt, five miles to the north,[9] and the Cimarron Redoubt, nine miles to the south.[10]

In 2000, the median income for a household in the city was $32,721, and the median income for a family was $40,682. Males had a median income of $25,000 versus $20,313 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,183. About 9.5% of families and 11.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.3% of those under age 18 and 7.9% of those age 65 or over.

As of the census[3] of 2010, there were 867 people, 381 households, and 239 families residing in the city. The population density was 516.1 inhabitants per square mile (199.3/km2). There were 465 housing units at an average density of 276.8 per square mile (106.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 92.7% White, 0.9% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 2.3% from other races, and 3.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.8% of the population.

Best HVAC Training Schools Ashland KS

Choosing the right HVAC training program is a crucial first step toward a rewarding career in the heating & cooling industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Best HVAC Training Schools. However, as we have discussed in this post, you need to select an Heating and Cooling school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC trade. Other features to look for are plenty of practical training and modern facilities. You should check out each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. In addition, ask about scheduling options and whether evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the proper questions as we have outlined in our guidelines for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC contractor in Ashland KS.

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