HVAC Training Schools Atwood KS

How to Pick the Right Heating and Cooling Certificate Program near Atwood Kansas

air conditioner condensers in Atwood KSNow that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and cooling professional, the next action is to look for an HVAC vocational school near Atwood KS. But with so many to select from, how do you choose the best one to receive the training that you require? Many prospective students will make their decision based entirely on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Even though these are important concerns, they are not the only ones to take into account. Just some of the other details 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. Those and other criteria will be addressed in more detail later in this article. But before we discuss how to select an HVAC vocational school, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c professional does to become a licensed professional tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Contractor

Atwood KS HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, although each state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Earning professional certification is not compulsory, but a voluntary way for Atwood KS HVAC techs to establish that they are highly skilled and experienced in their area of expertise. There are a number of recognized certifications within the field that are available. Following are some of the significant ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is earned by passing a proficiency examination and may be earned in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of professional experience together with passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience as well as 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 specialists that handle refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Because licensing may be mandated in your location, and you may also wish to earn certification, it’s essential that you enroll in an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be working with refrigerants, make sure that the program you pick preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.

HVAC Certificate and Degree Courses

radiator heater in Atwood KS homeThere are several choices offered for HVAC instruction in a technical or vocational school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the lesser period of time, usually completed in just 6 months, though some programs 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 programs can provide a competitive edge in the job market and will furnish more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief explanation of each option offered near Atwood KS.

  • Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They provide a solid foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more comprehensive knowledge of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally requiring 2 years to finish, some degrees include an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more for a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a standard 4 year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.

Selecting the right credential program will be based on what your long term career goals are, along with the time and money that you have to commit. One possibility is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Atwood KS, later returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Schools Online

Atwood KS student attending HVAC school onlineChoosing an HVAC school online is one alternative to getting your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in hands on training. Many also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes can be attended online, this approach may be a more practical solution for some Atwood KS students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even driving expenses from Atwood and study materials can be lessened, helping to make schooling more budget-friendly. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family commitments have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your busy schedule.

What to Ask HVAC Training Classes

Questions to ask Atwood KS HVAC training schoolsWhen you have selected the type of certificate or degree that you would like to acquire, either on campus or online, you can begin to narrow down your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are a large number of HVAC trade schools in the Atwood KS area and all over the Country to pick from. That’s why it is imperative to have a checklist of relevant qualifications when making school comparisons. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the initial two variables you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you will want to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  A large number of HVAC technical schools in the Atwood KS area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as HVAC technology. Verify that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you acquire an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of states require that the HVAC training course be accredited in order 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 complete the course. A lower completion rate might suggest that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It could also mean that the teachers were not qualified to train 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 employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Atwood KS HVAC employers to assist grads secure apprenticeships or employment.

Apprenticeship Programs.  A large number of HVAC vocational programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with local Atwood KS HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make sure that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC technician you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Atwood KS HVAC contracting company if they can provide some suggestions. Also keep in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Atwood KS home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s desirable that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Speak with several of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to a few of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.

Flexible Scheduling.  Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Atwood KS, verify that the schools you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.

Considering an HVAC School near Atwood KS?

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

Atwood, Kansas

In 1875, T.A. Andrews and J.M. Matheny traveled to Rawlins County and started a town site about two miles east of the current city. The city of Attwood (with two t's) was named after Attwood Matheny, the 14-year-old son who accompanied his father on the journey. In 1882, the U.S. Post Office requested permission to drop one "t" thus becoming Atwood. In 1881, Atwood became the county seat of Rawlins County.[8][9]

Atwood is located at 39°48′32″N 101°2′29″W / 39.80889°N 101.04139°W / 39.80889; -101.04139 (39.808971, −101.041370).[10] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.10 square miles (2.85 km2), of which 1.04 square miles (2.69 km2) is land and 0.06 square miles (0.16 km2) is water.[1]

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 1,194 people, 568 households, and 299 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,148.1 inhabitants per square mile (443.3/km2). There were 666 housing units at an average density of 640.4 per square mile (247.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 97.2% White, 0.2% African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.1% Asian, 1.0% from other races, and 1.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.9% of the population.

HVAC Training Schools Atwood KS

Picking the right HVAC school course is a crucial beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating & cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding 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 exceptional reputations within the HVAC profession. Other features to search for are sufficient hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should go to each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to tour the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. In addition, ask about scheduling options and if evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the right questions as we have laid out in our checklist for comparing schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC technician in Atwood KS.

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