How to Choose HVAC Certification Classes Bennington KS

How to Enroll In the Right Heating and Cooling Degree Program near Bennington Kansas

air conditioner condensers in Bennington KSNow that you have decided on a career as a heating and cooling technician, the next step is to choose an HVAC technical school near Bennington KS. But with so many to choose from, how do you decide on the best one to obtain the training that you require? Many prospective students will make their decision based exclusively on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Although these are significant considerations, they are not the only ones to investigate. Some of the other details that you need to look into are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and other benchmarks will be addressed in more detail later in this article. But before we examine how to choose an HVAC training program, let’s take a look at what a heating and air conditioning specialist does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Technician

Bennington KS HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, though every state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Obtaining professional certification is not required, but an optional way for Bennington KS HVAC technicians to demonstrate that they are exceptionally qualified and accomplished in their area of specialization. There are multiple recognized certifications within the trade that are offered. Below are some of the important ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is attained by passing a competency examination and may 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 together with passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience together with a passing score 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 forms of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Since licensing might be required in your area, and you may also desire to obtain certification, it’s imperative that you select an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be handling refrigerants, make certain that the program you decide on preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.

HVAC Certificate and Degree Classes

radiator heater in Bennington KS homeThere are a variety of alternatives offered for HVAC instruction in a technical or trade school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the least amount of time, usually accomplished in just six months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will furnish more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short summary of each option offered near Bennington KS.

  • Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more extensive understanding of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Generally requiring 2 years to complete, some degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more for a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a standard 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.

Picking the right credential program will be based on what your future career aspirations are, along with the time and money that you have to invest. One approach is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Bennington KS, later going back to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Schools Online

Bennington KS student attending HVAC school onlineEnrolling in an HVAC school online is one possibility to obtaining your training and earning a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. A number also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes can be attended online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution for some Bennington KS students that are pressed for time. And some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even driving expenses from Bennington and study materials can be minimized, 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 little time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your busy lifestyle.

Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Classes

Questions to ask Bennington KS HVAC training schoolsWhen you have chosen the type of degree or certificate that you wish to obtain, either online or on campus, you can begin to limit your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are many HVAC technical schools in the Bennington KS area and all over the Country to select from. That’s why it is essential to have a list of key qualifiers when making school comparisons. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the first 2 factors you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you need to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  A large number of HVAC technical schools in the Bennington KS area have acquired 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 relates to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Confirm that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you get an excellent education, it can assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, some states require that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the Heating and Cooling 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 suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It may also suggest that the instructors were not qualified 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 more extensive list of graduates, which may mean more contacts for the school to utilize 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 industry, but additionally that it has the network of Bennington KS HVAC employers to help grads acquire apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Numerous HVAC technical programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC contractors or trade unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with local Bennington KS HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to establish 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 up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC technician you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Bennington KS HVAC contracting company if they can give you some tips. Also bear in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Bennington KS home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s desirable that you get as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how big 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.  Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Bennington KS, verify that the schools you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.

Considering an HVAC School near Bennington KS?

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

Bennington, Kansas

Bennington was platted in 1878 and grew to a population of over 200 within three years.[11] The city name comes from one of two sources. A paper written on the history of Bennington states that Bennington is an Indian name meaning "place of fine trees." The same article also states that co-city founder George R. Parker gave the town its name after Bennington, Vermont.[12] The Solomon Valley Railroad, a branch of the Kansas Pacific Railroad, reached Bennington in 1878.[11]

In 1879, the first school was located one half mile south of town. In 1918, a new school house was built. In 1938, an auditorium was added; in 1955 a shop was added; and in 1961 a new grade school building was annexed.[11]

Bennington is located at 39°1′59″N 97°35′35″W / 39.03306°N 97.59306°W / 39.03306; -97.59306 (39.033174, -97.593030).[13] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.42 square miles (1.09 km2), all of it land.[3]

How to Choose HVAC Certification Classes Bennington KS

Choosing the right HVAC school course is a crucial first step toward a gratifying career in the heating and cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding How to Choose HVAC Certification Classes. However, as we have addressed in this article, you should choose an HVAC technical school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC profession. Other things to look for are sufficient hands-on training and modern facilities. You should check out each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to explore the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling choices and whether or not evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial aid and student loan options also. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have outlined in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC contractor in Bennington KS.

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