How to Choose HVAC Training Classes Bird City KS

How to Choose the Right HVAC Certification Course near Bird City Kansas

air conditioner condensers in Bird City KSOnce you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next action is to choose an HVAC trade school near Bird City KS. But with so many to pick from, how do you choose the right one to receive the training that you require? A number of potential students will make their selection based entirely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Even though these are relevant considerations, they are not the only ones to investigate. Just some of the other things that you need to investigate are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and additional criteria will be addressed in more detail later in this article. But before we discuss how to choose an HVAC training program, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning professional does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Professional

Bird City 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 professionals provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are generally mandated to be licensed, however each state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Obtaining professional certification is not required, but an optional means for Bird City KS HVAC techs to prove that they are highly proficient and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are many respected certifications within the field that are available. Following are some of the significant ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is attained by passing a competency examination and can be earned in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience in addition to passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience in addition to a passing score on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are provided in several specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are three types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Since licensing could be mandated in your location, and you may also wish to earn certification, it’s essential that you pick an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be working with refrigerants, make certain that the program you choose readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.

HVAC Degree and Certificate Schools

radiator heater in Bird City KS homeThere are a number of choices offered for HVAC instruction in a technical or vocational school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the minimum period of time, often completed in as little as six months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree programs may provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will deliver more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief summary of each credential offered near Bird City KS.

  • Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level commercial or residential 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 knowledge of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally taking 2 years to finish, many degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more for a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a standard four year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.

Picking the right credential program will be based on what your long term career aspirations are, as well as the time and money that you have to commit. One possibility is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the trade in Bird City KS, eventually returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Online Training

Bird City KS student attending HVAC school onlineAttending 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 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 rest of the classes can be attended online, this approach may be a more convenient solution for some Bird City KS students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are more economical than other on campus options. Even commuting expenses from Bird City and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family obligations have left you with minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your active lifestyle.

Questions to Ask HVAC Training Programs

Questions to ask Bird City KS HVAC training schoolsAfter you have selected the type of degree or certificate that you would like to attain, either on campus or online, you can start to decrease your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous HVAC technical schools in the Bird City KS area and throughout the USA to select from. That’s why it is essential to have a checklist of important qualifiers when making school assessments. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the initial 2 variables you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you should research before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Bird City KS area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves 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 agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you get a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate could indicate that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It might also indicate that the teachers were not competent 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 directory of alumni, which may result in more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Bird City KS HVAC employers to assist graduates obtain apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  A large number of HVAC training programs are taught along 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 companies or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with local Bird City KS HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Confirm that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC specialist you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Bird City KS HVAC contractor if they can give you some suggestions. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Bird City KS home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s important that you get as much personalized 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 large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Talk with some of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the teachers 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 reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Bird City KS, check that the schools you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, check 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 Bird City KS?

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

Bird City, Kansas

Bird City is located at 39°45′3″N 101°32′1″W / 39.75083°N 101.53361°W / 39.75083; -101.53361 (39.750950, -101.533480).[11] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.23 square miles (5.78 km2), all land.[1]

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 447 people, 211 households, and 118 families residing in the city. The population density was 200.4 inhabitants per square mile (77.4/km2). There were 264 housing units at an average density of 118.4 per square mile (45.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.2% White, 0.4% Native American, 0.9% from other races, and 2.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 15.0% of the population.

There were 211 households of which 24.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.3% were married couples living together, 7.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 0.5% had a male householder with no wife present, and 44.1% were non-families. 40.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 24.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.12 and the average family size was 2.91.

How to Choose HVAC Training Classes Bird City KS

Picking the ideal HVAC school program is a crucial beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating & cooling industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding How to Choose HVAC Training Classes. However, as we have addressed in this article, you need to choose an HVAC technical school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC trade. Other factors to look for are plenty of hands-on training and modern 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 faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Also, inquire about scheduling choices and whether or not evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to ask about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the proper questions as we have laid out in our checklist for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC contractor in Bird City KS.

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