How to Choose HVAC Training Courses Blue Rapids KS

How to Choose the Right Heating and Cooling Training Program near Blue Rapids Kansas

air conditioner condensers in Blue Rapids KSOnce you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next action is to find an HVAC technical school near Blue Rapids KS. But with so many to select from, how do you decide on the right one to obtain the training that you need? A number of future students will make their choice based entirely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their home. While these are necessary concerns, they are not the only ones to investigate. Some of the other details that you need to research are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and additional benchmarks will be discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we tackle how to pick an HVAC trade school, let’s look at what a heating and cooling specialist does to become a licensed professional tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Professional

Blue Rapids KS HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the industry 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, though each state and local municipality has its own criteria. Acquiring professional certification is not required, but an optional way for Blue Rapids KS HVAC techs to establish that they are highly qualified and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are multiple acknowledged certifications within the industry that are offered. Here are a few of the important ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is attained by passing a competency examination and may be earned in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience in addition to 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 result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in multiple specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for technicians that work with refrigerants. There are three forms of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Considering that licensing may be required in your location, and you may also intend to acquire certification, it’s essential that you pick an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be handling refrigerants, make sure that the program you choose readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.

HVAC Certificate and Degree Courses

radiator heater in Blue Rapids KS homeThere are a variety of alternatives offered for HVAC training in a vocational or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the least period of time, often accomplished in just six months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will furnish more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief explanation of each credential offered near Blue Rapids KS.

  • Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more extensive background of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally taking two years to finish, some degrees feature 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 require an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional 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 aspirations are, along with the time and money that you have to commit. One approach is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Blue Rapids KS, subsequently returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Classes Online

Blue Rapids KS student attending HVAC school onlineAttending an HVAC school online is one option in getting your training and receiving a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. Some also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be participated in on the web, this alternative may be a more practical solution for some Blue Rapids KS students that are pressed for time. And some online degree programs are cheaper than other traditional choices. Even driving expenses from Blue Rapids and study supplies may be reduced, helping to make schooling more affordable. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family obligations have left you with limited time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your hectic lifestyle.

Questions to Ask HVAC Training Classes

Questions to ask Blue Rapids KS HVAC training schoolsAfter you have selected the type of certificate or degree that you want to earn, either on campus or online, you can begin to limit your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many HVAC vocational schools in the Blue Rapids KS area and all over the USA to pick from. That’s why it is essential to have a checklist of relevant qualifiers when making school evaluations. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the initial 2 aspects you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you should research before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Numerous HVAC vocational programs in the Blue Rapids KS area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Make sure that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain a superior education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, some states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited for it 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 of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate may suggest that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It may also indicate that the teachers 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 more extensive list of alumni, 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Blue Rapids KS HVAC employers to help grads acquire apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Most HVAC trade 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 within their network of HVAC businesses or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local Blue Rapids KS HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC tech you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Blue Rapids KS HVAC contracting company if they can give you some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Blue Rapids KS home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there might be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s desirable that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Talk with some of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with a few of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.

Flexible Scheduling.  Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Blue Rapids KS, confirm that the schools you are considering offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.

Considering an HVAC School near Blue Rapids KS?

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

Blue Rapids, Kansas

The first endeavor to establish a town below the junction of the rivers, in 1857, failed due to misfortunes of two of the three participants. No further attempt to utilize the impressive water power was made until 1869–1870, when a colony of about 50 families from Genesee County, New York moved in, purchased land and water power rights, and began establishing a community. The Blue Rapids Town Company was formed, and by the end of 1870 the population was about 250. In 1872, Blue Rapids was incorporated as a city of third class under the statutes of Kansas.[9]

Among the first projects in 1870 were a stone dam and a wrought iron bridge built on the Big Blue River. A hydroelectric power plant was then added to provide power for manufacturing and for the town. The power plant was destroyed by a flood in 1903. In the late 19th century and early 20th century there were four gypsum mines in the area. The population peaked around 1910 at over 1,750. The public library, built in 1875, is the oldest library west of the Mississippi in continuous operation in the same building.[10]

Blue Rapids was the birthplace of the pancreatic cancer drug Streptozotocin. The bacterium from which the drug is derived was discovered in the late 1950s in a soil sample taken from "an uncultivated sandy soil in a grassland region" at Blue Rapids.

How to Choose HVAC Training Courses Blue Rapids KS

Selecting the right HVAC training program is an important first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating and air conditioning industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding How to Choose HVAC Training Courses. However, as we have discussed in this article, you should select an HVAC vocational school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC trade. Other factors to search for are sufficient hands-on training and modern facilities. You should visit each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling options and if night 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 checklist for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC professional in Blue Rapids KS.

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