How to Choose HVAC Degree Programs Bonner Springs KS

How to Choose the Right Heating and Cooling Certification Training near Bonner Springs Kansas

air conditioner condensers in Bonner Springs KSOnce you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning specialist, the next step is to choose an HVAC vocational school near Bonner Springs KS. But with so many to choose from, how do you pick the ideal one to get the training that you need? Some prospective students will make their decision based solely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. While these are relevant considerations, they are not the only ones to evaluate. A few of the other factors 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. These and other benchmarks will be addressed in more detail later in this article. But before we explore how to choose an HVAC trade school, let’s look at what a heating and a/c specialist does to become a licensed professional tradesman.

Becoming an HVAC Tech

Bonner Springs 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 contractors provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, although each state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Obtaining professional certification is not required, but an optional way for Bonner Springs KS HVAC specialists to prove that they are exceptionally proficient and experienced in their area of expertise. There are a number of acknowledged certifications within the industry that are offered. Following 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 exam and can be acquired in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience in addition to passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience along with a passing score on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are offered in several specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are three forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Since licensing may be mandated in your location, and you may also wish to earn certification, it’s imperative that you select an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be handling refrigerants, make certain that the program you select readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Certificate and Degree Schools

radiator heater in Bonner Springs KS homeThere are several options offered for HVAC training in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, typically completed in just six months, though some courses 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 training programs might provide a competitive edge in the job market and will provide more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short explanation of each option offered near Bonner Springs KS.

  • Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more exhaustive background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Generally requiring two years to complete, some 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 mastering how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.

Picking the right credential program will be based on what your future career aspirations are, in addition to the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One possibility is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Bonner Springs KS, eventually returning to earn 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 Courses Online

Bonner Springs KS student attending HVAC school onlineAttending an HVAC program online is one approach in attaining your training and receiving a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to participate in hands on training. A number also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes may be attended on the web, this approach may be a more practical solution for many Bonner Springs KS students that are pressed for time. And some online degree programs are less expensive than other traditional choices. Even driving expenses from Bonner Springs and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And many online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family obligations have left you with little time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it easier to fit school into your active lifestyle.

Questions to Ask HVAC Training Classes

Questions to ask Bonner Springs KS HVAC training schoolsAfter you have selected the type of certificate or degree that you desire to attain, either on campus or online, you can begin to decrease your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are many HVAC vocational schools in the Bonner Springs KS area and across the Country to pick from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school comparisons. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the first two aspects you will take into consideration. Following are some additional ones that you should research before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  A large number of HVAC vocational programs in the Bonner Springs KS area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, 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 acknowledged accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you acquire a superior education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, a number of 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 complete the program. A low completion rate could suggest that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It could also suggest that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory 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 affirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Bonner Springs KS HVAC employers to assist grads acquire apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Many HVAC training programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC companies or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with local Bonner Springs KS HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed 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 technician you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Bonner Springs KS HVAC contracting company if they can give you some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Bonner Springs KS home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s important that you get as much individualized training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Talk to a few of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with a few of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.

Flexible Scheduling.  Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Bonner Springs KS, check that the programs you are considering offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, 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 Bonner Springs KS?

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

Bonner Springs, Kansas

Bonner Springs is a city in Wyandotte, Leavenworth, and Johnson counties, Kansas, United States. It is part of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area.[1] As of the 2010 census, the city population was 7,314,[6] and in 2016 the estimated population was 7,665.[4] It is reputed to be the first commercial center and permanent settlement in Kansas, dating to 1812.[7]:318 Bonner Springs was incorporated as a city on November 10, 1898.[7]:321

Bonner Springs is home to several national and regional attractions, including the Providence Medical Center Amphitheater, the National Agricultural Center and Hall of Fame, and the annual Kansas City Renaissance Festival.

Spanish explorer Francisco Vázquez de Coronado spent the winter of 1541-1542 at what is now the area of Bonner Springs. The diary of Father Juan Padilla records that the expedition reached the 40th degree (Kansas northern border) and came to a great river (the Missouri). An inscription found on a stone near Atchison has been translated as, "Thus far came Francisco de Coronado, General of an Expedition." The explorers traveled downstream to the mouth of another great river, the Arkansas, and preceded upstream 16 leagues to camp in what is now Bonner Springs before returning to Mexico. Due to the mineral springs, this legend gave the area its first recorded name, "Coronado Springs".[7]:318

How to Choose HVAC Degree Programs Bonner Springs KS

Finding the right HVAC training course is an important beginning 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 Degree Programs. However, as we have covered in this article, you need to pick an HVAC trade school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC profession. Other features to look for are ample practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to go to each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to tour the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. In addition, ask about scheduling options and whether or not evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial assistance and student loan options as well. If you ask the proper questions as we have detailed in our guidelines 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 professional in Bonner Springs KS.

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