HVAC Education Cummings KS

How to Select the Right Heating and Cooling Training Class near Cummings Kansas

air conditioner condensers in Cummings KSNow that you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next step is to choose an HVAC technical school near Cummings KS. But with so many to choose from, how do you choose the best one to get the training that you require? Many potential students will make their selection based solely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Even though these are significant considerations, they are not the only ones to investigate. 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. Those and additional criteria will be covered in more detail later within this article. But before we explore how to choose an HVAC technical school, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c professional does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Professional

Cummings 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 professionals provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, however each state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Obtaining professional certification is not required, but an optional means for Cummings KS HVAC techs to establish that they are exceptionally skilled and accomplished in their area of specialization. There are a number of recognized certifications within the industry that are offered. Here are a few of the significant 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 received in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience as well as passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience in addition to a passing result on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in various specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for technicians that work with refrigerants. There are three types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Because licensing may be mandated in your area, and you may also wish to acquire certification, it’s imperative that you pick an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be working with refrigerants, make sure that the school you select preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Degree Training Programs

radiator heater in Cummings KS homeThere are a variety of options available for HVAC training in a vocational or trade school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, often accomplished in just six months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree training programs may provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will provide more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief description of each option offered near Cummings KS.

  • Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning residential or commercial HVAC specialists. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more comprehensive background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Normally requiring 2 years to finish, many 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 or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional four year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.

Choosing the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your future career goals are, along with the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One option is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the trade in Cummings KS, later going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Online Schools

Cummings KS student attending HVAC school onlineAttending an HVAC program online is one approach to attaining your education and earning a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in hands on training. Many also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be attended via the internet, this option may be a more accessible solution for many Cummings 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 Cummings and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education 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 online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to fit school into your active schedule.

What to Ask HVAC Trade Schools

Questions to ask Cummings KS HVAC training schoolsWhen you have chosen the type of degree or certificate that you want to attain, either online or on campus, you can begin to decrease your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are a large number of HVAC technical schools in the Cummings KS area and across the USA to pick from. That’s why it is essential to have a checklist of relevant qualifiers when making school assessments. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the first 2 aspects you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you need to research before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Numerous HVAC vocational programs in the Cummings KS area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance HVAC technology. Make sure that the program is 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 get an excellent education, it can assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, some states mandate 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 reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate could suggest that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It may also suggest that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which can produce more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Cummings KS HVAC employers to help grads obtain apprenticeships or employment.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Numerous HVAC vocational programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC contractors or labor unions. Check if the schools you are considering have working relationships with local Cummings KS HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also provides employment 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 instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC tech you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Cummings KS HVAC contractor if they can provide some tips. Also keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Cummings KS residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s desirable that you get as much individualized training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Talk to a few of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to a few of the instructors and find out 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 evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Cummings KS, verify that the programs you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Considering an HVAC School near Cummings KS?

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

Cummings, Kansas

HVAC Education Cummings KS

Enrolling in the right HVAC training program is an important first step toward a gratifying career in the heating and cooling industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Education. However, as we have addressed in this post, you should pick an Heating and Cooling training program and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC trade. Other features to look for are lots of hands-on training and modern facilities. You need to check out each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Additionally, inquire about scheduling options and if night 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 right questions as we have detailed 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 proper training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC technician in Cummings KS.

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