Learning HVAC Downs KS

How to Choose the Right Heating and Cooling Program near Downs Kansas

air conditioner condensers in Downs KSNow that you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioner specialist, the next action is to find an HVAC trade school near Downs KS. But with so many to pick from, how do you select the right one to obtain the training that you require? Many future students will make their choice based solely on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. Even though these are relevant factors to consider, 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. These and other benchmarks will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we examine how to pick an HVAC technical school, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning contractor does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Technician

Downs KS HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, however each state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Earning professional certification is not required, but a voluntary means for Downs KS HVAC specialists to prove that they are highly skilled and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are multiple acknowledged certifications within the field that are available. 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 proficiency exam 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 field experience as well as passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience as well as a passing result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are made available in multiple specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification available, 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 desire to earn certification, it’s essential that you enroll in an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the program you select preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.

HVAC Degree and Certificate Classes

radiator heater in Downs KS homeThere are several options offered for HVAC training in a technical or vocational school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the minimum amount of time, typically accomplished in as little as six months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will deliver more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a short summary of each credential offered near Downs KS.

  • Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more detailed knowledge of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Usually taking two years to complete, 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 call for an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional four 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 long term career objectives are, in addition to the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One approach is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Downs KS, eventually going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make certain to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Online Training

Downs KS student attending HVAC school onlineEnrolling in an HVAC program online is one option to attaining your education and earning a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in hands on training. Some 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 practical solution for many Downs KS students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even driving expenses from Downs and study supplies may be reduced, helping to make schooling more budget-friendly. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family responsibilities have left you with minimal time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to fit school into your hectic lifestyle.

Questions For HVAC Trade Schools

Questions to ask Downs KS HVAC training schoolsAs soon as you have decided on the type of degree or certificate that you desire to acquire, either on campus or online, you can start to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are many HVAC vocational schools in the Downs KS area and throughout the United States to pick from. That’s why it is imperative to have a checklist of important qualifiers when making school comparisons. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the first two variables you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you will want to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  A large number of HVAC trade programs in the Downs 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 pertains to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Make certain that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it can assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited programs. Additionally, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate could indicate that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It might also suggest that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which may mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Downs KS HVAC employers to assist graduates acquire apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Most HVAC training programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local Downs KS HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable 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 campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC technician you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Downs KS HVAC contracting company if they can provide some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Downs KS residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s desirable that you receive as much one-on-one instruction 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 large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Talk to a few of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience 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 fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Downs KS, verify that the schools you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure 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 emergencies.

Considering an HVAC School near Downs KS?

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

Downs, Kansas

Downs had its start in the year 1879 when the Central Branch Railroad was extended to that point.[7] It was named for William F. Downs, a railroad official from Atchison.[8][9] Downs became an incorporated town in December of the same year. In 1910, the city had a population of 1,427. Business included 2 newspapers, a public library, flour mills, grain elevators, and an opera house.

Downs is located at 39°30′12″N 98°32′37″W / 39.50333°N 98.54361°W / 39.50333; -98.54361 (39.503305, -98.543500).[10] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.00 square mile (2.59 km2), all of it land.[1]

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 900 people, 424 households, and 239 families residing in the city. The population density was 900.0 inhabitants per square mile (347.5/km2). There were 508 housing units at an average density of 508.0 per square mile (196.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 97.6% White, 0.1% African American, 1.1% Native American, 0.6% Asian, and 0.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.9% of the population.

Learning HVAC Downs KS

Selecting the right HVAC school program is a crucial beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating and cooling industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Learning HVAC. However, as we have covered in this article, you need to select an HVAC technical school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC field. Other factors to look for are plenty of hands-on training and modern facilities. You need to visit each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to explore the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the teaching 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 ask about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the right questions as we have detailed in our checklist for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC professional in Downs KS.

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