Air Conditioning Schools Elkhart KS

How to Select the Right HVAC School near Elkhart Kansas

air conditioner condensers in Elkhart KSOnce you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next action is to find an HVAC trade school near Elkhart KS. But with so many to pick from, how do you choose the right one to obtain the training that you need? A number of future students will make their choice based solely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Although these are significant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to evaluate. 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. These and additional criteria will be covered in more detail later within this article. But before we examine how to pick an HVAC vocational school, let’s take a look at what a heating and air conditioning contractor does to become a licensed professional tradesman.

Becoming an HVAC Professional

Elkhart KS HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair 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. Attaining professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary means for Elkhart KS HVAC specialists to establish that they are highly qualified and accomplished in their area of specialization. There are a number of recognized certifications within the industry that are offered. Following are a few of the important ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is achieved by passing a proficiency exam and can be earned in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience together with passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience in addition to a passing result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are made available in multiple specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is required for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Considering that licensing may be required in your area, and you may also intend to acquire certification, it’s important that you select an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the school you choose prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.

HVAC Degree Training Programs

radiator heater in Elkhart KS homeThere are several options offered for HVAC instruction in a technical or vocational school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the minimum period of time, typically achieved in as little as 6 months, however some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will deliver more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief explanation of each option offered near Elkhart KS.

  • Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more exhaustive knowledge of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually requiring two years to complete, many degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more towards a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional 4 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 ideal credential program will be based on what your long term career goals are, together with the time and money that you have to commit. One option is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Elkhart KS, subsequently returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Training Online

Elkhart KS student attending HVAC school onlineEnrolling in an HVAC program online is one option in getting your training and receiving a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. Some also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes can be participated in online, this approach may be a more accessible solution for many Elkhart KS students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other traditional choices. Even driving expenses from Elkhart and study supplies can 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, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to accommodate school into your active schedule.

Questions For HVAC Certification Courses

Questions to ask Elkhart KS HVAC training schoolsAs soon as you have selected the type of degree or certificate that you wish to acquire, either online or on campus, you can start to limit your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are numerous HVAC technical schools in the Elkhart KS area and across the United States to pick from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school assessments. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the initial two variables you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you should explore before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Many HVAC technical schools in the Elkhart KS area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, such as HVAC technology. Confirm 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. In addition to helping make certain that you acquire a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, many 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 reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate could signify that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It might also indicate that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s also important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of graduates, 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 also that it has the network of Elkhart KS HVAC employers to assist grads obtain apprenticeships or employment.

Apprenticeship Programs.  A large number of HVAC technical programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC contractors or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local Elkhart KS HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding 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.  Make sure that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC specialist you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Elkhart KS HVAC company if they can provide some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Elkhart KS home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s important that you get as much personalized training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Talk to several of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with a few of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.

Flexible Scheduling.  Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Elkhart KS, verify that the programs you are comparing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.

Considering an HVAC School near Elkhart KS?

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

Elkhart, Kansas

Elkhart is a city in and the county seat of Morton County, Kansas, United States.[6] The south edge of the city is the Kansas-Oklahoma state border, and the city is 8.5 miles (13.7 km) from the Kansas-Colorado border. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 2,205.[7]

Elkhart has a cool semi-arid climate (Köppen BSk) characterized by generally dry winters with extreme temperature variations, and hot summers with occasional heavy precipitation from thunder showers or storms.

During winter, because western Kansas lies both on the edge of the subtropical anticyclones and in the rain shadow of westerly winds crossing the Rocky Mountains, the region is generally dry: no measurable precipitation fell in Elkhart between 25 December 1903 and 2 April 1904, while monthly precipitation above 2 inches or 50.8 millimetres has never been recorded during January and is observed fewer than one year in ten during November, December or February. Temperatures can vary greatly during this season: strong chinook winds can drive temperatures above 80 °F or 26.7 °C even in the depth of winter, with 70 °F or 21.1 °C reached on average during six days between December and February, seven during November and eight during March. Nevertheless, cold outbreaks from Canada drive temperatures to or below 0 °F or −17.8 °C on an average of 3.6 nights per winter. The coldest temperature recorded in Elkhart has been −22 °F or −30 °C on January 19, 1984, while the hottest winter temperature has been 87 °F or 30.6 °C on February 1, 1963.

Air Conditioning Schools Elkhart KS

Choosing the ideal HVAC training course is a crucial first step toward a gratifying career in the heating & cooling trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Air Conditioning Schools. However, as we have covered in this post, you should select an Heating and Cooling trade school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC trade. Other things to look for are plenty of practical training and modern facilities. You need to visit 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. 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 aid and student loan options too. If you ask the proper questions as we have outlined in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC technician in Elkhart KS.

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