How To Become a HVAC Tech Ellis KS

How to Choose the Right HVAC Certification Course near Ellis Kansas

air conditioner condensers in Ellis KSOnce you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next step is to find an HVAC technical school near Ellis KS. But with so many to pick from, how do you pick the ideal one to receive the training that you require? Some future students will make their decision based solely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Even though these are significant concerns, they are not the only ones to investigate. Just some of the other details that you need to look into are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and additional criteria will be discussed in more detail later within this article. But before we tackle how to pick an HVAC trade school, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning technician does to become a licensed professional tradesman.

Becoming an HVAC Technician

Ellis KS HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of central 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 prerequisites. Obtaining professional certification is not required, but an alternative means for Ellis KS HVAC techs to prove that they are exceptionally proficient and experienced in their area of specialization. There are several acknowledged certifications within the field that are available. Here are a few of the important ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is attained by passing a competency exam and can be acquired in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience as well as passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience together with a passing result on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are offered in various specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is required for techs that handle refrigerants. There are three forms of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Since licensing might be mandated in your location, and you may also wish to earn certification, it’s imperative that you enroll in an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be working with refrigerants, make certain that the school you pick readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.

HVAC Certificate and Degree Courses

radiator heater in Ellis KS homeThere are several choices available for HVAC training in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the lesser period of time, usually achieved in as little as six months, although some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs might provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will provide more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short explanation of each credential offered near Ellis 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 industry.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more detailed understanding of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally requiring two years to finish, many degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more towards a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional four year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.

Picking the ideal credential program will be dependent on what your future career goals are, as well as the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One approach is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the trade in Ellis KS, eventually going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Courses Online

Ellis KS student attending HVAC school onlineEnrolling in an HVAC program online is one option to obtaining your education and earning a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete hands on training. Some 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 participated in online, this option may be a more practical solution for some Ellis KS students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are cheaper than other traditional alternatives. Even travelling expenses from Ellis and study materials can be minimized, helping to make schooling more budget-friendly. And numerous online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career 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 hectic lifestyle.

What to Ask HVAC Trade Schools

Questions to ask Ellis KS HVAC training schoolsAs soon as you have decided on the type of certificate or degree that you desire to acquire, either on campus or online, 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 Ellis KS area and all over the Country to pick from. That’s why it is imperative to have a checklist of important qualifiers when making school assessments. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the initial two aspects you will take into consideration. Following are some additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Many HVAC vocational schools in the Ellis KS area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Make sure that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it can assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, many states require that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the HVAC schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate may signify that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It could also signify that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which can result in more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Ellis KS HVAC employers to assist grads obtain apprenticeships or employment.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Most HVAC vocational programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC contractors or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have working relationships with local Ellis KS HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Confirm that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC technician you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Ellis KS HVAC company if they can give you some tips. Also bear in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Ellis KS home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to 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 challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Talk to some of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to a few of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.

Flexible Scheduling.  Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Ellis KS, check that the programs you are considering offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.

Considering an HVAC School near Ellis KS?

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

Ellis, Kansas

The Kansas Pacific Railway built a water station at the site of present-day Ellis in 1867 and then purchased the site under the Homestead Act. Three years later, in 1870, the U.S. Post Office Department opened a post office at Ellis, marking the town's foundation.[6] Kansas Pacific laid out the town in 1873, establishing a depot, a hotel, and a few shops.[7] That same year, settlers from Syracuse, New York, and later from Louisville, Kentucky, arrived to work for the railroad.[8] The first church opened in Ellis in 1873, the first school in 1874. Starting in 1875 and for the rest of the 1870s, Ellis was a cowtown, serving as a shipping point for cattle herds from the south.[6]Bukovina Germans began settling in the area in 1886.[9] Ellis incorporated as a city in January 1888.[6]

Ellis is located at 38°56′10″N 99°33′33″W / 38.93611°N 99.55917°W / 38.93611; -99.55917 (38.936211, -99.559269),[10] at an elevation of 2,119 feet (646 m).[4] Located in northwestern Kansas on Interstate 70, Ellis is 13 miles (21 km) west-northwest of Hays, the county seat.[11] It is approximately 146 miles (235 km) northwest of Wichita and 260 miles (420 km) west of Kansas City.[12]

Ellis lies on the western edge of the Smoky Hills region of the Great Plains.[13]Big Creek, a tributary of the Smoky Hill River, runs east through the city and has been dammed to form a long, narrow reservoir, Big Creek Lake.[6][14]

How To Become a HVAC Tech Ellis KS

Selecting the right HVAC school course is an important first step toward a rewarding career in the heating & cooling industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding How To Become a HVAC Tech. However, as we have covered in this article, you need to choose an HVAC vocational school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC community. Other features to look for are sufficient hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should check out each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to explore the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Also, inquire about scheduling options and if evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial assistance and student loan options also. 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 informed decision. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC contractor in Ellis KS.

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