HVAC Technician School Ellsworth KS

How to Pick the Right Heating and Cooling Certification Training near Ellsworth Kansas

air conditioner condensers in Ellsworth KSNow that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and cooling specialist, the next action is to locate an HVAC vocational school near Ellsworth KS. But with so many to select from, how do you select the right one to receive the training that you require? Some potential students will make their decision based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Even though these are relevant concerns, they are not the only ones to take into account. Just some of the other details 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 discussed in more detail later within this article. But before we tackle how to choose an HVAC vocational school, let’s take a look at what a heating and air conditioning contractor does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Contractor

Ellsworth 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 technicians provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are generally required to be licensed, though each state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Obtaining professional certification is not compulsory, but a voluntary way for Ellsworth KS HVAC specialists to demonstrate that they are exceptionally proficient and experienced in their area of expertise. There are many respected certifications within the industry that are available. Following are some of the significant ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is earned by passing a competency exam and may be earned in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of professional experience as well as passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience as well as a passing result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are made available in various specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is required for techs that work with refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Because licensing could be required in your area, and you may also wish to earn certification, it’s essential that you enroll in an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be working with refrigerants, make sure that the school you decide on prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.

HVAC Certificate and Degree Schools

radiator heater in Ellsworth KS homeThere are a variety of options available for HVAC instruction in a technical or vocational school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the least amount of time, often achieved in just six months, however some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree programs may provide a competitive edge in the job market and will furnish more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief explanation of each credential offered near Ellsworth KS.

  • Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They provide a strong foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more extensive background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Usually taking two years to complete, a number of degrees include an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more towards a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional 4 year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.

Choosing the right credential program will be dependent on what your future career objectives are, as well as the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One option is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Ellsworth KS, subsequently returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Schools Online

Ellsworth KS student attending HVAC school onlineEnrolling in an HVAC school online is one option to getting your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to complete 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 remainder of the classes can be attended online, this approach may be a more accessible solution for many Ellsworth KS students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are less expensive than other traditional alternatives. Even commuting expenses from Ellsworth and study materials can be minimized, helping to make schooling more affordable. And many online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family obligations have left you with little time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to fit school into your busy lifestyle.

Questions For HVAC Trade Schools

Questions to ask Ellsworth KS HVAC training schoolsAfter you have decided on the type of certificate or degree that you would like to acquire, either online or on campus, you can begin to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Ellsworth KS area and all over the USA to select from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a checklist of important qualifiers when making school evaluations. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the first two aspects you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you will want to research before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Numerous HVAC trade programs in the Ellsworth KS area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Make sure that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you receive an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, many states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the HVAC schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate might signify that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It may also mean that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It’s also important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which may produce 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 additionally that it has the network of Ellsworth KS HVAC employers to assist graduates acquire apprenticeships or employment.

Apprenticeship Programs.  A large number of HVAC training programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling companies or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with local Ellsworth KS HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make certain that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC technician you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Ellsworth KS HVAC company if they can provide some suggestions. Also bear in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Ellsworth KS home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s desirable that you receive as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Talk with a few of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with a few of the teachers and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.

Flexible Scheduling.  Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Ellsworth KS, check that the programs you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.

Considering an HVAC School near Ellsworth KS?

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

Ellsworth, Kansas

Ellsworth is a city in and the county seat of Ellsworth County, Kansas, United States.[7] As of the 2010 census, the city population was 3,120.[8] Known as a cow town in the 1870s, when the Kansas Pacific Railroad operated a stockyard here for shipping cattle to eastern markets, in the 21st century, it serves as the trading center of the rural county.

Once called "The Wickedest Cattletown in Kansas", the city is named for Fort Ellsworth, which was built in 1864.[9] Due to speculation on imminent railroad construction, the population of Ellsworth boomed to over two thousand by the time it was incorporated in 1867. It has since been said, "Abilene, the first, Dodge City, the last, but Ellsworth the wickedest".

Ellsworth was a bustling cattle town for a time during the late 1860s, when the Kansas Pacific Railroad had a stop and stockyards there. Cattle were driven up from Texas to this point, and then shipped to major markets. Often cowboys had the run of the town. In 1875 Kansas Pacific closed its cattle pens, moving to another location. The cattle trade dwindled to almost nothing by the mid-1880s.

HVAC Technician School Ellsworth KS

Choosing the right HVAC school course is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating and cooling industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Technician School. However, as we have discussed in this post, you should choose an HVAC trade school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC trade. Other things to search for are sufficient 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 explore the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. In addition, ask about scheduling choices and whether night or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to inquire about financial aid and student loan options also. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have laid out in our guidelines for assessing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC contractor in Ellsworth KS.

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