How To Become a HVAC Technician Emporia KS

How to Select the Right HVAC Certificate Program near Emporia Kansas

air conditioner condensers in Emporia KSOnce you have decided on a career as a heating and cooling professional, the next step is to find an HVAC vocational school near Emporia KS. But with so many to choose from, how do you select the right one to get the training that you need? A number of potential students will make their choice based solely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their home. While these are significant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Some of the other factors that you need to research are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and additional benchmarks will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we tackle how to pick an HVAC trade school, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c professional does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.

Becoming an HVAC Pro

Emporia 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, 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 compulsory, but an optional means for Emporia KS HVAC techs to demonstrate that they are highly skilled and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are many acknowledged certifications within the field that are offered. Below are a few of the important ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is earned by passing a proficiency 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 in addition to passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience together with a passing score on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are provided in several specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for techs that handle refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Because licensing might be mandated in your area, and you may also intend to obtain certification, it’s imperative that you pick an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the program you choose readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.

HVAC Degree and Certificate Training Programs

radiator heater in Emporia KS homeThere are a number of alternatives offered for HVAC training in a technical or vocational school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the lesser period of time, often completed in just 6 months, however 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 can provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will provide more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief explanation of each option offered near Emporia KS.

  • Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more extensive knowledge of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Typically requiring 2 years to complete, many degrees incorporate 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 require an Associate Degree, while others are a standard four year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.

Picking the ideal credential program will be based on what your future career objectives 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 getting some experience in the trade in Emporia KS, subsequently returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, be sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Online Training

Emporia KS student attending HVAC school onlineAttending an HVAC program online is one option in obtaining your education and receiving a degree or certificate. Most 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 in place of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes may be participated in via the internet, this alternative may be a more practical solution for many Emporia KS students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are cheaper than other traditional options. Even travelling expenses from Emporia and study supplies may be lessened, helping to make schooling more affordable. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family commitments have left you with limited time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to fit school into your active schedule.

What to Ask HVAC Training Programs

Questions to ask Emporia KS HVAC training schoolsAfter you have decided on the type of certificate or degree that you want to obtain, either on campus or online, you can start to decrease your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are numerous HVAC trade schools in the Emporia KS area and throughout the United States to choose from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of key qualifiers when making school assessments. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the first two factors you will take into consideration. Following are some additional ones that you will want to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Many HVAC vocational programs in the Emporia KS area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Verify that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you receive a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate might suggest that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It may also suggest that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s also essential that the schools have higher 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 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 trade, but additionally that it has the network of Emporia KS HVAC employers to help graduates obtain apprenticeships or employment.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Numerous HVAC training programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling contractors or labor unions. Check if the schools you are considering have working relationships with local Emporia KS HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC technician you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Emporia KS HVAC contracting company if they can provide some pointers. Also bear in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Emporia KS home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there might be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s important that you receive as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Speak with several of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.

Flexible Scheduling.  Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Emporia KS, check that the schools you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family issues.

Considering an HVAC School near Emporia KS?

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

Emporia, Kansas

Emporia is a city in and the county seat of Lyon County, Kansas, United States.[1][7] As of the 2010 census, the city population was 24,916.[8] Emporia lies between Topeka and Wichita at the intersection of U.S. Route 50 with Interstates 335 and 35 on the Kansas Turnpike. Emporia is also a college town, home to Emporia State University and Flint Hills Technical College.

In 1864 the Union Pacific Railway, Southern Branch (later incorporated into the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad) received land grants to build from Fort Riley to Emporia. The road eventually reached Emporia in 1869, becoming the first railroad to served the burgeoning town.[10] In July 1870, a second railroad, the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway reached Emporia, and in the years following the American Civil War the city became a booming railroad hub.[11] In 1888, railroad executive and educator John Byers Anderson donated his personal library to the College of Emporia to commemorate his 50th wedding anniversary, and his former mentee Andrew Carnegie donated additional funds to build a library in Anderson's honor (conditioned upon the new college paying off its mortgage).[12]

Emporia is particularly known for its newspaper, the Emporia Gazette, published in the first half of the 20th century by the legendary newspaperman William Allen White. The paper became the widely perceived model of excellence in small-town journalism.

How To Become a HVAC Technician Emporia KS

Enrolling in the right HVAC training course is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating and cooling trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding How To Become a HVAC Technician. However, as we have discussed in this post, you should select an HVAC school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC community. Other factors to look for are lots of hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should go to each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to tour the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling options and if night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the proper questions as we have laid out in our guidelines for comparing 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 commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC contractor in Emporia KS.

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    Jones Heating & Air Conditioning
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    Heating & Air Conditioning/HVAC
    Phone:
    702 Prairie St, Emporia, KS 66801

    McElroy's Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning
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    Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning/HVAC
    Phone:
    3310 SW Topeka Blvd, Topeka, KS 66611

    ECI Systems
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    Electricians, Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning/HVAC
    Phone:
    3620 Legion Ln, St. George, KS 66535