HVAC Associates Degree Garden City KS

How to Select the Right HVAC Program near Garden City Kansas

air conditioner condensers in Garden City KSNow that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and cooling specialist, the next action is to locate an HVAC trade school near Garden City KS. But with so many to choose from, how do you decide on the best one to obtain the training that you need? Some potential students will make their choice based entirely on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. Even though these are relevant concerns, they are not the only ones to investigate. Some of the other things that you need to research are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and additional criteria will be addressed in more detail later within this article. But before we examine how to choose an HVAC training program, let’s take a look at what a heating and air conditioning technician does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.

Becoming an HVAC Tech

Garden City KS HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, although each state and local municipality has its own requirements. Acquiring professional certification is not mandatory, but an alternative way for Garden City KS HVAC techs to prove that they are highly qualified and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are a number of acknowledged certifications within the field that are offered. Following are a few of the significant ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is achieved 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 field experience in addition to passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience as well as a passing score on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are provided in multiple specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for technicians that work with refrigerants. There are three types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Considering that licensing might be required in your area, and you may also desire to earn certification, it’s imperative that you enroll in an HVAC vocational school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be working with refrigerants, make sure that the program you choose preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.

HVAC Degree and Certificate Courses

radiator heater in Garden City KS homeThere are a number of options offered for HVAC training in a technical or vocational school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the minimum period of time, often accomplished in just six months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for most 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 furnish more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief summary of each option offered near Garden City KS.

  • Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They provide a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more comprehensive knowledge of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Normally taking two years to complete, some 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 as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a standard four year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.

Choosing the right credential program will be based on what your long term career aspirations are, along with the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One possibility is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Garden City KS, subsequently returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, be sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Training Online

Garden City KS student attending HVAC school onlineEnrolling in an HVAC program online is one possibility in getting your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to complete practical training. Many also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes can be participated in online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution for some Garden City KS students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are more economical than other on campus alternatives. Even commuting expenses from Garden City and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family responsibilities have left you with minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to fit school into your busy lifestyle.

Questions For HVAC Certification Classes

Questions to ask Garden City KS HVAC training schoolsOnce you have chosen the type of degree or certificate that you wish to obtain, either on campus or online, you can start to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of HVAC technical schools in the Garden City KS area and throughout the Country to choose from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of relevant qualifiers when making school evaluations. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the first 2 aspects you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you need to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  A large number of HVAC vocational programs in the Garden City KS area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance HVAC technology. Verify that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you obtain a quality education, it can help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, many states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to qualify 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 complete the program. A lower completion rate might indicate that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It may also mean that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which may produce more contacts for the school to employ 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 industry, but also that it has the network of Garden City KS HVAC employers to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment.

Apprenticeship Programs.  A large number of HVAC vocational programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC contractors or trade unions. Check if the schools you are considering have working relationships with local Garden City KS HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make certain that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art 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. If not, ask a local Garden City KS HVAC contractor if they can give you some suggestions. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Garden City KS residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s desirable that you get as much individualized 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 large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Talk with several of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.

Flexible Scheduling.  Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Garden City KS, check that the programs you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Considering an HVAC School near Garden City KS?

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

Garden City, Kansas

Garden City is a city in and the county seat of Finney County, Kansas, United States.[6] As of the 2010 census, the city population was 26,658.[7] The city is home to Garden City Community College and the Lee Richardson Zoo, the largest zoological park in western Kansas.

The original townsite was laid out on the south half of section 18 by engineer Charles Van Trump. The land was a loose, sandy loam and covered with sagebrush and soap weeds, but there were no trees. Main Street ran directly north and south, dividing William D. and James R. Fulton's claims. As soon as they could get building material, they erected two frame houses. William D. Fulton building on his land, on the east side of Main Street, a house one story and a half high, with two rooms on the ground and two rooms above. This was called the Occidental Hotel. William D. Fulton was proprietor. No other houses were built in Garden City until November 1878, when James R. Fulton and L.T. Walker each put up a building. The Fultons tried to get others to settle here, but only a few came, and at the end of the first year there were only four buildings.[8]

Charles Jesse Jones, later known as "Buffalo" Jones, arrived in Garden City for an antelope hunt in January 1879. Before Jones returned home, the Fulton brothers procured his services to promote Garden City, and especially in trying to influence the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad to put in a switch station. The railroad agreed to place its station at Garden City. In the spring of 1879, more people began arriving to homestead in the area. During the years of 1885-1887, a rush was made for Western Kansas, and a settler arrived for every quarter section. The United States Land Office also located at Garden City, and people went there to make filings on their land. Lawyers also arrived in Garden City. I.R. Holmes, the agent for the sale of lands of the ATSF, and Holmes' partner, A.C. McKeever, in 1885 sold thousands of acres of railroad and private land.[8]

HVAC Associates Degree Garden City KS

Picking the ideal HVAC school program 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 HVAC Associates Degree. However, as we have discussed in this article, you should choose an HVAC school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC field. Other features to look for are ample practical training and modern facilities. You should go to each of the schools in person 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 teaching and the interaction between them. Also, inquire about scheduling choices and if night or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to ask about financial assistance and student loan options as well. If you ask the right questions as we have outlined in our guidelines for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC professional in Garden City KS.

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    Tatro Plumbing
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    Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning/HVAC, Metal Fabricators
    Phone:
    1285 Acraway, Ste 300, Garden City, KS 67846