Heating and Air Conditioning Trade Schools Greensburg KS

How to Enroll In the Right Heating and Cooling Certification Training near Greensburg Kansas

air conditioner condensers in Greensburg KSOnce you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next action is to look for an HVAC vocational school near Greensburg KS. But with so many to choose from, how do you select the ideal one to obtain the training that you need? Some potential students will make their decision based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Even though these are necessary concerns, they are not the only ones to investigate. Some of the other things 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 covered in more detail later in this article. But before we examine how to select an HVAC trade school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling technician does to become a licensed professional tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Tech

Greensburg KS HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the business 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 typically required to be licensed, however every state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Obtaining professional certification is not compulsory, but an optional means for Greensburg KS HVAC techs to demonstrate that they are highly qualified and experienced in their area of expertise. There are several respected certifications within the industry that are offered. Here are some of the significant ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged 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 makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of professional 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 result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in several specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is required for techs that handle refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Since licensing may be required in your location, and you may also intend to obtain certification, it’s essential that you choose an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the program you select readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.

HVAC Degree and Certificate Classes

radiator heater in Greensburg KS homeThere are a variety of choices available for HVAC instruction in a trade or technical school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the least period of time, typically achieved in as little as 6 months, although some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will deliver more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short description of each credential offered near Greensburg KS.

  • Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They provide a strong foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more comprehensive background of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually requiring 2 years to complete, many 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 as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional 4 year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.

Selecting the appropriate credential program will be based on what your future career aspirations are, together with the time and money that you have to commit. One approach is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Greensburg KS, subsequently going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Schools Online

Greensburg KS student attending HVAC school onlineEnrolling in an HVAC program online is one possibility in getting your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. Many also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes may be participated in online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution for many Greensburg KS students that are pressed for time. And some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even driving expenses from Greensburg and study supplies may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family responsibilities have left you with limited time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your active lifestyle.

Questions For HVAC Trade Schools

Questions to ask Greensburg KS HVAC training schoolsAfter you have picked the type of degree or certificate that you wish to earn, either on campus or online, you can begin to decrease your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are numerous HVAC technical schools in the Greensburg KS area and throughout the United States to choose from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a list of key qualifications when making school comparisons. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the first two variables you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you should explore before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  A large number of HVAC trade programs in the Greensburg KS area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Make certain that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you get a superior education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, many states require that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate could suggest that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It might also indicate that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which can mean more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Greensburg KS HVAC employers to assist graduates secure apprenticeships or employment.

Apprenticeship Programs.  A large number of HVAC technical programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC businesses or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have working relationships with local Greensburg KS HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Confirm that the school 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, consult with the HVAC technician you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Greensburg KS HVAC contractor if they can provide some pointers. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Greensburg KS home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s important that you receive as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak with several of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.

Flexible Scheduling.  Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Greensburg KS, verify that the programs you are considering offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.

Considering an HVAC School near Greensburg KS?

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

Greensburg, Kansas

Greensburg is a city in, and the county seat of, Kiowa County, Kansas, United States.[1] As of the 2010 census, the city population was 777,[5] and before the tornado, in 2000 the population was 1,544.

In the evening of May 4, 2007, Greensburg was devastated by an EF5 tornado that traveled rapidly through the area, leveling at least 95 percent of the city and killing eleven people between the ages of 46 and 84.[6][7][8][9][10]

Greensburg today stands as a model "green town", often described as the greenest in America. The hospital, city hall, and school have all been built to the highest certification level issued by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). Greensburg is also home to the world's largest hand-dug well.

Heating and Air Conditioning Trade Schools Greensburg KS

Selecting the ideal HVAC training program is an important beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating & cooling trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Heating and Air Conditioning Trade Schools. However, as we have discussed in this article, you should select an HVAC training program and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional 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 inspect 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, ask about scheduling choices and if evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the proper 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 educated decision. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC professional in Greensburg KS.

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