School for HVAC Technician Gypsum KS

How to Select the Right Heating and Cooling Degree Program near Gypsum Kansas

air conditioner condensers in Gypsum KSNow that you have decided on a career as a heating and cooling professional, the next action is to find an HVAC trade school near Gypsum KS. But with so many to pick from, how do you pick the ideal one to get the training that you need? A number of future students will make their decision based solely on the cost 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 take into account. 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 other criteria will be addressed in more detail later in this article. But before we tackle how to choose an HVAC technical school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling specialist does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Tech

Gypsum 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 technicians specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, though every state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Earning professional certification is not mandatory, but an optional way for Gypsum KS HVAC technicians to prove that they are highly proficient and experienced in their area of specialization. There are multiple recognized certifications within the field that are offered. Here are a few of the significant ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is achieved by passing a competency examination and may 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 in addition to passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience as well as a passing result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in multiple specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for techs that work with refrigerants. There are three forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Because licensing could be required in your location, and you may also intend to obtain certification, it’s essential that you pick 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 readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Certificate and Degree Courses

radiator heater in Gypsum KS homeThere are a number of choices offered for HVAC training in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the minimum amount of time, typically completed in as little as 6 months, however some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree programs might provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will furnish more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short summary of each option offered near Gypsum KS.

  • Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more exhaustive background of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Normally requiring 2 years to finish, a number of degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more for a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a standard 4 year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.

Selecting the ideal credential program will be dependent on what your long term career aspirations are, together with the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One option is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Gypsum KS, subsequently going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Online Training

Gypsum KS student attending HVAC school onlineEnrolling in an HVAC program online is one alternative to attaining your education and earning a certificate or degree. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. Some also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes may be attended via the internet, this option may be a more convenient solution for many Gypsum KS students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are more economical than other on campus choices. Even commuting expenses from Gypsum and study supplies can be lessened, helping to make schooling more economical. And many online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family responsibilities have left you with minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your hectic lifestyle.

Questions For HVAC Certification Courses

Questions to ask Gypsum KS HVAC training schoolsAfter you have selected the type of degree or certificate that you wish to acquire, either on campus or online, you can start to decrease your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are many HVAC trade schools in the Gypsum KS area and across the United States to select from. That’s why it is essential to have a list of relevant qualifiers when making school assessments. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the first 2 aspects you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you should explore before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Numerous HVAC technical programs in the Gypsum KS area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as HVAC technology. Make certain that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you acquire an excellent education, it can assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are considering 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 might signify that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It might also mean that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have high 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 employ 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 trade, but additionally that it has the network of Gypsum KS HVAC employers to help grads obtain apprenticeships or employment.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Many HVAC training programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling companies or labor unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with local Gypsum KS HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make certain that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC tech you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Gypsum KS HVAC company if they can give you some tips. Also keep in mind that unless you can move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Gypsum KS home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s important that you receive as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Speak with a few of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to a few of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.

Flexible Scheduling.  Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Gypsum KS, check that the programs you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.

Considering an HVAC School near Gypsum KS?

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

Gypsum, Kansas

For many millennia, the Great Plains of North America was inhabited by nomadic Native Americans. From the 16th century to 18th century, the Kingdom of France claimed ownership of large parts of North America. In 1762, after the French and Indian War, France secretly ceded New France to Spain, per the Treaty of Fontainebleau.

In 1802, Spain returned most of the land to France. In 1803, most of the land for modern day Kansas was acquired by the United States from France as part of the 828,000 square mile Louisiana Purchase for 2.83 cents per acre.

In 1854, the Kansas Territory was organized, then in 1861 Kansas became the 34th U.S. state. In 1860, Saline County was established within the Kansas Territory, which included the land for modern day Gypsum.

School for HVAC Technician Gypsum KS

Picking the ideal HVAC school program is a critical first step toward a rewarding career in the heating & cooling industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding School for HVAC Technician. However, as we have discussed in this post, you should choose an Heating and Cooling 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 lots of practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to check out each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to tour the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling options and whether evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options as well. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have detailed in our guidelines for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC technician in Gypsum KS.

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