Associates Degree in HVAC Lakin KS

How to Enroll In the Right Heating and Cooling Program near Lakin Kansas

air conditioner condensers in Lakin KSOnce you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner professional, the next step is to find an HVAC vocational school near Lakin KS. But with so many to choose from, how do you pick the best one to get the training that you need? Many potential students will make their decision based solely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their home. While these are relevant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to evaluate. 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 addressed in more detail later in this article. But before we examine how to pick an HVAC vocational school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling specialist does to become a licensed professional tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Pro

Lakin KS HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs provide services for 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, though each state and local municipality has its own requirements. Obtaining professional certification is not required, but a voluntary way for Lakin KS HVAC techs to prove that they are exceptionally proficient and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are several acknowledged certifications within the trade that are available. Here are a few of the significant ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is attained by passing a proficiency examination and may be earned in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience as well as passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience along with a passing score on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are offered in multiple specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are three types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Considering that licensing might be required in your location, and you may also desire to acquire certification, it’s important that you choose an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be handling refrigerants, make sure that the program you pick prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Degree Schools

radiator heater in Lakin KS homeThere are several choices offered for HVAC training in a vocational or trade school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the minimum period of time, usually achieved in as little as 6 months, although some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree programs might provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will provide more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief description of each credential offered near Lakin KS.

  • Certificate. Generally 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 exhaustive background of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually requiring 2 years to complete, many degrees feature 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 require an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional four year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.

Selecting the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your future career objectives are, together with the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One option is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Lakin KS, subsequently going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Online Courses

Lakin KS student attending HVAC school onlineEnrolling in an HVAC school online is one approach to getting your training and earning a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. Many also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be attended online, this option may be a more convenient solution for many Lakin KS students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are less costly than other traditional options. Even travelling expenses from Lakin and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family responsibilities have left you with little time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to fit school into your active lifestyle.

Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Courses

Questions to ask Lakin KS HVAC training schoolsOnce you have decided on the type of degree or certificate that you wish to attain, either on campus or online, you can start to decrease your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Lakin KS area and throughout the Country to select from. That’s why it is imperative to have a checklist of relevant qualifications when making school assessments. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the initial two variables you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you should research before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  A large number of HVAC vocational programs in the Lakin KS area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, such as HVAC technology. Verify that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you receive a superior education, it may help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of states require that the HVAC training course be accredited for it 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 low completion rate could suggest that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It might also suggest that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It’s also 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 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 industry, but additionally that it has the network of Lakin KS HVAC employers to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Most HVAC vocational programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling businesses or labor unions. Check if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with local Lakin KS HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make sure that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using 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. Otherwise, ask a local Lakin KS HVAC contracting company if they can give you some suggestions. Additionally keep in mind that unless you can move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Lakin KS residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be higher tuition charges 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 a few of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Talk to a few of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with a few of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.

Flexible Scheduling.  Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Lakin KS, verify 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 offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.

Considering an HVAC School near Lakin KS?

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

Lakin, Kansas

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 2,216 people, 781 households, and 573 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,261.2 inhabitants per square mile (873.1/km2). There were 851 housing units at an average density of 868.4 per square mile (335.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 87.7% White, 0.3% African American, 0.9% Native American, 8.7% from other races, and 2.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 28.9% of the population.

There were 781 households of which 43.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.9% were married couples living together, 11.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 6.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 26.6% were non-families. 24.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.73 and the average family size was 3.23.

The median age in the city was 34.5 years. 30.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.8% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 23.1% were from 25 to 44; 23.6% were from 45 to 64; and 14.5% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 50.6% male and 49.4% female.

Associates Degree in HVAC Lakin KS

Finding the ideal HVAC training program is a crucial beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating and air conditioning field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Associates Degree in HVAC. However, as we have addressed in this article, you should choose an HVAC trade school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC profession. Other features to search for are ample hands-on training and modern facilities. You should visit each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to explore the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. In addition, ask about scheduling options and whether night 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 appropriate questions as we have detailed in our checklist for assessing 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 dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC contractor in Lakin KS.

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