Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Training Liberal KS

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

air conditioner condensers in Liberal KSOnce you have decided on a career as a heating and cooling specialist, the next action is to look for an HVAC technical school near Liberal KS. But with so many to pick from, how do you choose the ideal one to receive the training that you require? Some potential students will make their choice based entirely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. While these are necessary concerns, they are not the only ones to take into account. Some of the other things that you need to investigate are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and other benchmarks will be addressed in more detail later in this article. But before we tackle how to pick an HVAC vocational school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling contractor does to become a licensed professional tradesman.

Becoming an HVAC Tech

Liberal 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, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are generally required to be licensed, although each state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Attaining professional certification is not mandatory, but an optional way for Liberal KS HVAC technicians to demonstrate that they are exceptionally qualified and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are multiple acknowledged certifications within the field that are offered. Below are a few 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 proficiency exam and may be received in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience together with passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience along with a passing result on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are provided in various specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Considering that licensing may be required in your location, and you may also intend to earn certification, it’s imperative that you pick an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be handling refrigerants, make certain that the school you decide on prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.

HVAC Degree and Certificate Training Programs

radiator heater in Liberal KS homeThere are a number of alternatives available for HVAC instruction 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 least period of time, often accomplished in just 6 months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree training programs might provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will provide more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short summary of each credential offered near Liberal KS.

  • Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level residential or commercial HVAC specialists. They provide a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more extensive knowledge of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Usually taking 2 years to complete, some degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more for a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional 4 year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.

Picking the ideal credential program will be dependent on what your future career objectives are, along with the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One possibility is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Liberal KS, later returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Schools Online

Liberal KS student attending HVAC school onlineEnrolling in an HVAC school online is one possibility to getting your education and receiving a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. Some also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes can be attended via the internet, this approach may be a more convenient solution for some Liberal KS students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even travelling expenses from Liberal and study supplies may be minimized, helping to make schooling more budget-friendly. And many online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family commitments have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to fit school into your active lifestyle.

Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Courses

Questions to ask Liberal KS HVAC training schoolsWhen you have selected the type of certificate or degree that you would like to acquire, either on campus or online, you can begin to limit your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of HVAC trade schools in the Liberal KS area and throughout the United States to select from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of important qualifiers when making school comparisons. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the initial 2 aspects you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you need to research before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Many HVAC trade schools in the Liberal KS area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Make sure that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you receive an excellent education, it may help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often 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 reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate may suggest that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It could also mean that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Liberal KS HVAC employers to assist grads secure apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Numerous HVAC technical programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC businesses or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with local Liberal KS HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make certain that the school 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 presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC technician you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Liberal KS HVAC contracting company if they can give you some pointers. Also bear in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Liberal KS residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in 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 desirable that you get as much personalized 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 observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak with a few of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the instructors 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 assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Liberal KS, confirm that the schools you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.

Considering an HVAC School near Liberal KS?

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

Liberal, Kansas

Early settler S. S. Rogers built the first house in what would become Liberal in 1872. Rogers became famous in the region for giving free water to thirsty travelers. Reportedly, Liberal gained its name from the common response to his acts of kindness, "That's very liberal of you."[8][9] In 1885 Rogers built a general store, and with it came an official U.S. Post Office. Rogers named the post office 'Liberal'. After the railroad was built close by, a plan for the town site was created in 1888. A year later the population was around 800.[8]

Natural gas was discovered west of town, in what would become part of the massive Panhandle-Hugoton Gas Field, in 1920. Oil was discovered southwest of town in 1951. In 1963 the largest helium plant in the world, National Helium, was opened.[8]

Liberal is located at 37°2′36″N 100°55′41″W / 37.04333°N 100.92806°W / 37.04333; -100.92806 (37.043418, −100.928133) at an elevation of 2,835 feet (864 m).[10] Located in southwestern Kansas at the intersection of U.S. Route 83 and U.S. Route 54, Liberal is 140 miles (225 km) north-northeast of Amarillo, Texas, 202 mi (325 km) west-southwest of Wichita, and 288 mi (463 km) southeast of Denver, Colorado.[11][12]

Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Training Liberal KS

Enrolling in the ideal HVAC training program is a critical beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating & cooling industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Training. However, as we have covered 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 things to search for are lots of practical training and modern facilities. You should go to each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to tour the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Also, inquire about scheduling options and if night or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to ask about financial aid and student loan options also. If you ask the proper questions as we have laid out in our checklist for assessing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC contractor in Liberal KS.

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    Lynn's Total Comfort
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