Heating and Cooling Trade Schools Madison KS

How to Choose the Right Heating and Cooling Certification Course near Madison Kansas

air conditioner condensers in Madison KSNow that you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioner professional, the next step is to choose an HVAC technical school near Madison KS. But with so many to choose from, how do you pick the best one to get the training that you need? Some future students will make their choice based entirely on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their home. While these are relevant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to investigate. A few 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 benchmarks will be addressed in more detail later in this article. But before we discuss how to select 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 Contractor

Madison KS HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are generally required to be licensed, however every state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Obtaining professional certification is not compulsory, but an optional means for Madison KS HVAC specialists to establish that they are exceptionally proficient and experienced in their area of specialization. There are a number of acknowledged certifications within the trade that are offered. Following are some 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 proficiency exam and can be earned 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 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 exam. As with NATE, certifications are provided in various specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Since licensing might be mandated in your location, and you may also intend to obtain certification, it’s imperative that you enroll in an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the school you pick readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Degree Schools

radiator heater in Madison KS homeThere are a variety of choices available for HVAC instruction in a vocational or trade school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, usually achieved in as little as 6 months, although some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will provide more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a short explanation of each credential offered near Madison KS.

  • Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred 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 supplies a more extensive background of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally requiring 2 years to complete, a number of degrees include 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 conventional 4 year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.

Picking the right credential program will be dependent on what your future career aspirations are, in addition to the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One option is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Madison KS, later going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Online Schools

Madison KS student attending HVAC school onlineChoosing an HVAC program online is one option in obtaining your education and earning a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will call for some attendance on campus to participate in hands on training. Some also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes can be attended via the internet, this approach may be a more practical solution for some Madison KS students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even driving expenses from Madison and study materials may be lessened, helping to make schooling more economical. And a large number of 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 online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your hectic schedule.

What to Ask HVAC Schools

Questions to ask Madison KS HVAC training schoolsAs soon as you have decided on 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 no doubt aware, there are a large number of HVAC trade schools in the Madison KS area and all over the USA to choose from. That’s why it is imperative to have a checklist of key qualifications when making school assessments. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the first two aspects you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you will want to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Many HVAC technical programs in the Madison KS area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Verify that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain an excellent education, it can help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, many states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the HVAC schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate might suggest that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It may also indicate that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which can result in 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 an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Madison KS HVAC employers to assist grads secure apprenticeships or employment.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Numerous HVAC trade programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC businesses or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have working relationships with local Madison KS HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC specialist you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Madison KS HVAC contracting company if they can provide some suggestions. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Madison KS home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s important that you receive as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Talk to some of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with some of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise 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 handle your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Madison KS, verify that the schools you are comparing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, be 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, illness or family responsibilities.

Considering an HVAC School near Madison KS?

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

Madison, Kansas

Madison was founded in 1872 northwest of the present town. In 1879, the town was relocated to its present site when the Howard Branch of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad was built from Emporia to Moline.[7] The first building was the home of W. H. Green, a Civil War veteran. Green came to Kansas in 1867, took up a homestead, and operated a trading post on the original town site.[8] Madison took its name from Madison Township.[9]

Madison is located at 38°7′59″N 96°8′14″W / 38.13306°N 96.13722°W / 38.13306; -96.13722 (38.133014, -96.137252).[10] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.61 square miles (1.58 km2), all of it land.[1]

The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Madison has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[11]

Heating and Cooling Trade Schools Madison KS

Choosing the ideal HVAC training course is a crucial first step toward a gratifying career in the heating & cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Heating and Cooling Trade Schools. However, as we have covered in this post, you need to pick an HVAC technical school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC field. Other things to look for are sufficient practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to check out each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to tour the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Also, inquire about scheduling options and if evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial aid and student loan options too. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have outlined in our checklist for comparing schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC technician in Madison KS.

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