Schools for Heating and Air Conditioning Mound Valley KS

How to Choose the Right Heating and Cooling Training Class near Mound Valley Kansas

air conditioner condensers in Mound Valley KSNow that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and cooling technician, the next action is to locate an HVAC technical school near Mound Valley KS. But with so many to choose from, how do you choose the ideal one to receive the training that you need? Many potential students will make their choice based entirely on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. While these are relevant concerns, they are not the only ones to take into account. A few of the other details 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. Those and other criteria will be covered in more detail later within this article. But before we explore how to select an HVAC vocational school, let’s look at what a heating and a/c technician does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.

Becoming an HVAC Contractor

Mound Valley KS HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are generally mandated to be licensed, though every state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Earning professional certification is not mandatory, but an optional means for Mound Valley KS HVAC specialists to prove that they are highly proficient and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are many recognized certifications within the field that are offered. Here are a few of the important ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is earned by passing a proficiency examination and can be earned in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience together with passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience along with a passing score on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are provided in multiple specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are three forms of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Considering that licensing could be required in your location, and you may also wish to acquire certification, it’s important that you select an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be working with refrigerants, make sure that the school you choose readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Degree Training Programs

radiator heater in Mound Valley KS homeThere are a number of options offered for HVAC training 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, often accomplished in as little as 6 months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will furnish more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short summary of each credential offered near Mound Valley KS.

  • Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more exhaustive understanding of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually requiring two years to finish, some degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared 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 learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.

Picking the ideal credential program will be based on what your future career objectives are, as well as the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One option is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Mound Valley KS, eventually returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make certain to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Online Classes

Mound Valley KS student attending HVAC school onlineAttending an HVAC program online is one possibility to getting your education and receiving a degree or certificate. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. Many also offer 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 alternative may be a more practical solution for many Mound Valley KS students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even driving expenses from Mound Valley and study supplies can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family responsibilities have left you with minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it easier to fit school into your hectic lifestyle.

Questions to Ask HVAC Training Classes

Questions to ask Mound Valley KS HVAC training schoolsOnce you have selected the type of certificate or degree that you desire to earn, either on campus or online, you can start to narrow down your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are many HVAC vocational schools in the Mound Valley KS area and across the Country to select from. That’s why it is very important to have a checklist of important qualifications when making school assessments. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the initial two aspects you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you need to research before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Numerous HVAC trade programs in the Mound Valley KS area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Confirm that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you obtain a quality education, it may help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, many states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate may suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It may also signify that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It’s also 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 employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Mound Valley KS HVAC employers to assist graduates secure apprenticeships or employment.

Apprenticeship Programs.  A large number of 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 contractors or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with local Mound Valley KS HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make certain that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC specialist you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Mound Valley KS HVAC contractor if they can provide some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Mound Valley KS home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s important that you receive as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Talk to some of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.

Flexible Scheduling.  Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Mound Valley KS, verify that the programs you are comparing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.

Considering an HVAC School near Mound Valley KS?

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

Mound Valley, Kansas

The first post office in Mound Valley was established in May 1870.[8] Mound Valley was incorporated as a city in 1871.[9] The town was a stop on the Missouri-Kansas-Texas railroad line from the 1886 to the 1970s.

Mound Valley is located at 37°12′22″N 95°24′15″W / 37.206173°N 95.404231°W / 37.206173; -95.404231 (37.206173, -95.404231).[10] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.65 square miles (1.68 km2), all 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, Mound Valley has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[11]

Schools for Heating and Air Conditioning Mound Valley KS

Selecting the ideal HVAC training course is a crucial beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating and cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Schools for Heating and Air Conditioning. However, as we have covered in this post, you should select an Heating and Cooling technical school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC trade. Other things to look for are plenty 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 speak with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Also, inquire about scheduling choices and whether or not evening or weekend classes are available 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 guidelines for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to filter 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 specialist in Mound Valley KS.

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