Associate Degree in HVAC Osage City KS

How to Enroll In the Right HVAC College near Osage City Kansas

air conditioner condensers in Osage City KSNow that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner professional, the next action is to look for an HVAC vocational school near Osage City KS. But with so many to pick from, how do you select the best one to obtain the training that you require? Some potential students will make their choice based exclusively on the price 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. 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. These and other criteria will be covered in more detail later within this article. But before we examine how to select an HVAC vocational school, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning contractor does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.

Becoming an HVAC Contractor

Osage City 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 technicians specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, however every state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Acquiring professional certification is not compulsory, but an optional way for Osage City KS HVAC technicians to prove that they are highly qualified and experienced in their area of specialization. There are several recognized certifications within the industry that are available. Following are a few of the important ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is attained by passing a proficiency exam and may be acquired in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience as well as passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience in addition to a passing score on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are offered in multiple specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for techs that work with refrigerants. There are three types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Because licensing might be required in your area, and you may also desire to obtain certification, it’s important that you enroll in an HVAC vocational school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the program you choose prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Degree Courses

radiator heater in Osage City KS homeThere are several alternatives offered for HVAC instruction in a technical or trade school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the lesser period of time, usually achieved in just six months, although some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree programs may provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will provide more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short explanation of each credential offered near Osage City KS.

  • Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more comprehensive knowledge of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Generally requiring 2 years to finish, some degrees include an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more towards 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 being taught how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.

Choosing the right 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 possibility is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Osage City KS, later returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Schools Online

Osage City KS student attending HVAC school onlineAttending an HVAC program online is one possibility in obtaining your education and earning a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to complete practical training. Some also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be attended on the web, this alternative may be a more accessible solution for some Osage City KS students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are less expensive than other traditional choices. Even driving expenses from Osage City and study supplies can be reduced, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And a large number of online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family responsibilities have left you with minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to fit school into your active lifestyle.

What to Ask HVAC Training Programs

Questions to ask Osage City KS HVAC training schoolsWhen you have picked the type of degree or certificate that you would like to attain, either on campus or online, you can start to limit your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Osage City KS area and across the Country to pick from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of key qualifications when making school evaluations. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the initial 2 variables you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you need to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Many HVAC trade schools in the Osage City KS area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as HVAC technology. Make certain that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, some states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the HVAC schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate might indicate that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It could also signify that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which can produce 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 a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Osage City KS HVAC employers to help students secure apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Numerous HVAC trade programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC companies or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with local Osage City KS HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make sure that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC technician you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Osage City KS HVAC company if they can provide some pointers. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Osage City KS residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be increased 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 challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Talk with some of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with a few of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.

Flexible Scheduling.  Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Osage City KS, verify that the schools you are comparing provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.

Considering an HVAC School near Osage City KS?

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

Osage City, Kansas

Osage City was surveyed and platted in late 1869, after the route of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway had been fixed, but before it had been built to the city. Osage City was incorporated as a city in April 1872.[9] Like Osage County, the city was named for the Osage Nation.[10]

Osage City was a very busy coal mining town in the 19th century. In the summer of 1870, the first coal mines were opened by the Osage Carbon, Coal & Mining Company. At one time, there were twenty-eight mine shafts and 1,200 men employed.[9]

Osage City is located at 38°38′3″N 95°49′36″W / 38.63417°N 95.82667°W / 38.63417; -95.82667 (38.634069, -95.826759).[11] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.29 square miles (8.52 km2), of which, 3.21 square miles (8.31 km2) is land and 0.08 square miles (0.21 km2) is water.[3]

Associate Degree in HVAC Osage City KS

Selecting the ideal HVAC training course is a critical beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating and air conditioning industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Associate Degree in HVAC. However, as we have discussed in this post, you need to select an HVAC technical 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 plenty of practical training and modern facilities. You need to go to each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to tour the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Additionally, ask about scheduling choices and whether 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 detailed in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC specialist in Osage City KS.

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