Air Conditioner Technician School Osborne KS

How to Pick the Right Heating and Cooling Certification Course near Osborne Kansas

air conditioner condensers in Osborne KSOnce you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning specialist, the next step is to find an HVAC technical school near Osborne KS. But with so many to pick from, how do you choose the ideal one to receive the training that you require? A number of future students will make their choice based solely on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. While these are significant considerations, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Some 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 in this article. But before we examine how to choose an HVAC trade school, let’s look at what a heating and cooling professional does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Technician

Osborne 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 provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, however every state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Earning professional certification is not compulsory, but an optional way for Osborne KS HVAC technicians to demonstrate that they are highly skilled and accomplished in their area of specialization. There are several acknowledged certifications within the trade 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 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 field experience together with passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience together with a passing result on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are made available in several specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for techs that work with refrigerants. There are three types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Because licensing may be mandated in your area, and you may also wish to earn certification, it’s important that you enroll in an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be handling refrigerants, make sure that the program you decide on preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Certificate and Degree Classes

radiator heater in Osborne KS homeThere are a variety of choices offered for HVAC training in a technical or trade school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the minimum amount of time, usually accomplished in just 6 months, though some programs 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 can provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will deliver more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief explanation of each credential offered near Osborne KS.

  • Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more exhaustive understanding of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Normally requiring 2 years to finish, some degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more towards a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a standard 4 year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.

Selecting the right credential program will be dependent on what your long term 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 Osborne KS, eventually going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make certain to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Training Online

Osborne KS student attending HVAC school onlineChoosing an HVAC school online is one alternative to getting your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to complete practical training. Many also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes may be participated in via the internet, this approach may be a more practical solution for many Osborne KS students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even travelling expenses from Osborne and study supplies may be minimized, 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 little time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your busy schedule.

Questions to Ask HVAC Training Classes

Questions to ask Osborne KS HVAC training schoolsOnce you have chosen the type of degree or certificate that you would like to attain, either on campus or online, you can begin to decrease your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are many HVAC trade schools in the Osborne KS area and throughout the Country to pick from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a checklist of key qualifiers when making school evaluations. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the first two variables you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you need to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  A large number of HVAC technical programs in the Osborne KS area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Make sure that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you receive a quality education, it can help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Additionally, a number of states require that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate might signify that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It may also mean that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which can produce more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Osborne KS HVAC employers to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment.

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

Modern Facilities.  Make sure that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC tech you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Osborne KS HVAC company if they can provide some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Osborne KS residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s important that you receive as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Speak to some of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience 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 meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Osborne KS, verify that the programs you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.

Considering an HVAC School near Osborne KS?

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

Osborne, Kansas

Settlers from southeastern Pennsylvania founded Osborne City in May 1871.[8] They named the settlement after Vincent B. Osborne, a Union Army veteran of the American Civil War, after whom Osborne County also is named.[9][10] Osborne City became the permanent county seat in November 1872.[8] A district judge officially proclaimed it a city in May 1873, but the townspeople failed to legally organize a government. Five years later, a second attempt was successful, and the settlement incorporated as a city in 1878.[11] "City" was dropped from its name by the mid-1890s.[8]

Osborne is located at 39°26′26″N 98°41′50″W / 39.44056°N 98.69722°W / 39.44056; -98.69722 (39.440651, -98.697118),[13] at an elevation of 1,552 feet (473 m).[5] Located at the intersection of U.S. Route 281 and U.S. Route 24 in north-central Kansas, it is approximately 134 miles (216 km) northwest of Wichita, 219 miles (352 km) west-northwest of Kansas City, and 339 miles (546 km) east of Denver.[14][15]

Osborne lies on the north side of the South Fork Solomon River in the Smoky Hills region of the Great Plains.[14] The Osborne Canal, part of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation's Webster Unit Project, runs east along the northern edge of the city.[16][17]

Air Conditioner Technician School Osborne KS

Enrolling in the ideal HVAC school program is an important beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating and air conditioning field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Air Conditioner Technician School. However, as we have covered in this article, you need to choose an Heating and Cooling trade school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC profession. Other features to look for are lots of hands-on training and modern facilities. You should go to each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to inspect 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. Additionally, inquire about scheduling options and whether 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 right questions as we have laid out in our checklist for comparing schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC specialist in Osborne KS.

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