HVAC College Degree Palco KS

How to Choose the Right Heating and Cooling College near Palco Kansas

air conditioner condensers in Palco KSOnce you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioning professional, the next step is to locate an HVAC technical school near Palco KS. But with so many to choose from, how do you pick the ideal one to get the training that you need? Many prospective students will make their decision based solely on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their home. While these are significant considerations, they are not the only ones to take into account. A few of the other details that you need to research are the graduation completion 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 examine how to pick an HVAC vocational school, let’s look at what a heating and a/c contractor does to become a licensed professional tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Contractor

Palco KS HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals 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 each state and local municipality has its own requirements. Acquiring professional certification is not mandatory, but an optional means for Palco KS HVAC techs to establish that they are highly proficient and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are multiple acknowledged certifications within the industry 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 competency exam and can be received in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience in addition to passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience as well as a passing score on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are made available in multiple specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is required for technicians that work with refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Since licensing might be mandated in your location, and you may also wish to obtain certification, it’s important that you choose an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be handling refrigerants, make sure that the school you decide on readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Degree Training Programs

radiator heater in Palco KS homeThere are a number of options offered for HVAC instruction in a technical or vocational school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the lesser period of time, typically accomplished in as little as six 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 related to the position. The degree training programs may provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will deliver more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a short summary of each credential offered near Palco KS.

  • Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more comprehensive knowledge of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically requiring 2 years to finish, a number of 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 as well as business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional 4 year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.

Choosing the right credential program will be dependent on what your future career aspirations are, as well as the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One option is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Palco KS, later returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Online Schools

Palco KS student attending HVAC school onlineAttending an HVAC school online is one approach in obtaining your education and earning a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. Some also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be attended via the internet, this option may be a more accessible solution for some Palco KS students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are more economical than other on campus alternatives. Even travelling expenses from Palco and study materials may be reduced, helping to make schooling more affordable. And numerous online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family commitments have left you with minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to fit school into your busy lifestyle.

Questions For HVAC Training Classes

Questions to ask Palco KS HVAC training schoolsOnce you have chosen the type of certificate or degree that you want to attain, either on campus or online, you can begin to decrease your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many HVAC vocational schools in the Palco KS area and throughout the Country to pick from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a list of important qualifications when making school assessments. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the initial two aspects you will take into consideration. Following are some additional ones that you need to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Numerous HVAC technical programs in the Palco KS area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Confirm that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you acquire a superior education, it can assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to qualify 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 or portion of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate could signify that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It might also indicate that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly essential 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 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 trade, but additionally that it has the network of Palco KS HVAC employers to help graduates secure apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Many HVAC vocational programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with local Palco KS HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make sure that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed 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, consult with the HVAC specialist you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Palco KS HVAC contracting company if they can give you some tips. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Palco KS home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s desirable that you get as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Speak with some of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with a few of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.

Flexible Scheduling.  Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Palco KS, check that the programs you are looking at provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.

Considering an HVAC School near Palco KS?

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

Palco, Kansas

The post office was moved from the nearby town of Cresson.[7][8] Cresson (named for Cresson, PA) was granted a post office in 1879. In 1887, rumors circulated that the railroad would lay track 1-1/2 miles to the south of Cresson. Many citizens and businesses abandoned Cresson to form the community of New Cresson along the expected railroad route. When the railroad track was laid it curved to the north missing New Cresson. The town was soon abandoned. An ironic twist is that the northern route of the track passed near the original town of Cresson.[9]

In 1893, Palco was nearly wiped out by a prairie fire. The fire originated in Graham County and consumed thousands of acres along with farmsteads and livestock in Graham, Rooks, Ellis and Russell Counties before being extinguished. Seven people lost their lives in the blaze.[10]

Palco is located at 39°15′10″N 99°33′45″W / 39.25278°N 99.56250°W / 39.25278; -99.56250 (39.252891, -99.562473).[13] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.27 square miles (0.70 km2), all of it land.[1]

HVAC College Degree Palco KS

Choosing the right HVAC training course is an important first step toward a rewarding career in the heating and cooling industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC College Degree. However, as we have discussed in this post, you should choose an Heating and Cooling school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC trade. Other things to search for are sufficient hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should go to each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. In addition, inquire about scheduling choices and whether night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to ask about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the proper questions as we have detailed in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC technician in Palco KS.

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