Classes for HVAC Certificate Pittsburg KS

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

air conditioner condensers in Pittsburg KSOnce you have made a decision on a career as a heating and cooling professional, the next step is to choose an HVAC technical school near Pittsburg KS. But with so many to choose from, how do you select the right one to get the training that you require? A number of future students will make their choice based solely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Even though these are important factors to consider, 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 completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and other criteria will be discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we tackle how to select an HVAC trade school, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c professional does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.

Becoming an HVAC Pro

Pittsburg KS HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically 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 Pittsburg KS HVAC specialists to demonstrate that they are highly qualified and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are a number of recognized certifications within the trade that are available. Following are some of the significant ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged 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. Two years of professional experience together with passing a comprehensive exam 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 examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in several specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for techs that handle refrigerants. There are three types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Because licensing may be required in your area, and you may also wish to earn certification, it’s essential that you select an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be handling refrigerants, make certain that the school you decide on prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Certificate and Degree Classes

radiator heater in Pittsburg KS homeThere are a variety of alternatives offered for HVAC instruction in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, typically achieved in just six months, however some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive edge in the job market and will provide more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief explanation of each credential offered near Pittsburg KS.

  • Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more exhaustive background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Usually requiring 2 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 or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a standard four year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.

Selecting the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your long term career objectives are, along with the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One approach is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Pittsburg KS, subsequently returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Courses Online

Pittsburg KS student attending HVAC school onlineEnrolling in an HVAC school online is one approach to obtaining your education and earning a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. Many also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be attended via the internet, this option may be a more practical solution for some Pittsburg KS students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even commuting expenses from Pittsburg and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family responsibilities have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it easier to accommodate school into your busy lifestyle.

What to Ask HVAC Schools

Questions to ask Pittsburg KS HVAC training schoolsAfter you have chosen the type of certificate or degree that you wish to acquire, either online or on campus, you can start to decrease your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are many HVAC technical schools in the Pittsburg KS area and all over the United States to pick from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a list of important qualifiers when making school assessments. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the first 2 factors you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you need to research before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Many HVAC trade schools in the Pittsburg KS area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Make certain that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the HVAC schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate may suggest that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It may also indicate that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which can result in more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Pittsburg KS HVAC employers to help students obtain apprenticeships or jobs.

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

Modern Facilities.  Confirm that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC specialist you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Pittsburg KS HVAC contractor if they can give you some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Pittsburg KS home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving 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 larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Speak to several of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience 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 are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Pittsburg KS, check that the schools 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. Also, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.

Considering an HVAC School near Pittsburg KS?

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

Pittsburg, Kansas

Pittsburg is a city in Crawford County, Kansas, United States,[1] located in Southeast Kansas near the Missouri state border. It is the most populous city in Crawford County and southeast Kansas. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 20,233.[7]

On October 23, 1864, a wagon train of refugees had come from Fort Smith, Arkansas, and was escorted by troops from the 6th Kansas Cavalry under the command of Col. William Campbell. These were local men from Cherokee, Crawford, and Bourbon counties. Their enlistment was over, and they were on their way to Fort Leavenworth to be dismissed from service. They ran into the 1st Indian Brigade led by Maj. Andrew Jackson Piercy near the current Pittsburg Waste Water Treatment Plant. They continued to the north when a small group of wagons broke away in an unsuccessful rush to safety. The Confederate troops caught up with them and burned the wagons. The death toll was three Union soldiers and 13 civilian men who had been with the wagon train. It was likely that one of the Confederates had also been killed. A granite marker memorial for the "Cow Creek Skirmish" was placed near the Crawford County Historical Museum on October 30, 2011.[8]

Pittsburg sprang up in the fall of 1876 on a railroad line being built through the neighborhood.[9] It was named after Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,[10] and maps of the time give the town's name as "New Pittsburgh". George Hobson and Franklin Playter are credited with being the city's founders, establishing a government after its beginnings as a coal mining camp in the 1870s. The city was incorporated in 1879.[11] The “New” was dropped upon incorporation of the City as a third class city on June 21, 1880, with M. M. Snow as its first Mayor. In 1892 it was advanced to a city of the second class, in 1905 Pittsburg attained the rank of first class.

Classes for HVAC Certificate Pittsburg KS

Finding the ideal HVAC school course is a critical beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating and cooling industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Classes for HVAC Certificate. However, as we have covered in this article, you should choose an HVAC training program and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC field. Other features to search for are ample practical training and modern facilities. You need to visit each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to inspect 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. Additionally, ask about scheduling choices and whether or not evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the proper questions as we have laid out in our guidelines for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC specialist in Pittsburg KS.

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