Air Conditioning Technician Training Pretty Prairie KS

How to Choose the Right HVAC Training Class near Pretty Prairie Kansas

air conditioner condensers in Pretty Prairie KSNow that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next action is to locate an HVAC vocational school near Pretty Prairie KS. But with so many to select from, how do you pick the best one to obtain the training that you need? A number of prospective students will make their selection based entirely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Even though these are important considerations, they are not the only ones to take into account. Some of the other things 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 benchmarks will be discussed in more detail later within this article. But before we discuss how to select an HVAC vocational school, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c specialist does to become a licensed professional tradesman.

Becoming an HVAC Professional

Pretty Prairie 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 techs specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, although each state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Acquiring professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary means for Pretty Prairie KS HVAC technicians to prove that they are exceptionally qualified and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are a number of recognized certifications within the trade that are available. Below are some of the important ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is earned by passing a competency examination and can be earned in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience as well as passing a comprehensive exam are needed 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 offered in several specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is required for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Since licensing could be required in your area, and you may also desire to acquire certification, it’s important that you select an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be handling refrigerants, make certain that the program you pick readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Degree Classes

radiator heater in Pretty Prairie KS homeThere are a number of choices offered for HVAC instruction in a technical or vocational 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 completed in as little as 6 months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive edge in the job market and will provide more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief explanation of each option offered near Pretty Prairie KS.

  • Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning residential or commercial HVAC specialists. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities 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. Usually requiring 2 years to complete, a number of degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more towards a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional four year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.

Picking the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your long term career aspirations are, along with the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One approach is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Pretty Prairie KS, subsequently going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Courses Online

Pretty Prairie KS student attending HVAC school onlineChoosing an HVAC program online is one possibility to obtaining your training and earning a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. Some also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes can be participated in on the web, this option may be a more practical solution for some Pretty Prairie KS students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other traditional alternatives. Even travelling expenses from Pretty Prairie and study supplies may be minimized, helping to make schooling more economical. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family responsibilities have left you with little time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it less complicated to fit school into your active lifestyle.

What to Ask HVAC Training Programs

Questions to ask Pretty Prairie KS HVAC training schoolsAs soon as you have selected the type of degree or certificate that you desire to acquire, either online or on campus, you can begin to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are a large number of HVAC trade schools in the Pretty Prairie KS area and across the Country to choose from. That’s why it is very important to have a checklist of relevant qualifiers when making school comparisons. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the first 2 variables you will take into consideration. Following are some additional ones that you will want to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Many HVAC trade programs in the Pretty Prairie KS area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as HVAC technology. Make sure that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it can help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the HVAC 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 might suggest that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It might also mean that the teachers were not qualified 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 more extensive directory of graduates, which may result in more contacts for the school to use 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 field, but also that it has the network of Pretty Prairie KS HVAC employers to help graduates acquire apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Numerous HVAC trade programs are taught together 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 HVAC companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with local Pretty Prairie KS HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Confirm that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC tech you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Pretty Prairie KS HVAC company if they can give you some pointers. Additionally keep in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Pretty Prairie KS residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s important that you get as much individualized training 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 observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Speak with several of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with some of the instructors and find out 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 evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Pretty Prairie KS, verify that the programs you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.

Considering an HVAC School near Pretty Prairie KS?

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

Pretty Prairie, Kansas

The city's sole source of water is a single well, a 100-foot-deep borehole. Due to agricultural pollution from the region's groundwater, the well water has had nitrate levels in excess of the federal nitrate standard since the mid-1990s. For years, Pretty Prairie distributed bottled water to at-risk families. On January 3, 2017, the town council approved a settlement with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the EPA. The town will invest in a water tower, an underground storage tank, and a reverse osmosis water treatment system.[10][11]

Pretty Prairie is located at 37°46′49″N 98°1′8″W / 37.78028°N 98.01889°W / 37.78028; -98.01889 (37.780250, -98.018879).[12] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.61 square miles (1.58 km2), of which, 0.56 square miles (1.45 km2) is land and 0.05 square miles (0.13 km2) is water.[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, Pretty Prairie has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[13]

Air Conditioning Technician Training Pretty Prairie KS

Enrolling in the right HVAC training program is an important beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating & cooling industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Air Conditioning Technician Training. However, as we have addressed 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 profession. Other things to search for are ample hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should check out each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to explore 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 choices and whether night 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 proper questions as we have outlined 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 appropriate training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC specialist in Pretty Prairie KS.

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