Learn Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Silver Lake KS

How to Choose the Right HVAC Certification Class near Silver Lake Kansas

air conditioner condensers in Silver Lake KSOnce you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioning specialist, the next action is to find an HVAC vocational school near Silver Lake KS. But with so many to select from, how do you choose the ideal one to receive the training that you require? Many future students will make their selection based entirely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Although these are significant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to take into account. Some of the other factors that you need to investigate 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 discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we explore how to choose an HVAC technical school, let’s look at what a heating and a/c technician does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Tech

Silver Lake KS HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, however each state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Earning professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary way for Silver Lake KS HVAC techs to establish that they are exceptionally proficient and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are several 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 techs. The certification is achieved by passing a proficiency exam 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 professional experience together with passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience along with a passing result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in multiple specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Considering that licensing could be required in your area, and you may also desire to earn certification, it’s essential that you enroll in an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be working with refrigerants, make certain that the program you decide on preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Degree and Certificate Schools

radiator heater in Silver Lake KS homeThere are a number of options offered for HVAC training in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the minimum period of time, usually accomplished in as little as 6 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 applicable to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will provide more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief summary of each credential offered near Silver Lake KS.

  • Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more comprehensive background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Normally requiring two years to complete, some degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more for a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional 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.

Selecting the ideal credential program will be based on what your long term career objectives are, together with the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One possibility is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Silver Lake KS, later returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Schools Online

Silver Lake KS student attending HVAC school onlineAttending an HVAC program online is one alternative to obtaining your training and receiving a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete practical training. Many also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be participated in on the web, this approach may be a more accessible solution for some Silver Lake KS students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are cheaper than other traditional choices. Even commuting expenses from Silver Lake and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family responsibilities have left you with limited time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your hectic schedule.

Questions For HVAC Schools

Questions to ask Silver Lake KS HVAC training schoolsAs soon as you have picked the type of certificate or degree that you wish to earn, either online or on campus, you can begin to limit your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of HVAC technical schools in the Silver Lake KS area and all over the USA to pick from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of important qualifiers when making school comparisons. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the initial 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.  A large number of HVAC trade programs in the Silver Lake KS area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Confirm that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, some states require 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 finish the program. A lower completion rate might indicate that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It may also signify that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s also important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of graduates, which may mean more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Silver Lake KS HVAC employers to help students obtain apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  A large number of HVAC technical programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC contractors or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with local Silver Lake KS HVAC professionals. 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.  Make certain 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 in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC technician you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Silver Lake KS HVAC company if they can give you some tips. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Silver Lake KS residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s important that you receive as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Talk with a few of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience 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 meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Silver Lake KS, check that the programs you are comparing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family issues.

Considering an HVAC School near Silver Lake KS?

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

Silver Lake, Kansas

In 1911, a new six room brick school building replaced the original two room structure and the first high school class was organized. In 1928, that building became the elementary school. In 1952, the high school burned and a new high school was completed in 1953. In 1961, a new elementary school was completed.[1]

Silver Lake is located at 39°6′9″N 95°51′33″W / 39.10250°N 95.85917°W / 39.10250; -95.85917 (39.102431, -95.859047).[9] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.60 square miles (1.55 km2), of which, 0.58 square miles (1.50 km2) is land and 0.02 square miles (0.05 km2) is water.[2]

Silver Lake is the nearest city to Topeka to the west, along U.S. Route 24. Recently Silver Lake has had a higher proportion of its citizens commuting into Topeka. The next city west along US 24 is Rossville.

Learn Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Silver Lake KS

Picking the right HVAC training course is a crucial first step toward a rewarding career in the heating and air conditioning trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Learn Air Conditioning and Refrigeration. However, as we have covered in this post, you should select an HVAC vocational school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC profession. Other things to search for are lots of 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 tour the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling choices and whether or not 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 guidelines for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC specialist in Silver Lake KS.

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