Air Conditioning Program Smith Center KS

How to Find the Right Heating and Cooling Program near Smith Center Kansas

air conditioner condensers in Smith Center KSNow that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner professional, the next step is to choose an HVAC vocational school near Smith Center KS. But with so many to select from, how do you decide on the right one to obtain the training that you require? A number of future students will make their choice based entirely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. While these are relevant concerns, they are not the only ones to take into account. A few of the other details 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 additional criteria will be covered in more detail later within this article. But before we examine how to choose an HVAC training program, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning professional does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Specialist

Smith Center KS HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are generally required to be licensed, however every state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Earning professional certification is not compulsory, but an alternative way for Smith Center KS HVAC technicians to prove that they are exceptionally skilled and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are multiple acknowledged certifications within the trade that are available. Below are a few of the significant ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is earned by passing a competency examination and can be received in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience as well as passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience as well as a passing result on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are made available in several specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Considering that licensing may be required in your location, and you may also wish to obtain certification, it’s important that you choose an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the program you decide on readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Degree and Certificate Classes

radiator heater in Smith Center KS homeThere are a variety of options available for HVAC instruction in a vocational or trade school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the minimum amount of time, often achieved in as little as 6 months, although some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs might provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will deliver more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short explanation of each option offered near Smith Center KS.

  • Certificate. Generally 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 extensive understanding of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically requiring 2 years to complete, a number of degrees include 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 standard 4 year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.

Selecting the ideal credential program will be dependent on what your long term career aspirations are, as well as the time and money that you have to invest. One possibility is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Smith Center KS, later going back to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Online Training

Smith Center KS student attending HVAC school onlineEnrolling in an HVAC program online is one alternative to getting your training and receiving a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete practical training. Many also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes may be participated in online, this option may be a more convenient solution for many Smith Center KS students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are less expensive than other traditional choices. Even travelling expenses from Smith Center and study supplies may be reduced, helping to make schooling more economical. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family obligations have left you with limited time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it easier to fit school into your busy lifestyle.

Questions to Ask HVAC Training Classes

Questions to ask Smith Center KS HVAC training schoolsWhen you have chosen the type of certificate or degree that you wish to earn, either on campus or online, you can start to decrease your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are numerous HVAC technical schools in the Smith Center KS area and throughout the Country to choose from. That’s why it is essential to have a list of relevant qualifiers when making school assessments. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the first two aspects you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you need to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Smith Center KS area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Confirm that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you get a quality education, it may help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Also, many states mandate 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 course. A low completion rate might signify that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It might also indicate that the teachers were not qualified 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 broader directory of graduates, which may mean more contacts for the school to use 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 trade, but also that it has the network of Smith Center KS HVAC employers to help graduates secure apprenticeships or employment.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Most HVAC training 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 inside their network of HVAC contractors or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with local Smith Center KS HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make certain that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC technician you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Smith Center KS HVAC company if they can give you some pointers. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Smith Center KS residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s desirable that you get as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Talk to some of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.

Flexible Scheduling.  Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Smith Center KS, confirm that the programs you are comparing offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family issues.

Considering an HVAC School near Smith Center KS?

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

Smith Center, Kansas

Smith Center was founded in 1871.[10] The first post office in Smith Center was established in January 1873.[11] Like Smith County, Smith Center was named for Maj. J. Nelson Smith of the 2nd Colorado Cavalry, a pre-war native of Elwood, Kansas, who died leading his regiment on October 21, 1864 at the Battle of the Little Blue River. [12][13]

Smith Center is located at 39°46′43″N 98°47′7″W / 39.77861°N 98.78528°W / 39.77861; -98.78528 (39.778550, -98.785141).[14] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.24 square miles (3.21 km2), all land.[2]

As of the census[3] of 2010, there were 1,665 people, 779 households, and 470 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,342.7 inhabitants per square mile (518.4/km2). There were 928 housing units at an average density of 748.4 per square mile (289.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 97.7% White, 0.1% African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.1% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 0.4% from other races, and 1.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.0% of the population.

Air Conditioning Program Smith Center KS

Picking the right HVAC school course is an important first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating & cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Air Conditioning Program. However, as we have covered in this article, you should select an HVAC school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC community. Other factors to look for are ample practical training and modern facilities. You need to go to 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. In addition, inquire about scheduling choices and whether or not evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to ask about financial aid and student loan options too. If you ask the proper questions as we have laid out in our guidelines for comparing schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC specialist in Smith Center KS.

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