How to Choose the Right HVAC Certification Class near Tonganoxie Kansas
Once you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioning professional, the next step is to choose an HVAC technical school near Tonganoxie KS. But with so many to pick from, how do you choose the ideal one to obtain the training that you need? Many future students will make their decision based exclusively on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. While these are necessary concerns, they are not the only ones to investigate. Some of the other things that you need to investigate 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 addressed in more detail later in this article. But before we explore how to pick an HVAC training program, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning technician does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Contractor
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are generally mandated to be licensed, though each state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Acquiring professional certification is not compulsory, but an alternative means for Tonganoxie KS HVAC technicians to prove that they are highly proficient and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are many respected certifications within the field that are offered. Below are a few 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 may be received in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience as well as passing a comprehensive examination are required 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 made available in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are three forms of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing might be required in your location, and you may also desire to earn certification, it’s imperative that you choose an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be working with refrigerants, make sure that the school you decide on prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Training Programs
There are a number of alternatives available for HVAC training in a trade or technical school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, typically accomplished in as little as six months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree training programs might provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will deliver more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short summary of each credential offered near Tonganoxie KS.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They provide a strong foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more extensive background of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally requiring two years to finish, many 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 call for an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional 4 year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Picking the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your long term career objectives are, as well as the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One possibility is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Tonganoxie KS, later going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make certain to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Training
Attending an HVAC school online is one possibility in attaining your training and earning a degree or certificate. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to complete hands on training. Many also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes can be participated in via the internet, this approach may be a more convenient solution for many Tonganoxie KS students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are more economical than other traditional choices. Even travelling expenses from Tonganoxie and study materials may be reduced, helping to make schooling more economical. And numerous online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family commitments have left you with little time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to fit school into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask HVAC Schools
After you have picked the type of certificate or degree that you would like to acquire, either online or on campus, you can start to decrease your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of HVAC trade schools in the Tonganoxie KS area and across the Country to pick from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a checklist of key qualifications when making school assessments. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the first two factors you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you should research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC technical schools in the Tonganoxie KS area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Make certain that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, a number of states require that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate could indicate that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It could also signify that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which can produce 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 an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Tonganoxie KS HVAC employers to assist grads acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC vocational programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC companies or trade unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Tonganoxie KS HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus 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, consult with the HVAC technician you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Tonganoxie KS HVAC contractor if they can give you some suggestions. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Tonganoxie KS residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much individualized training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Talk with several of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to some of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Tonganoxie KS, verify that the schools you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.
Considering an HVAC School near Tonganoxie KS?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Tonganoxie Kansas area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Tonganoxie (pronounced /tɒŋɡəˈnɒksi/) is a city in Leavenworth County, Kansas, United States. The current population of Tonganoxie, KS is around 5,326 as of 2016; and has doubled since 2000 according to the League of Kansas Municipalities. The city is classified as a City of the Second Class.
Tonganoxie was platted in 1866. It was named for a local Native American Chief from the Delaware Tribe whose name means "shorty" in the Delaware language. Tonganoxie was incorporated as a city in the late 1870s.
Tonganoxie is located at 39°6′32″N 95°5′13″W / 39.10889°N 95.08694°W / 39.10889; -95.08694 (39.108880, -95.086885). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.67 square miles (9.51 km2), of which 3.66 square miles (9.48 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water.
Training for HVAC Technician Tonganoxie KS
Finding the right HVAC school program is a crucial first step toward a rewarding career in the heating and cooling trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Training for HVAC Technician. However, as we have addressed in this article, you need to pick an HVAC vocational school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC community. Other features to look for are ample hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should visit each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to explore the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Additionally, ask about scheduling choices and if evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have detailed in our checklist for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC specialist in Tonganoxie KS.
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