How to Find the Right Heating and Cooling Training Program near Burbank Illinois
Once you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioner specialist, the next step is to locate an HVAC technical school near Burbank IL. But with so many to choose from, how do you pick the ideal one to get the training that you require? Some prospective students will make their selection based solely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Even though these are significant concerns, they are not the only ones to investigate. Just some of the other factors that you need to research 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 covered in more detail later in this article. But before we examine how to select an HVAC vocational school, let’s look at what a heating and cooling technician does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Professional
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, however every state and local municipality has its own requirements. Earning professional certification is not mandatory, but an optional means for Burbank IL HVAC technicians to demonstrate that they are highly skilled and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are many recognized certifications within the industry that are available. Here are a few of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is earned by passing a competency exam and may be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience in addition to passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience as well as a passing score on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are provided in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are three types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing might be mandated in your location, and you may also desire to acquire certification, it’s important that you choose an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the school you choose preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Classes
There are several alternatives offered for HVAC training in a technical or vocational school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the minimum amount of time, usually achieved in just six months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree training programs may provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will furnish more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a short explanation of each credential offered near Burbank IL.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They provide a solid foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more exhaustive background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Typically taking 2 years to finish, some degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more towards a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional four year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Picking the right credential program will be based on what your long term career aspirations are, along with the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One possibility is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Burbank IL, eventually going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Classes Online
Enrolling in an HVAC program online is one possibility in obtaining your training and earning a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. Many also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes can be attended online, this option may be a more practical solution for some Burbank IL students that are pressed for time. And some online degree programs are cheaper than other traditional alternatives. Even driving expenses from Burbank and study supplies can be lessened, 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 obligations have left you with limited time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to fit school into your hectic schedule.
Questions For HVAC Trade Schools
Once you have picked the type of degree or certificate that you want to acquire, either online or on campus, you can begin to decrease your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of HVAC technical schools in the Burbank IL area and across the United States to choose from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a checklist of relevant qualifiers when making school evaluations. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the first two factors you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you need to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC vocational programs in the Burbank IL area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance HVAC technology. Make certain that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you acquire an excellent education, it can help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Also, many states require that the HVAC training course be accredited in order 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 signify that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It could also indicate that the teachers 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 broader list of alumni, which may produce more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Burbank IL HVAC employers to assist grads acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC technical programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC companies or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have working relationships with local Burbank IL HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC specialist you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Burbank IL HVAC contracting company if they can give you some suggestions. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Burbank IL home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor 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 to several of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Burbank IL, confirm that the schools you are comparing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.
Considering an HVAC School near Burbank IL?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Burbank Illinois area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Burbank is a city in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The population was 28,925 at the 2010 census. It is located at the southwest edge of the city of Chicago; the Chicago city limit – specifically that of the Ashburn neighborhood – is in common with Burbank's eastern city limit. Burbank shares a boundary with Oak Lawn to its south, Bridgeview to its west, and Bedford Park to its north; the city of Hometown is also adjacent to Burbank's southeast corner. Burbank is less than two miles south of Chicago Midway International Airport.
In 1850, the area which would become the city of Burbank, then largely uninhabited and agrarian, became part of Lyons Township. Over the next hundred years the area remained largely undeveloped, though several times large plans were laid out for the area, never to come to fruition. In the late 19th century a railroad investor named A. B. Stickney planned a large railroad transfer center which included what became the northern part of Burbank, but his ideas were never realized due to an economic depression in 1893.
In the 1920s, the area became an attractive site for real-estate developers who bought up farmland and built subdivisions. However, ongoing drainage problems, practically nonexistent water and sewage systems and the Great Depression kept Burbank largely unbuilt and empty until the 1950s.
HVAC Class Burbank IL
Enrolling in the right HVAC school course is an important beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating and air conditioning trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Class. However, as we have discussed in this post, you need to choose an HVAC trade school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC community. Other factors to look for are ample practical training and modern facilities. You need to visit each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to tour the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Additionally, inquire about scheduling options and whether night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have detailed in our guidelines for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC contractor in Burbank IL.
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