HVAC Tech School Camden IL

How to Select the Right HVAC Certification Class near Camden Illinois

air conditioner condensers in Camden ILOnce you have decided on a career as a heating and cooling specialist, the next step is to find an HVAC technical school near Camden IL. But with so many to choose from, how do you choose the right one to receive the training that you require? A number of prospective students will make their decision based entirely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their home. While these are significant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to investigate. Some of the other things that you need to research are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and additional benchmarks will be covered in more detail later within this article. But before we tackle how to select an HVAC technical school, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c specialist does to become a licensed professional tradesman.

Becoming an HVAC Technician

Camden IL HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the industry 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 commonly mandated to be licensed, though each state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Earning professional certification is not mandatory, but an optional means for Camden IL HVAC techs to demonstrate that they are highly skilled and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are a number of recognized certifications within the industry that are offered. Following are some 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 proficiency exam and can be acquired in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of professional experience as well as passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience in addition to a passing score on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are made available in several specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are three types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Since licensing may be mandated in your area, and you may also desire to earn certification, it’s imperative that you select an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be handling refrigerants, make sure that the program you select preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Certificate and Degree Training Programs

radiator heater in Camden IL homeThere are several alternatives available 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 amount of time, often accomplished in just six months, however some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree programs may provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will provide more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief summary of each credential offered near Camden IL.

  • Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They provide a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more comprehensive background of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Normally requiring two 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 towards 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 study how to design them.

Picking the appropriate credential program will be based on what your future career goals are, as well as the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One option is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Camden IL, eventually returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Courses Online

Camden IL student attending HVAC school onlineAttending an HVAC program online is one possibility in attaining your education and earning a degree or certificate. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete practical training. Some also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes can be attended via the internet, this approach may be a more practical solution for some Camden IL students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are more economical than other traditional choices. Even driving expenses from Camden and study supplies may be minimized, helping to make education more budget-friendly. 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 easier to fit school into your busy lifestyle.

Questions For HVAC Trade Schools

Questions to ask Camden IL HVAC training schoolsAs soon as you have selected the type of certificate or degree that you want to obtain, either online or on campus, you can begin to narrow down your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Camden IL area and all over the United States to pick from. That’s why it is essential to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school evaluations. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the initial two variables you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you should explore before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Camden IL area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Verify that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you get a superior education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate may signify that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It could also suggest that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory 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 trade, but also that it has the network of Camden IL HVAC employers to help grads obtain apprenticeships or employment.

Apprenticeship Programs.  A large number of HVAC technical programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling contractors or trade unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local Camden IL HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make certain that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC tech you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Camden IL HVAC contracting company if they can give you some suggestions. Also bear in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Camden IL residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s important that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Talk with several of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience 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 in the evening or on weekends near Camden IL, check that the schools you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.

Considering an HVAC School near Camden IL?

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

Camden, Illinois

As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 97 people, 38 households, and 25 families residing in the village. The population density was 127.3 people per square mile (49.3/km²). There were 40 housing units at an average density of 52.5 per square mile (20.3/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 100.00% White.

There were 38 households out of which 31.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.9% were married couples living together, 5.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.6% were non-families. 28.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.15.

In the village, the population was spread out with 27.8% under the age of 18, 8.2% from 18 to 24, 30.9% from 25 to 44, 20.6% from 45 to 64, and 12.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 125.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 112.1 males.

HVAC Tech School Camden IL

Choosing the ideal HVAC training course is a crucial beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating & cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Tech School. However, as we have addressed in this post, you need to pick an HVAC technical school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC community. Other factors to search for are lots of hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should go to each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to tour the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Additionally, inquire about scheduling choices and whether or not evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to ask about financial assistance and student loan options as well. If you ask the appropriate 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 educated decision. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC technician in Camden IL.

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