How to Enroll In the Right HVAC Certification Course near Cary Illinois
Now that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next step is to look for an HVAC technical school near Cary IL. But with so many to pick from, how do you choose the right one to obtain the training that you require? Many potential students will make their choice based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Although these are necessary considerations, they are not the only ones to evaluate. A few 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 benchmarks will be addressed in more detail later within this article. But before we explore how to pick an HVAC vocational school, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c contractor does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Professional
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, however each state and local municipality has its own requirements. Obtaining professional certification is not required, but an optional way for Cary IL HVAC techs to prove that they are highly proficient and experienced in their area of expertise. There are multiple respected certifications within the industry that are offered. Below are some of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is attained by passing a proficiency exam and may be acquired in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers 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 must have 3 years of experience in addition to a passing result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for techs that handle refrigerants. There are three forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing might be mandated in your location, and you may also wish to obtain certification, it’s important that you choose an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be handling refrigerants, make certain that the program you pick preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are a number of options available for HVAC training in a technical or vocational school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, typically achieved in just six months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree training programs might provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will furnish more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief explanation of each credential offered near Cary IL.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more detailed understanding of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Normally 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 suited more towards a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional four year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Picking the right credential program will be dependent on what your future career objectives are, as well as the time and money that you have to invest. One possibility is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Cary IL, later returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Courses
Attending an HVAC program online is one possibility to getting your education and earning a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will call for some attendance on campus to participate in hands on training. Some 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 participated in on the web, this approach may be a more convenient solution for many Cary IL students that are pressed for time. And some online degree programs are less expensive than other traditional choices. Even commuting expenses from Cary and study materials can be minimized, helping to make schooling more affordable. And many online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family responsibilities have left you with minimal time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to fit school into your busy lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Schools
Once you have picked the type of certificate or degree that you want to attain, either online or on campus, you can begin to narrow down your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of HVAC technical schools in the Cary IL area and all over the United States to choose from. That’s why it is very important to have a checklist of key qualifiers when making school evaluations. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the initial 2 factors you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC vocational programs in the Cary IL area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Make sure that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you acquire a superior education, it may help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, a number of states require that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to be approved 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 portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate might suggest that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It could also suggest that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of graduates, which can result in more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Cary IL HVAC employers to assist grads secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC technical programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC companies or labor unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with local Cary IL HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC technician you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Cary IL HVAC contracting company if they can give you some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Cary IL home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Talk to some of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Cary IL, check that the programs you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering an HVAC School near Cary IL?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Cary Illinois area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
In 1841, William Dennison Cary purchased 82 acres (33 ha) for $1.25 an acre at the location of the current town and built a farm. In 1856, Cary included a train station for the Illinois & Wisconsin Railway. The site was approved and a post office was added with the designation "Cary Station." The community around Cary Station was incorporated in 1893 as Cary, Illinois. The town soon became a winter resort for skiing.
Early farmers saw this new railway as an opportunity. The economy relied heavily on selling produce, mainly pickles, and the farmers utilized the railway to conduct business with more industrialized cities such as St. Louis and Chicago. The success of this enterprise helped transform Cary into the suburban community it is today.
According to the 2010 census, Cary has a total area of 6.358 square miles (16.47 km2), of which 6.27 square miles (16.24 km2) (or 98.62%) is land and 0.088 square miles (0.23 km2) (or 1.38%) is water. It is located on the Fox River.
HVAC Education Cary IL
Enrolling in the ideal HVAC training course is a crucial beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating and cooling trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Education. However, as we have discussed in this post, you need to choose an Heating and Cooling technical school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC profession. Other factors to look for are ample hands-on training and modern facilities. You should visit each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the training 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 inquire about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have detailed in our checklist for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC contractor in Cary IL.
More Hot and Cool Locations in Illinois
Business Results 1 - 10 of 903