How to Select the Right Heating and Cooling Certificate Program near Cissna Park Illinois
Now that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and cooling technician, the next step is to look for an HVAC trade school near Cissna Park IL. But with so many to select from, how do you choose the ideal one to get the training that you require? A number of potential students will make their decision based solely on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Although these are important considerations, they are not the only ones to investigate. A few of the other things that you need to look into are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and additional criteria will be addressed in more detail later within this article. But before we discuss how to pick an HVAC technical school, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c specialist does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of central 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. Attaining professional certification is not compulsory, but a voluntary way for Cissna Park IL HVAC techs to prove that they are exceptionally proficient and accomplished in their area of specialization. There are a number of acknowledged certifications within the trade 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 attained by passing a proficiency examination and may be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience as well as passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience in addition to a passing result on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for technicians that work with refrigerants. There are three types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing could be required in your location, and you may also desire to earn certification, it’s imperative that you pick an HVAC vocational school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the program you decide on prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Training Programs
There are several options available for HVAC instruction in a vocational or trade school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the minimum amount of time, usually achieved in as little as six months, however some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree training programs might provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will provide more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief summary of each credential offered near Cissna Park IL.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more extensive understanding of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Typically taking two years to finish, many degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more towards a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional 4 year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Selecting the ideal credential program will be based on what your long term career aspirations are, together with the time and money that you have to invest. One approach is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Cissna Park IL, later going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make certain to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Courses Online
Choosing an HVAC school online is one approach to obtaining your training and earning a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to complete hands on training. A number 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 can be attended via the internet, this option may be a more convenient solution for some Cissna Park IL students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are more economical than other on campus alternatives. Even travelling expenses from Cissna Park and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family commitments have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it easier to accommodate school into your hectic lifestyle.
Questions to Ask HVAC Training Programs
When you have selected the type of degree or certificate that you want to attain, either online or on campus, you can start to decrease your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of HVAC trade schools in the Cissna Park IL area and all over the Country to choose from. That’s why it is essential to have a checklist of key qualifiers when making school comparisons. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the first 2 variables you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you will want to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC vocational schools in the Cissna Park IL area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Verify that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many states require that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning 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 lower completion rate could indicate that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It may also indicate that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of graduates, which may produce more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Cissna Park IL HVAC employers to help grads secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC technical programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling contractors or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Cissna Park IL HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also furnishes 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 instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC technician you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Cissna Park IL HVAC contracting company if they can provide some tips. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Cissna Park IL home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak to a few of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to some of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Cissna Park IL, confirm that the programs you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.
Considering an HVAC School near Cissna Park IL?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Cissna Park Illinois area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Cissna Park, Illinois
Cissna Park is located in southern Iroquois County at 40°33′53″N 87°53′38″W / 40.56472°N 87.89389°W / 40.56472; -87.89389 (40.564674, -87.893988).Illinois Route 49 passes through the village, leading north 16 miles (26 km) to Crescent City and south 7 miles (11 km) to Rankin.
As of the census of 2000, there were 811 people, 375 households, and 217 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,128.5 people per square mile (434.9/km²). There were 400 housing units at an average density of 556.6 per square mile (214.5/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 99.14% White, 0.5% African American, 0.12% Native American, 0.12% Asian, 0.12% from other races, and 0.25% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.74% of the population.
There were 375 households out of which 22.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.7% were married couples living together, 9.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.9% were non-families. 38.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 24.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.12 and the average family size was 2.81.
Heating and Air School Cissna Park IL
Finding the ideal HVAC training program is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating and air conditioning trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Heating and Air School. However, as we have addressed in this post, you should pick an HVAC vocational school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC community. Other factors to search for are plenty of practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to go to each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to tour the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Also, inquire about scheduling choices and if evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the proper questions as we have outlined in our checklist for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter 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 professional in Cissna Park IL.
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