How to Pick the Right Heating and Cooling Degree Program near Dundee Illinois
Once you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning specialist, the next action is to locate an HVAC trade school near Dundee IL. But with so many to choose from, how do you select the right one to get the training that you require? Some prospective students will make their decision based solely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. While these are necessary considerations, they are not the only ones to take into account. A few of the other details 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 benchmarks will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we explore how to pick an HVAC vocational school, let’s take a look at what a heating and air conditioning technician does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Specialist
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, however each state and local municipality has its own criteria. Earning professional certification is not required, but a voluntary means for Dundee IL HVAC technicians to prove that they are highly qualified and experienced in their area of expertise. There are multiple acknowledged certifications within the industry that are offered. Here are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is attained by passing a proficiency exam and may be acquired 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 exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience as well as a passing result on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are offered in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for techs that work with refrigerants. There are three types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing may be required in your location, and you may also desire to acquire certification, it’s imperative that you enroll in an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be working with refrigerants, make certain that the program you pick readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree Schools
There are a number of options offered for HVAC instruction in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the least period of time, usually accomplished in as little as six months, although some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree training programs may provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will provide more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief summary of each credential offered near Dundee IL.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level residential or commercial HVAC specialists. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more detailed knowledge of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually requiring 2 years to complete, a number of degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more for a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a standard four year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.
Selecting the right credential program will be based on what your future career objectives are, along with the time and money that you have to invest. One option is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Dundee IL, subsequently going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, be sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Training
Enrolling in an HVAC school online is one option in attaining your education and receiving a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. Some also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes may be attended online, this option may be a more accessible solution for some Dundee IL students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even travelling expenses from Dundee and study supplies may be reduced, helping to make schooling more economical. And numerous online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family obligations have left you with minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to fit school into your hectic lifestyle.
Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Courses
When you have selected the type of certificate or degree that you want to acquire, either online or on campus, you can begin to limit your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of HVAC trade schools in the Dundee IL area and all over the USA to select from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of key qualifiers when making school comparisons. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the first two factors you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you should research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC trade schools in the Dundee IL area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Make sure that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you obtain a quality education, it can help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Also, some states require that the HVAC training program be accredited in order 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 percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate might signify that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It might also mean that the instructors were not competent 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 more extensive list of alumni, which can mean 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 additionally that it has the network of Dundee IL HVAC employers to assist grads acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC trade programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling contractors or labor unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with local Dundee IL HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed 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 specialist you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Dundee IL HVAC contractor if they can provide some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Dundee IL home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there might be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable 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 couple of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Speak to some of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with a few of the teachers and find out 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 reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Dundee IL, check that the programs you are comparing provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering an HVAC School near Dundee IL?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Dundee Illinois area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
West Dundee, Illinois
According to the 2010 census, West Dundee has a total area of 3.811 square miles (9.87 km2), of which 3.71 square miles (9.61 km2) (or 97.35%) is land and 0.101 square miles (0.26 km2) (or 2.65%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 5,428 people, 2,059 households, and 1,453 families residing in the village. The population density was 2,040.5 people per square mile (787.9/km²). There were 2,103 housing units at an average density of 790.6 per square mile (305.3/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 93.92% White, 0.61% African American, 0.39% Native American, 2.21% Asian, 1.40% from other races, and 1.47% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.26% of the population.
There were 2,059 households out of which 37.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.4% were married couples living together, 7.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.4% were non-families. 24.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.64 and the average family size was 3.18.
Air Conditioning Courses Online Dundee IL
Selecting the right HVAC school course is a critical beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating and air conditioning trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Air Conditioning Courses Online. However, as we have discussed in this post, you should pick an HVAC trade school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC community. Other things to search for are lots of hands-on training and modern facilities. You need to check out each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to tour the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Additionally, ask about scheduling choices and whether evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to ask about financial aid and student loan options also. If you ask the right questions as we have detailed in our checklist for comparing schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC professional in Dundee IL.
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