How to Select the Right Heating and Cooling Degree Program near Elizabeth Illinois
Once you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next action is to look for an HVAC technical school near Elizabeth IL. But with so many to pick from, how do you pick the best one to obtain the training that you require? Some potential students will make their decision based exclusively on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Even though these are relevant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to investigate. Some of the other factors that you need to look into are the graduation completion 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 in this article. But before we discuss how to select an HVAC technical school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling contractor does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Professional
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are generally mandated to be licensed, though every state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Earning professional certification is not required, but an optional way for Elizabeth IL HVAC specialists to demonstrate that they are highly proficient and accomplished in their area of specialization. There are several respected certifications within the trade that are available. Here are a few of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is attained by passing a competency examination and may be received in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience together with passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience together with a passing result on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are offered in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing could be required in your location, and you may also desire to obtain certification, it’s essential that you pick an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be working with refrigerants, make sure that the program you choose readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree Schools
There are a number of options available for HVAC instruction in a trade or technical school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the least period of time, usually accomplished in as little as six months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will provide more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief summary of each credential offered near Elizabeth IL.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more comprehensive knowledge of heating and cooling 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 call for an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional four year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Picking the right credential program will be based on what your future career objectives are, in addition to the time and money that you have to commit. One option is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the trade in Elizabeth IL, subsequently returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Schools Online
Enrolling in an HVAC program online is one approach to obtaining your education and earning a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. Many also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes may be attended on the web, this alternative may be a more practical solution for many Elizabeth IL students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are less costly than other traditional alternatives. Even travelling expenses from Elizabeth and study materials may be reduced, helping to make schooling more economical. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family responsibilities have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your busy lifestyle.
Questions For HVAC Certification Classes
When you have chosen the type of certificate or degree that you wish to obtain, either on campus or online, you can begin to limit your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous HVAC technical schools in the Elizabeth IL area and throughout the United States to choose from. That’s why it is very important to have a checklist of important qualifications when making school comparisons. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the first 2 factors you will take into consideration. Following are some additional ones that you need to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC trade programs in the Elizabeth IL area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Make sure that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you acquire a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, many states mandate 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 looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate could suggest that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It may also indicate that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s also important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which may produce more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Elizabeth IL HVAC employers to assist graduates secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC training programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling businesses or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Elizabeth IL HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC tech you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Elizabeth IL HVAC company if they can provide some tips. Also keep in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Elizabeth IL residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger 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. Talk with several of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Elizabeth IL, confirm that the programs you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family issues.
Considering an HVAC School near Elizabeth IL?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Elizabeth Illinois area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
As of the 2000 United States Census, there were 682 people, 309 households, and 177 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,554.8 people per square mile (598.5/km²). There were 343 housing units at an average density of 782.0 per square mile (301.0/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 98.97% White, 0.15% African American, 0.15% Asian, and 0.73% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.15% of the population.
There were 309 households out of which 21.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.9% were married couples living together, 7.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.4% were non-families. 39.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 23.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.05 and the average family size was 2.74.
In the village, the population was spread out with 17.4% under the age of 18, 5.9% from 18 to 24, 21.8% from 25 to 44, 22.6% from 45 to 64, and 32.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 48 years. For every 100 females, there were 84.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.9 males.
Air Conditioner School Online Elizabeth IL
Enrolling in the right HVAC training course is a crucial beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating & cooling trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Air Conditioner School Online. However, as we have addressed in this article, you need to pick an HVAC training program and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC community. Other things to search for are sufficient practical training and modern facilities. You should check out each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to explore 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. In addition, ask about scheduling choices and if night or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to ask about financial assistance and student loan options as well. If you ask the right 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 informed decision. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC contractor in Elizabeth IL.
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