How to Find the Right HVAC Degree Program near Elk Grove Village Illinois
Once you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and cooling technician, the next action is to locate an HVAC vocational school near Elk Grove Village IL. But with so many to select from, how do you select the ideal one to get the training that you need? Many future students will make their selection based entirely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their home. While these are important considerations, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Some of the other things 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 within this article. But before we examine how to pick an HVAC technical school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling technician does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Professional
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, however every state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Attaining professional certification is not compulsory, but a voluntary means for Elk Grove Village IL HVAC technicians to establish that they are exceptionally qualified and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are several respected certifications within the trade that are offered. Following are a few 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 competency examination 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 exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three 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 mandatory for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing might be mandated in your area, and you may also intend to earn certification, it’s important that you choose an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be working with refrigerants, make certain that the school you select preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Classes
There are a number of alternatives available for HVAC instruction in a vocational or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the least amount of time, often accomplished in just 6 months, however some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs may provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will provide more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a short explanation of each option offered near Elk Grove Village IL.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more extensive understanding of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Normally taking 2 years to finish, many degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more for a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional 4 year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Selecting the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your long term 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 getting some experience in the trade in Elk Grove Village IL, eventually going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make certain to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Schools
Choosing 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 practical training. A number also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes may be participated in via the internet, this option may be a more practical solution for many Elk Grove Village IL students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are more economical than other traditional options. Even commuting expenses from Elk Grove Village and study supplies may be minimized, helping to make schooling more economical. And many online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family responsibilities have left you with limited time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to fit school into your busy schedule.
Questions For HVAC Certification Courses
As soon as you have picked the type of degree or certificate that you wish to acquire, either on campus or online, you can start to narrow down your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are a large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Elk Grove Village IL area and across the USA to select from. That’s why it is essential to have a checklist of relevant qualifications when making school comparisons. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the first 2 aspects you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you need to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Elk Grove Village IL area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Verify that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you acquire a superior education, it can assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, a number of states require that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC 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 course. A lower completion rate may suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It might also suggest that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which may mean more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Elk Grove Village IL HVAC employers to help graduates acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC technical programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local Elk Grove Village IL HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed 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 specialist you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Elk Grove Village IL HVAC contractor if they can give you some suggestions. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Elk Grove Village IL home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much personalized training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Speak to a few of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with a few of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Elk Grove Village IL, check that the schools you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering an HVAC School near Elk Grove Village IL?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Elk Grove Village Illinois area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Elk Grove Village, Illinois
Elk Grove Village is a village located in northeastern Illinois adjacent to O'Hare International Airport and is a near northwest suburb, touching the city of Chicago. It is one of the Chicago metropolitan area's principal villages due to its large industrial park, located on the eastern border of the village. The village is located primarily in Cook County with a small portion in DuPage County. The population was 33,127 at the 2010 census. As the name suggests, Elk Grove Village is home to a small herd of elk kept in a grove at the eastern edge of the Busse Woods forest preserve for which the grove is named. Elk are not native to the area but were brought by train from Montana by an early resident, William Busse, in the 1920s. The elk are currently maintained by the Chicago Zoological Society veterinary staff and the Busse Woods Forest Preserve wildlife biologists.
Elk Grove Village is home to the largest industrial park in North America. Over 3,600 businesses are located in its 5.4-square-mile (14 km2) business park adjacent to O'Hare International Airport. The community is served by several Interstate highways including I-90, I-290/I-355/Route 53 combination, and the Elgin–O'Hare Expressway.
Elk Grove Village is also home to Alexian Brothers Medical Center (ABMC) hospital, which is the largest employer in the community with over 2,200 workers. There are a number of other well-known corporations including Apple Vacations, the American Academy of Pediatrics, Illinois Tool Works (ITW), ADP, CitiGroup, Symons, and Pepsi Cola Distribution. The headquarters of United Airlines was in the unincorporated area of Elk Grove Township until it moved to downtown Chicago; the Elk Grove office is still in use as United's Operations Center.
HVAC Technical Schools Elk Grove Village IL
Selecting the right HVAC school course is a critical first step toward a gratifying career in the heating and air conditioning industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Technical Schools. However, as we have discussed in this article, you should pick an Heating and Cooling technical school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC field. Other factors to look 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 current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. In addition, ask about scheduling choices and whether or not night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options as well. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have detailed in our guidelines for comparing schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC technician in Elk Grove Village IL.
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