How to Enroll In the Right Heating and Cooling College near Flanagan Illinois
Now that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next step is to find an HVAC technical school near Flanagan IL. But with so many to choose from, how do you select the ideal one to receive the training that you need? Some future students will make their selection based entirely on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Although these are necessary factors to consider, they are not the only ones to investigate. Some 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. Those and additional benchmarks will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we discuss how to choose an HVAC training program, let’s look at what a heating and a/c professional does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Contractor
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, though each state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Earning professional certification is not required, but a voluntary means for Flanagan IL HVAC techs to demonstrate that they are exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are several recognized certifications within the trade that are available. Below are a few of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is earned by passing a competency exam and can be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience together with passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience in addition to a passing score on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are made available in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing might be mandated in your location, and you may also intend to earn certification, it’s important that you select an HVAC vocational school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be handling refrigerants, make certain that the program you decide on readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Schools
There are a number of choices available for HVAC training 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 lesser amount of time, typically accomplished in just 6 months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree training programs may provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will provide more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief explanation of each credential offered near Flanagan IL.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more detailed understanding of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually requiring 2 years to complete, a number of degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more towards a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a standard 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 ideal credential program will be dependent on what your future career aspirations are, along with the time and money that you have to commit. One possibility is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Flanagan IL, subsequently going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Classes Online
Choosing an HVAC school online is one approach in obtaining your training and earning a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. A number also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes can be participated in on the web, this alternative may be a more convenient solution for some Flanagan IL students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are more economical than other on campus options. Even driving expenses from Flanagan and study supplies may be lessened, 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 minimal time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to fit school into your active lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Certification Classes
Once you have chosen the type of certificate or degree that you wish to acquire, either on campus or online, you can start to decrease your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are a large number of HVAC technical schools in the Flanagan IL area and throughout the Country to select from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of important qualifiers when making school comparisons. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the initial 2 factors you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you will want to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC trade programs in the Flanagan IL area have acquired 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 a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Confirm that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate might signify that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It could also signify that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which can mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Flanagan IL HVAC employers to help grads secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC technical programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC contractors or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with local Flanagan IL HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing 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 campus facilities and the equipment 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, talk to the HVAC tech you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Flanagan IL HVAC contractor if they can give you some tips. Also bear in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Flanagan IL residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Speak to a few of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with some of the teachers and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Flanagan IL, confirm that the schools you are looking at provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Considering an HVAC School near Flanagan IL?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Flanagan Illinois area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Flanagan is a village in Livingston County, Illinois, United States. The population was 1,083 at the 2000 census. The local high school and grade school are both located within the village limits. The mascot for both schools is the Falcons.
According to the 2010 census, Flanagan has a total area of 0.53 square miles (1.37 km2), all land. A small man-made lake (originally four separate lakes, some being filled in), called the Legion Lake, is located on the west side of the village. A walking trail surrounds it and a park shelter is located on the site. Timothy Long lost his class ring in this lake. Artesian Park, another small park within the village boundaries, is located on the east side of town. It boasts two picnic shelters, a tennis court and playground equipment. A small business district of roughly one block in length is located in the center of town. Just north of this, the Flanagan Co-op can be found, a complex of several grain elevators and silos at Main and Lumber Streets.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,110 people, 446 occupied households, and 278 families residing in the village. The population density was 2,028.8 people per square mile (789.0/km²). There were 497 housing units at an average density of 889.8 per square mile (346.0/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 97.7% White, 0.8% African American, 0.7% Asian, 0.2% from other races, and 0.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.8% of the population.
HVAC Certification Training Flanagan IL
Enrolling in the ideal HVAC training course is an important 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 Certification Training. However, as we have covered in this post, you should choose an Heating and Cooling technical school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC field. Other factors to look for are lots of hands-on training and modern facilities. You need to visit each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to explore the campus and speak 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 too. If you ask the right questions as we have detailed in our guidelines for comparing schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC specialist in Flanagan IL.
More Hot and Cool Locations in Illinois
Business Results 1 - 10 of 38