Air Conditioning and Heating School Forest Park IL

How to Select the Right Heating and Cooling Training Program near Forest Park Illinois

air conditioner condensers in Forest Park ILNow that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next step is to choose an HVAC technical school near Forest Park IL. But with so many to choose from, how do you pick the right one to receive the training that you require? A number of future students will make their decision based exclusively on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Even though these are relevant concerns, they are not the only ones to evaluate. A few of the other factors that you need to research 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 discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we tackle how to select an HVAC trade school, let’s look at what a heating and cooling technician does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.

Becoming an HVAC Pro

Forest Park IL HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are generally mandated to be licensed, however each state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Acquiring professional certification is not compulsory, but an alternative means for Forest Park IL HVAC techs to demonstrate that they are exceptionally proficient and experienced in their area of expertise. There are a number of recognized certifications within the field 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 attained by passing a competency 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 exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience in addition to a passing result on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are provided in multiple specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for techs that handle refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Because licensing could be mandated in your location, and you may also desire to obtain certification, it’s essential that you pick an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the program you choose preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Degree and Certificate Training Programs

radiator heater in Forest Park IL homeThere are a variety of alternatives offered 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, often achieved in as little as six months, although some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree programs may provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will deliver more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief description of each credential offered near Forest Park IL.

  • Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more exhaustive understanding of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Typically taking two years to finish, some degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more for a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional 4 year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.

Selecting the ideal credential program will be dependent on what your future career goals are, together with the time and financial resources 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 field in Forest Park IL, later returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Classes Online

Forest Park IL student attending HVAC school onlineEnrolling in an HVAC school online is one option to obtaining your training and receiving a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will call for some attendance on campus to participate in hands on training. Many also offer 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 online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution for many Forest Park IL students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are less costly than other traditional options. Even driving expenses from Forest Park and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family obligations have left you with limited time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it easier to accommodate school into your hectic lifestyle.

What to Ask HVAC Schools

Questions to ask Forest Park IL HVAC training schoolsWhen you have chosen the type of degree or certificate that you desire to obtain, either online or on campus, you can begin to limit your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are a large number of HVAC trade schools in the Forest Park IL area and across the USA to pick from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of important qualifiers when making school assessments. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the first two factors you will take into consideration. Following are some additional ones that you need to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Numerous HVAC trade programs in the Forest Park IL area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Make certain that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, some states require that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the HVAC schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate could suggest that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It might also mean that the teachers were not qualified 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 list of alumni, which can result in more contacts for the school to employ 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 trade, but additionally that it has the network of Forest Park IL HVAC employers to help graduates secure apprenticeships or employment.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Many HVAC vocational programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC companies or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with local Forest Park IL HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Confirm that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC tech you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Forest Park IL HVAC contracting company if they can give you some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you can move, the school must be within driving distance of your Forest Park IL home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s desirable that you receive as much individualized training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Speak to several of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience 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 meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Forest Park IL, check that the schools you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family issues.

Considering an HVAC School near Forest Park IL?

Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Forest Park Illinois area.  If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.

Forest Park, Illinois

Forest Park (formerly Harlem) is a village in Cook County, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, United States. The population was 14,167 at the 2010 census.[3] The Forest Park terminal on the CTA Blue Line is the line's western terminus, located on the Eisenhower Expressway at Des Plaines Avenue.[4]

Forest Park is located at 41°52′23″N 87°48′40″W / 41.87306°N 87.81111°W / 41.87306; -87.81111 (41.873031, -87.811155).[5] According to the 2010 census, Forest Park has a total area of 2.4 square miles (6.22 km2), all land.[6] The Des Plaines River runs through Forest Park.

For much of its history, Forest Park was known as a "Village of cemeteries", with more dead "residents" than living ones; some figures estimate the ratio at 30:1, dead to alive. Forest Park cemeteries include Altenheim,[7]Forest Home Cemetery (incorporating the German Waldheim Cemetery),[8]Jewish Waldheim (producer Mike Todd is buried in Beth Aaron there[9]),[10]Woodlawn[11][12] (including Showmen's Rest),[13][14] and Concordia.[7][15] Forest Home Cemetery is home to the famous Haymarket Martyrs' Monument.[16]

Air Conditioning and Heating School Forest Park IL

Selecting the right HVAC school program is an important first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating and air conditioning field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Air Conditioning and Heating School. However, as we have discussed in this article, you need to choose an HVAC technical school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC trade. Other features to look for are plenty of practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should go to each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to explore the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Additionally, ask about scheduling choices and whether or not night or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the proper questions as we have outlined in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices 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 Forest Park IL.

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