How to Find the Right Heating and Cooling School near Girard Illinois
Now that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and cooling technician, the next step is to choose an HVAC technical school near Girard IL. But with so many to select from, how do you decide on the ideal one to get the training that you need? Many future students will make their decision based entirely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Even though these are relevant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to evaluate. A few of the other details that you need to investigate are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and additional criteria will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we examine how to select an HVAC technical school, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c specialist does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Technician
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are generally mandated to be licensed, although every state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Attaining professional certification is not required, but an optional means for Girard IL HVAC technicians to demonstrate that they are exceptionally qualified and experienced in their area of specialization. There are several acknowledged certifications within the field that are available. Here are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is achieved by passing a proficiency exam 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 professional experience in addition to passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience in addition to a passing score on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are provided in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing may be required in your location, and you may also intend to obtain certification, it’s important that you pick an HVAC vocational school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the program you decide on preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Courses
There are a number of choices offered for HVAC training in a technical or vocational school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the minimum period of time, often completed in as little as 6 months, however some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will furnish more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief description of each option offered near Girard IL.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more comprehensive knowledge of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually requiring two years to finish, some degrees feature 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 require an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional four year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Picking the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your long term career aspirations are, together with the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One option is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Girard IL, subsequently going back to earn 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 Training Online
Enrolling in an HVAC program online is one possibility in getting your training and earning a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete hands on training. A number 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 participated in via the internet, this option may be a more convenient solution for some Girard IL students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even commuting expenses from Girard and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family commitments have left you with minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it less complicated to fit school into your active lifestyle.
Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Classes
After you have chosen the type of degree or certificate that you would like to earn, either online or on campus, you can start to limit your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are many HVAC technical schools in the Girard IL area and throughout the United States to pick from. That’s why it is essential to have a list of key qualifications when making school assessments. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the initial two variables you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you need to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC trade schools in the Girard 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 instance HVAC technology. Make certain that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you get a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of states require that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Cooling 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 might suggest that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It could also mean that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It’s also important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, 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 validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Girard IL HVAC employers to help grads obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC technical programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC contractors or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Girard IL HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local 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 on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC technician you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Girard IL HVAC company if they can provide some suggestions. Also bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Girard IL residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Speak to several of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the teachers 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 are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Girard IL, verify that the programs you are considering offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Considering an HVAC School near Girard IL?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Girard 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 census of 2000, there were 2,245 people, 864 households, and 565 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,398.9 people per square mile (922.1/km²). There were 926 housing units at an average density of 989.5 per square mile (380.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 98.93% White, 0.13% African American, 0.13% Native American, 0.04% Asian, 0.09% from other races, and 0.67% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.11% of the population.
There were 864 households out of which 34.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.0% were married couples living together, 12.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.6% were non-families. 28.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 3.07.
In the city, the population was spread out with 26.5% under the age of 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 28.6% from 25 to 44, 19.3% from 45 to 64, and 17.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.5 males.
HVAC Technician Training Cost Girard IL
Enrolling in the ideal HVAC training course is an important beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating and cooling trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Technician Training Cost. However, as we have covered in this article, you need to select 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 sufficient practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should visit each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling options and whether or not evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial aid and student loan options also. If you ask the right questions as we have outlined in our guidelines for assessing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC specialist in Girard IL.
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