How to Enroll In the Right Heating and Cooling College near Glen Ellyn Illinois
Now that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and cooling specialist, the next step is to look for an HVAC vocational school near Glen Ellyn IL. But with so many to pick from, how do you choose the right one to obtain the training that you need? Some future students will make their decision based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. While these are relevant concerns, they are not the only ones to investigate. Just 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. These and other criteria will be discussed in more detail later within this article. But before we explore how to select an HVAC technical school, let’s look at what a heating and a/c contractor does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Technician
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, although every state and local municipality has its own requirements. Attaining professional certification is not required, but a voluntary means for Glen Ellyn IL HVAC specialists to establish that they are exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are a number of recognized certifications within the industry that are available. Following are a few of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is achieved by passing a proficiency examination and may be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience in addition to passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience together with a passing score on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are made available in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are three types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing could be mandated in your location, and you may also wish to earn certification, it’s imperative that you pick an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be handling refrigerants, make sure that the program you decide on preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Classes
There are a number of options available for HVAC training in a technical or trade school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the minimum amount of time, usually completed in as little as six months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs may provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will deliver more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief description of each credential offered near Glen Ellyn IL.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level commercial or residential HVAC professionals. They provide a solid foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more extensive knowledge of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Normally taking 2 years to complete, 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 as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional 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 long term career goals are, in addition to the time and money that you have to commit. One possibility is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Glen Ellyn IL, subsequently returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Training
Choosing an HVAC program online is one possibility in attaining your training and earning a degree or certificate. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in hands on training. Some also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes may be attended on the web, this option may be a more practical solution for many Glen Ellyn IL students that are pressed for time. And some online degree programs are less expensive than other traditional choices. Even travelling expenses from Glen Ellyn and study materials may be minimized, helping to make schooling more economical. And a large number of online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family obligations have left you with limited time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to accommodate school into your busy lifestyle.
Questions to Ask HVAC Schools
When you have chosen the type of degree or certificate that you desire to obtain, either on campus or online, you can begin to limit your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are many HVAC technical schools in the Glen Ellyn IL area and throughout the USA to select from. That’s why it is essential to have a list of important qualifications when making school assessments. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the initial 2 factors you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you need to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC trade programs in the Glen Ellyn IL area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Confirm that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you get a quality education, it can help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, a number of states mandate 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 of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate could signify that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It may also suggest that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s also essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list 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 a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Glen Ellyn IL HVAC employers to help students secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC technical programs are taught together 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 Heating and Cooling companies or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with local Glen Ellyn IL HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC specialist you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Glen Ellyn IL HVAC contractor if they can give you some suggestions. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Glen Ellyn IL residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much individualized training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger 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 comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to 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 meet your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Glen Ellyn IL, confirm that the schools you are considering offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.
Considering an HVAC School near Glen Ellyn IL?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Glen Ellyn Illinois area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Glen Ellyn, Illinois
The first landowner in Glen Ellyn was Deacon Winslow Churchill. He and his family moved to Glen Ellyn from New York in 1834. Other newcomers to the area built town necessities such as a tavern and school.
Moses Stacy, a soldier in the War of 1812, arrived here in 1835. His inn, Stacy's Tavern, built in 1846 and his second home, was a halfway stop between Chicago and the Fox River Valley and a probable stop for Galena, Illinois stagecoaches on their way to Rockford, Illinois. Stacy's Tavern, now a historical monument, stands at what is now the intersection of Geneva Road and Main Street.
In 1849, construction of the Galena and Chicago Union Railroad through Glen Ellyn was finished. The area around the railroad became the center of the town. At first, trains running through the town on the railway did not stop there. A local man named Lewey Q. Newton made an offer to the railroad company: Newton would build a depot and water tank out of his own pocket if the railroad would require trains to stop there. The depot that Newton built became known as Newtown Station.
Air Condition Classes Glen Ellyn IL
Finding the right HVAC school course is a critical beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating & cooling trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Air Condition Classes. However, as we have addressed in this article, you need to choose an Heating and Cooling technical school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC field. Other factors to search for are lots of hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to go to each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. In addition, inquire about scheduling options and if evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have laid out in our checklist for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC technician in Glen Ellyn IL.
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