How to Select the Right Heating and Cooling Certificate Program near Granville Illinois
Now that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning professional, the next step is to look for an HVAC technical school near Granville IL. But with so many to select from, how do you select the ideal one to get the training that you need? A number of future students will make their selection based exclusively on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Even though these are important concerns, they are not the only ones to investigate. Just some of the other details that you need to investigate 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 choose an HVAC technical school, let’s look at what a heating and cooling professional does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Pro
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently 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 typically mandated to be licensed, though every state and local municipality has its own requirements. Acquiring professional certification is not compulsory, but an optional means for Granville IL HVAC technicians to demonstrate that they are exceptionally skilled and experienced in their area of expertise. There are a number of acknowledged certifications within the trade that are available. Below are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is earned 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 professional experience together with passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience together with a passing score on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are made available in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for technicians that work with refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing may be mandated in your area, and you may also wish to acquire certification, it’s imperative that you pick an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be working with refrigerants, make sure that the program you pick preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree Courses
There are several options offered for HVAC training in a technical or trade school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, usually achieved in as little as six months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive edge in the job market and will provide more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short description of each credential offered near Granville IL.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level residential or commercial 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 detailed knowledge of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Normally requiring 2 years to finish, a number of degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more towards a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional 4 year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Picking the right credential program will be based on what your long term career aspirations are, along 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 trade in Granville IL, subsequently returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Classes
Choosing an HVAC program online is one possibility to attaining your training and earning a degree or certificate. 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 in place of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes may be attended on the web, this option may be a more practical solution for some Granville IL students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are less costly than other traditional choices. Even commuting expenses from Granville and study supplies may be minimized, helping to make schooling more affordable. 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 little time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your hectic lifestyle.
What to Ask HVAC Schools
As soon as you have decided on the type of certificate or degree that you want to earn, either online or on campus, you can start to limit your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are many HVAC technical schools in the Granville IL area and throughout the United States to choose from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school comparisons. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the first 2 aspects you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC technical programs in the Granville IL area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Verify that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you receive a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Additionally, many states mandate that the HVAC training program 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 or portion of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate could suggest that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It could also signify that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which may result in more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Granville IL HVAC employers to help grads acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC trade programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling companies or trade unions. Check if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with local Granville IL HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC specialist you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Granville IL HVAC company if they can give you some suggestions. Also bear in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Granville IL residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be difficult 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 instructors and students. Speak with some of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to a few of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Granville IL, confirm that the programs you are comparing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.
Considering an HVAC School near Granville IL?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Granville Illinois area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Granville is a village in Putnam County, Illinois, United States. The population was 1,427 at the 2010 census, up from 1,414 in 2000, making it the largest community in Putnam County. It is part of the Ottawa–Streator Micropolitan Statistical Area.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,414 people, 591 households, and 395 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,476.8 people per square mile (568.7/km²). There were 626 housing units at an average density of 653.8 per square mile (251.8/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 97.88% White, 0.42% African American, 0.07% Native American, 0.42% Asian, 0.71% from other races, and 0.50% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.39% of the population.
There were 591 households out of which 29.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.8% were married couples living together, 8.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.0% were non-families. 30.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.95.
HVAC Certification Online Courses Granville IL
Finding the ideal HVAC training course is a critical beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating and air conditioning field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Certification Online Courses. However, as we have discussed in this article, you should select an HVAC vocational school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC trade. Other things to search for are lots of hands-on 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 faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling choices and if 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 right questions as we have laid out in our guidelines for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC contractor in Granville IL.
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