How to Find the Right HVAC Degree Program near Greenfield Illinois
Now that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning specialist, the next step is to choose an HVAC trade school near Greenfield IL. But with so many to select from, how do you pick the ideal one to receive the training that you require? Some future students will make their choice based solely on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Even though these are important considerations, they are not the only ones to investigate. Just some of the other details that you need to research are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and additional criteria will be addressed in more detail later in this article. But before we explore how to pick an HVAC trade school, let’s look at what a heating and cooling contractor does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Specialist
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are generally mandated to be licensed, although every state and local municipality has its own criteria. Attaining professional certification is not mandatory, but an optional way for Greenfield IL HVAC specialists to demonstrate that they are exceptionally skilled and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are a number of recognized certifications within the field that are available. Below are a few of the important 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 may be received 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 examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience as well as a passing score on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing may be mandated in your area, and you may also wish to obtain certification, it’s imperative that you pick an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be working with refrigerants, make sure that the school you pick readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Classes
There are a variety of alternatives 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 minimum amount of time, usually accomplished in as little as six months, although some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive edge in the job market and will deliver more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a short description of each credential offered near Greenfield IL.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They provide a strong foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more extensive background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Normally requiring 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 or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a standard four year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Selecting the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your long term career goals are, in addition to the time and money that you have to invest. One approach is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Greenfield IL, subsequently returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make certain to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Courses
Attending an HVAC school online is one option in obtaining your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. Some also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be participated in via the internet, this option may be a more convenient solution for many Greenfield IL students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are less expensive than other traditional choices. Even driving expenses from Greenfield and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family commitments have left you with little time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask HVAC Training Classes
When you have selected the type of degree or certificate that you desire to acquire, either online or on campus, you can begin to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of HVAC trade schools in the Greenfield IL area and across the United States to pick from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of key qualifiers when making school comparisons. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the initial two variables you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you will want to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC technical schools in the Greenfield IL area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as HVAC technology. Make certain that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you acquire an excellent education, it can help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, some 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 or portion of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate could suggest that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It could also indicate that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which may produce 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 field, but additionally that it has the network of Greenfield IL HVAC employers to help students acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC training programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational 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 considering have referring relationships with local Greenfield IL HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC specialist you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Greenfield IL HVAC contracting company if they can give you some pointers. Also bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Greenfield IL home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak to some of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with some of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Greenfield IL, confirm that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Considering an HVAC School near Greenfield IL?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Greenfield Illinois area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Greenfield is located in eastern Greene County at 39°20′35″N 90°12′35″W / 39.34306°N 90.20972°W / 39.34306; -90.20972 (39.342969, -90.209798).Illinois Route 267 passes through the city, leading north 27 miles (43 km) to Jacksonville and south 13 miles (21 km) to Medora. Carrollton, the Greene County seat, is 13 miles (21 km) to the southwest via Routes 267 and 108.
According to the 2010 census, Greenfield has a total area of 1.783 square miles (4.62 km2), of which 1.72 square miles (4.45 km2) (or 96.47%) is land and 0.063 square miles (0.16 km2) (or 3.53%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,179 people, 500 households, and 330 families residing in the city. The population density was 687.2 people per square mile (264.7/km²). There were 531 housing units at an average density of 309.5 per square mile (119.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 99.24% White, 0.08% African American, 0.42% Native American, and 0.25% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.42% of the population.
Heating and Ventilation Courses Greenfield IL
Finding the right HVAC training course is a critical first step toward a gratifying career in the heating and air conditioning field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Heating and Ventilation Courses. However, as we have covered in this post, you should choose an HVAC training program and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC community. Other features to search for are plenty of practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should visit each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to tour the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Also, inquire about scheduling options and whether or not evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the right 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 dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC professional in Greenfield IL.
More Hot and Cool Locations in Illinois
Business Results 1 - 10 of 15