Training HVAC Technician Gurnee IL

How to Choose the Right Heating and Cooling Training Class near Gurnee Illinois

air conditioner condensers in Gurnee ILNow that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and cooling professional, the next action is to locate an HVAC vocational school near Gurnee IL. But with so many to pick from, how do you pick the ideal one to get the training that you need? A number of potential students will make their selection based solely 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. A few of the other things 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. These and additional benchmarks will be addressed in more detail later in this article. But before we examine how to select an HVAC technical school, let’s look at what a heating and a/c professional does to become a licensed professional tradesman.

Becoming an HVAC Contractor

Gurnee IL HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are generally mandated to be licensed, however every state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Obtaining professional certification is not mandatory, but an alternative way for Gurnee IL HVAC technicians to prove that they are highly qualified and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are several acknowledged certifications within the industry that are offered. Following are a few of the significant ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is attained by passing a competency examination and can be acquired in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience as well as passing a comprehensive exam 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. As with NATE, certifications are provided in various specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is required for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are three types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Considering that licensing could be mandated in your area, and you may also desire to acquire certification, it’s essential that you choose an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be handling refrigerants, make sure that the school you select prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Certificate and Degree Courses

radiator heater in Gurnee IL homeThere are a variety of options offered for HVAC instruction in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the minimum period of time, typically achieved in as little as six months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree training programs might provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will furnish more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a short description of each option offered near Gurnee IL.

  • Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They provide a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more extensive understanding of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Usually requiring 2 years to complete, many degrees incorporate 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 conventional 4 year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.

Picking the ideal credential program will be based on what your long term career goals are, in addition to the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One option is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Gurnee IL, later going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, be sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Online Courses

Gurnee IL student attending HVAC school onlineEnrolling in an HVAC school online is one alternative to attaining your training and receiving a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to take part 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 some Gurnee IL students that are pressed for time. And some online degree programs are less expensive than other traditional options. Even travelling expenses from Gurnee and study supplies can be lessened, helping to make schooling more budget-friendly. And numerous online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family commitments have left you with little time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your active lifestyle.

Questions to Ask HVAC Training Programs

Questions to ask Gurnee IL HVAC training schoolsAfter you have selected the type of degree or certificate that you would like to acquire, either online or on campus, you can begin to limit your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are numerous HVAC trade schools in the Gurnee IL area and all over the Country to select from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a checklist of key qualifications when making school assessments. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the first 2 factors you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you will want to research before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  A large number of HVAC trade programs in the Gurnee IL area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Make sure that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate may signify that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It might also signify that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s also essential that the schools have high 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 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 also that it has the network of Gurnee IL HVAC employers to help graduates obtain apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Many HVAC trade programs are taught along 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 Heating and Cooling companies or trade unions. Check if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with local Gurnee IL HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Confirm that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC technician you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Gurnee IL HVAC company if they can give you some pointers. Also bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Gurnee IL home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s desirable that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Talk to some of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.

Flexible Scheduling.  Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Gurnee IL, check that the programs you are considering offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.

Considering an HVAC School near Gurnee IL?

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

Gurnee, Illinois

Gurnee (/ˈɡɜːrˌniː/) is a village in Lake County, Illinois, United States. Its population was 31,295 as of the 2010 census.[3] It borders the city of Waukegan and is considered a part of the Chicago metropolitan area. It is best known for being the location of Six Flags Great America and Gurnee Mills, together drawing over 26 million visitors annually.[4]

Early settlers in the Gurnee area came by foot horseback and by "Prairie Schooners" drawn by oxen or via the Erie Canal and the Great Lakes. They came from the town of Warren, New York, which was named in honor of Major General Joseph Warren, killed at the Battle of Bunker Hill. Warren Township, formed in 1850, was also named after him.[5] The first settlement of Warren Township commenced in 1835 in the vicinity of the Aux Plaines River (now the Des Plaines River).

In 1835-36, a land company from New York State erected a Community House (site of the old Gurnee Grade School) to accommodate families while they were locating and getting government land grants to their farms. Near the Community House, there was a ford used by the Potowatomi Indians for crossing the river. A floating log bridge was built there in 1842. Later, a stationary wooden bridge was constructed, and still later an iron bridge was erected.

Training HVAC Technician Gurnee IL

Selecting the right HVAC training course is an important beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating and cooling trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Training HVAC Technician. However, as we have discussed in this article, you should pick an HVAC trade school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC field. Other features to search for are ample 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 talk with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Also, inquire about scheduling options and whether or not night or weekend classes are offered 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 assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC technician in Gurnee IL.

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