HVAC Training Schools Hume IL

How to Choose the Right Heating and Cooling Training Program near Hume Illinois

air conditioner condensers in Hume ILOnce you have decided on a career as a heating and cooling specialist, the next step is to locate an HVAC trade school near Hume IL. But with so many to choose from, how do you select the best one to receive the training that you need? A number of future students will make their decision based solely on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. Although these are necessary factors to consider, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Some 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. These and other benchmarks will be discussed in more detail later within this article. But before we explore how to pick an HVAC trade school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling specialist does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Pro

Hume IL HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, though each state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Attaining professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary way for Hume IL HVAC technicians to prove that they are exceptionally qualified and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are many acknowledged certifications within the field that are available. Here are a few 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 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 together with passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience in addition to a passing result on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in multiple specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for technicians that work with refrigerants. There are three types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Considering that licensing may be required in your area, and you may also wish to earn certification, it’s imperative that you choose an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be working with refrigerants, make sure that the program you pick prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.

HVAC Degree and Certificate Courses

radiator heater in Hume IL homeThere are several options available for HVAC instruction in a technical or vocational school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the lesser period of time, usually achieved in as little as 6 months, although some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree programs might provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will deliver more extensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief summary of each credential offered near Hume IL.

  • Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They provide a strong foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more exhaustive knowledge of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Normally taking 2 years to complete, many 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 standard 4 year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.

Picking the right credential program will be based on what your future career objectives are, as well as the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One possibility is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the trade in Hume IL, later going back to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Online Courses

Hume IL student attending HVAC school onlineAttending an HVAC program online is one option in obtaining your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete hands on training. Some also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes may be participated in online, this alternative may be a more practical solution for many Hume IL students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even travelling expenses from Hume and study supplies can be lessened, helping to make schooling more economical. And many 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, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to fit school into your hectic schedule.

What to Ask HVAC Training Classes

Questions to ask Hume IL HVAC training schoolsWhen you have picked the type of certificate or degree that you desire to earn, either on campus or online, you can start to limit your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are numerous HVAC trade schools in the Hume IL area and all over the USA to pick from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of relevant qualifiers when making school comparisons. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the first two aspects you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Numerous HVAC technical schools in the Hume IL area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance HVAC technology. Make certain that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you get an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, a number of states require that the HVAC training program be accredited for it 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 low completion rate may indicate that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It might also signify 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 list of graduates, which can result in 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 trade, but also that it has the network of Hume IL HVAC employers to help students acquire apprenticeships or employment.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Many HVAC vocational programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC companies or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local Hume IL HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make certain that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC tech you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Hume IL HVAC contracting company if they can give you some tips. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Hume IL residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be higher 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 challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak with several of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with some of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.

Flexible Scheduling.  Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Hume IL, confirm that the programs you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.

Considering an HVAC School near Hume IL?

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

Hume, Illinois

In the early 19th century, the area of Illinois including the future site of the Village of Hume and the Young America Township was prairie and thus considered unsuitable for settlement or tillage. Land speculators bought local land from the government (known as "entering land") on the hope that it would become possible to cultivate it in the near future. Large herds of cattle often grazed on the open land during this period.

In 1857, the Indiana and Illinois Airline railroad was laid out and graded, although it would be fifteen years before rails were laid. In February 1865, Elzephan W. S. Hume moved to Illinois from Boone County, Kentucky,[3] and purchased about 300 acres (1.2 km2) of land along the proposed line of the Indiana and Illinois Airline railroad. By November, he opened a farm and began cultivation. In the spring of 1873, the railroad was complete through Edgar county. In later years, the railroad was expanded to Indianapolis and was called the Indianapolis, Decatur and Springfield Railway. The railroad would change names several times before being incorporated into the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.

In 1873, E. W. S. Hume made plans for a town on his land, although no buildings existed on the planned town at that time. He also made an agreement with the railroad company to build a station for Hume, in exchange for lots of land in the new village. The names Elzephan W. S. Hume, Henry C. Moore, Thomas H. McCoughty, and H. B. Hammond appear on the original plat for the incorporation of Hume. George W. Foreman laid out the village of Hume in early November 1873 for those four men.[4]

HVAC Training Schools Hume IL

Finding the right HVAC training program is a crucial beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating & cooling industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Training Schools. However, as we have addressed in this post, you should select an HVAC technical school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC trade. Other factors to search for are lots of hands-on training and modern facilities. You should go to each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling choices 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 proper questions as we have laid out in our guidelines for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC technician in Hume IL.

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