How to Choose HVAC Technical Schools Irving IL

How to Pick the Right HVAC Training Class near Irving Illinois

air conditioner condensers in Irving ILOnce you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next step is to find an HVAC vocational school near Irving IL. But with so many to choose from, how do you choose the right one to obtain the training that you require? A number of potential students will make their selection based entirely on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. Although these are important concerns, they are not the only ones to investigate. Just some of the other details 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. Those and other benchmarks will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we tackle how to pick an HVAC trade school, let’s take a look at what a heating and air conditioning technician does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.

Becoming an HVAC Professional

Irving IL HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, although each state and local municipality has its own criteria. Attaining professional certification is not mandatory, but an alternative means for Irving IL HVAC techs to establish that they are exceptionally qualified 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 significant ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is attained by passing a proficiency examination and can be acquired in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience as well as passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience as well as a passing result on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are provided in various specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for techs that handle refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Considering that licensing could be mandated in your location, and you may also desire to earn certification, it’s essential that you enroll in an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the program you decide on preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.

HVAC Degree Courses

radiator heater in Irving IL homeThere are a number of options offered for HVAC training in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the least period of time, usually achieved in just 6 months, however some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree training programs may provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will provide more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief explanation of each credential offered near Irving IL.

  • Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning residential or commercial HVAC specialists. They provide a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more exhaustive background of heating and 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 geared more towards a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a standard 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.

Selecting the ideal credential program will be dependent on what your future career objectives are, in addition to the time and money that you have to commit. One approach is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Irving 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 Classes Online

Irving IL student attending HVAC school onlineChoosing an HVAC school online is one option in getting your training and earning a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. A number also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes can be attended via the internet, this option may be a more accessible solution for some Irving IL students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even travelling expenses from Irving and study materials can be lessened, 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 less complicated to accommodate school into your active lifestyle.

What to Ask HVAC Training Programs

Questions to ask Irving IL HVAC training schoolsAs soon as you have decided on the type of degree or certificate that you wish to earn, either online or on campus, you can start to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of HVAC trade schools in the Irving IL area and across the United States to pick from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a list of important qualifications when making school evaluations. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the first two factors you will take into consideration. Following are some additional ones that you need to research before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Many HVAC trade schools in the Irving IL area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as HVAC technology. Make sure that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you receive a quality education, it can assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, some states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to be approved 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 complete the course. A lower completion rate might signify that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It may also suggest that the teachers were not competent 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 broader directory of alumni, which may result in more contacts for the school to employ 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 additionally that it has the network of Irving IL HVAC employers to assist graduates obtain apprenticeships or employment.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Many HVAC trade programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling contractors or labor unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with local Irving IL HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC specialist you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Irving IL HVAC company if they can give you some suggestions. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Irving IL home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s desirable that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Talk to several of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to a few of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.

Flexible Scheduling.  Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Irving IL, verify that the programs you are comparing provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.

Considering an HVAC School near Irving IL?

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

Irving, Illinois

Irving is a village in Montgomery County, Illinois, United States. The population was 495 at the time of the 2010 census. (The 2000 census had shown a population of 2,484 because the inmates of the Graham Correction Center at Hillsboro were included in Irving's count.)

As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 2,484 people, 186 households, and 137 families residing in the village. The population density was 3,038.1 people per square mile (1,169.6/km²). There were 204 housing units at an average density of 249.5 per square mile (96.1/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 53.74% White, 41.91% African American, 0.36% Native American, 0.04% Asian, 3.86% from other races, and 0.08% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.60% of the population.

There were 186 households out of which 39.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.8% were married couples living together, 11.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.3% were non-families. 23.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 2.96.

How to Choose HVAC Technical Schools Irving IL

Selecting the right HVAC training program is a critical beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating and air conditioning industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding How to Choose HVAC Technical Schools. However, as we have covered in this post, you should select an HVAC technical school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC profession. Other features to look for are sufficient practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to check out each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to explore the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. In addition, ask about scheduling choices and whether or not night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the right questions as we have outlined in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC contractor in Irving IL.

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