How to Pick the Right HVAC Training Program near Bloomingdale Illinois
Once you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioning professional, the next step is to find an HVAC technical school near Bloomingdale IL. But with so many to pick from, how do you select the ideal one to obtain the training that you require? Many future students will make their decision based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. While these are important considerations, they are not the only ones to take into account. A few of the other factors 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. Those and other criteria will be addressed in more detail later within this article. But before we tackle how to choose an HVAC trade school, let’s look at what a heating and a/c specialist does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Technician
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, although every state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Attaining professional certification is not compulsory, but a voluntary means for Bloomingdale IL HVAC techs to establish that they are exceptionally proficient and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are multiple respected certifications within the industry that are offered. Following are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is earned by passing a competency exam and can be acquired 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 examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience as well as a passing result on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are provided in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are three types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing might be required in your location, and you may also wish to earn certification, it’s essential that you select 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 select readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Courses
There are a variety of options available for HVAC training 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 lesser amount of time, typically completed in just 6 months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs might provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will provide more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief summary of each credential offered near Bloomingdale IL.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning commercial or residential HVAC technicians. They provide a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more comprehensive knowledge of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Normally requiring 2 years to complete, many degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more for a career in management or even 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 appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your future career objectives are, as well as the time and money that you have to invest. One approach is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Bloomingdale IL, eventually returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Classes Online
Choosing an HVAC school online is one approach to obtaining your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. Some also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes may be participated in on the web, this option may be a more accessible solution for many Bloomingdale IL students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even driving expenses from Bloomingdale and study materials may be minimized, helping to make schooling more budget-friendly. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family commitments have left you with limited time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask HVAC Certification Courses
As soon as you have decided on the type of degree or certificate that you wish to attain, either on campus or online, you can start to decrease your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are many HVAC vocational schools in the Bloomingdale IL area and all over the USA to choose from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of key qualifications when making school evaluations. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the initial two aspects you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you need to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Many HVAC vocational programs in the Bloomingdale IL area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance HVAC technology. Confirm that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you receive a quality education, it can assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, some states require that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate could suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It might also suggest that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s also essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which can result in more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Bloomingdale IL HVAC employers to assist grads acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC technical programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling businesses or trade unions. Check if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with local Bloomingdale IL HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are presently 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 Bloomingdale IL HVAC contractor if they can give you some pointers. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Bloomingdale 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 desirable that you get as much individualized training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Speak with some of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with a few of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Bloomingdale IL, check that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.
Considering an HVAC School near Bloomingdale IL?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Bloomingdale Illinois area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Bloomingdale is one of the earliest villages settled in what is now DuPage County. The Meacham family settled here in 1833, and by the end of the following year, 12 to 15 families had settled in the locality. It was originally named Meacham's Grove. The community was served by the Chicago-Galena Highway, modern day Lake Street. It became an important stop for stage coaches and westward travelers. Originally a Cook County settlement, it was annexed by DuPage County in 1839. The northern part of the village wanted to develop commercially while the southern part wished to remain a farming community. In 1923, the village split to accommodate this—the northern portion of the town was incorporated as Roselle. From 1950 to 1980, the population increased from 338 to 12,659.
Stratford Square Mall, located at Springfield Road and Schick Road, is the largest of Bloomingdale's shopping centers. The indoor, landscaped mall contains three major department stores and more than 150 specialty shops and restaurants with three vacant anchors, one of which will become a supermarket. Also, Old Town Bloomingdale, at the intersection of Lake Street and Bloomingdale Road, is a collection of small businesses and shops located in restored buildings at the original site of the village's first settlement.
According to the 2010 census, Bloomingdale has a total area of 7.04 square miles (18.23 km2), of which 6.78 square miles (17.56 km2) (or 96.31%) is land and 0.26 square miles (0.67 km2) (or 3.69%) is water.
Top HVAC Training Classes Bloomingdale IL
Finding the right HVAC training course is a critical beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating and cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Top HVAC Training Classes. However, as we have covered in this post, you should choose an HVAC trade school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC community. Other factors to search for are sufficient hands-on 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. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling choices and whether or not evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the proper questions as we have detailed in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC technician in Bloomingdale IL.
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