Air Conditioning Installation Training Courses Granite City IL

How to Pick the Right HVAC Program near Granite City Illinois

air conditioner condensers in Granite City ILNow that you have made a decision on a career as a heating and cooling specialist, the next action is to look for an HVAC technical school near Granite City IL. But with so many to select from, how do you pick the right one to receive the training that you require? Many future students will make their decision based solely on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. Even though these are relevant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to take into account. 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 covered in more detail later in this article. But before we tackle how to pick an HVAC technical school, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning technician does to become a licensed professional tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Pro

Granite City 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 technicians provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, though every state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Acquiring professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary means for Granite City IL HVAC technicians to establish that they are exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are many respected certifications within the industry that are available. Here are some of the significant ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is attained by passing a competency exam and may be received in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience in addition to passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience as well as a passing score on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are made available in multiple specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is required for technicians that work with refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Since licensing could be mandated in your area, and you may also intend to obtain certification, it’s essential that you select an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be working with refrigerants, make certain that the school you choose readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.

HVAC Degree Courses

radiator heater in Granite City IL homeThere are several choices offered for HVAC training in a vocational or trade school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the minimum period of time, often completed in as little as 6 months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will deliver more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief summary of each credential offered near Granite City IL.

  • Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more exhaustive background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Generally taking two years to complete, some 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 conventional 4 year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.

Choosing the ideal credential program will be based on what your future career goals are, along with the time and money that you have to commit. One option is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Granite City IL, eventually returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Online Courses

Granite City IL student attending HVAC school onlineEnrolling in an HVAC school online is one alternative in attaining your education and earning a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. Some also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes may be participated in on the web, this approach may be a more convenient solution for many Granite City IL students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even commuting expenses from Granite City and study supplies may be lessened, helping to make schooling more affordable. And a large number of online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family commitments have left you with limited time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to fit school into your active lifestyle.

What to Ask HVAC Trade Schools

Questions to ask Granite City IL HVAC training schoolsWhen you have picked 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 no doubt aware, there are a large number of HVAC trade schools in the Granite City IL area and all over the Country to pick from. That’s why it is imperative to have a checklist of relevant qualifiers when making school comparisons. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the first 2 variables you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you should research before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Numerous HVAC trade schools in the Granite City IL area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance HVAC technology. Verify that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you acquire a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, many states require 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 may signify that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It may also mean that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which can mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Granite City IL HVAC employers to assist grads secure apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Many HVAC technical programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC companies or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local Granite City IL HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Confirm that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC specialist you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Granite City IL HVAC contractor if they can give you some suggestions. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Granite City IL home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s important that you receive as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Talk with some of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.

Flexible Scheduling.  Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Granite City IL, check that the programs you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.

Considering an HVAC School near Granite City IL?

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

Granite City, Illinois

Granite City is a city in Madison County, Illinois, United States, within the Greater St. Louis metropolitan area. The population was 29,849 at the 2010 census, making it the second-largest city in the Metro East and Southern Illinois regions, behind Belleville. Officially founded in 1896, Granite City was named by the Niedringhaus brothers, William and Frederick, who established it as a steel making company town for the manufacture of kitchen utensils made to resemble granite.

The area was settled much earlier than Granite City's official founding. In the early 19th century, settlers began to farm the rich fertile grounds to the east of St. Louis. Around 1801, the area saw the establishment of Six Mile Settlement, a farming area that occupied the area of present-day Granite City, six miles (10 km) from St. Louis.[3] Soon after, around 1806, the National Road was to be constructed through the area, but it was never completed.[3] By 1817, the area became known as Six Mile Prairie, to distinguish it from Six Mile Township.[3] By 1854, the first railroad was built.[4] In 1856, the area known as Six Mile would be changed to Kinder.[4]

Granite City was founded in 1896 to be a planned company city similar to Pullman, Illinois, by German immigrant brothers Frederick G. and William Niedringhaus for their Granite ware kitchen supplies factory.

Air Conditioning Installation Training Courses Granite City IL

Enrolling in the ideal HVAC training course is an important first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating & cooling industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Air Conditioning Installation Training Courses. However, as we have covered in this post, you should select an HVAC training program and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC field. Other features to search for are ample 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 tour the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. In addition, ask about scheduling choices and whether or not evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to ask 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 narrow down your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC professional in Granite City IL.

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    Business Results 1 - 10 of 208

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