How to Find the Right HVAC Certificate Program near Grayslake Illinois
Once you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next step is to choose an HVAC trade school near Grayslake IL. But with so many to choose from, how do you decide on the ideal one to obtain the training that you require? Some prospective students will make their choice based solely on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. Even though these are important considerations, they are not the only ones to investigate. 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 additional criteria will be covered in more detail later within this article. But before we tackle how to choose an HVAC trade school, let’s take a look at what a heating and air conditioning technician does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Pro
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively 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, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, although each state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Acquiring professional certification is not mandatory, but an alternative means for Grayslake IL HVAC technicians to prove that they are highly qualified and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are many acknowledged certifications within the field that are available. Here are a few of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is earned by passing a proficiency 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 together with passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience together with a passing score on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are provided in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing may be required in your area, and you may also intend to earn certification, it’s essential that you select an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be working with refrigerants, make certain that the program you pick readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are several options available for HVAC training in a technical or vocational school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the minimum period of time, usually accomplished in as little as six months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will furnish more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a short summary of each option offered near Grayslake IL.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more detailed background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Normally taking 2 years to finish, a number of 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 standard 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 dependent on what your future career goals are, as well as the time and money that you have to invest. One possibility is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Grayslake IL, subsequently going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Schools
Enrolling in an HVAC program online is one possibility to getting your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. Many also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes may be attended via the internet, this alternative may be a more practical solution for some Grayslake IL students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are more economical than other on campus choices. Even driving expenses from Grayslake and study supplies can be lessened, helping to make schooling more affordable. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family responsibilities have left you with limited time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it easier to fit school into your busy lifestyle.
Questions For HVAC Schools
Once you have selected the type of degree or certificate that you desire to earn, either on campus or online, you can begin to narrow down your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are a large number of HVAC technical schools in the Grayslake IL area and all over the United States to choose from. That’s why it is essential to have a checklist of key qualifiers when making school evaluations. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the initial two aspects you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you need to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC trade programs in the Grayslake IL area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as HVAC technology. Confirm that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you acquire a superior education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, many 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 considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate may suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It might also indicate that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which can produce 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 trade, but also that it has the network of Grayslake IL HVAC employers to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC vocational programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC businesses or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with local Grayslake IL HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC technician you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Grayslake IL HVAC contractor if they can provide some suggestions. Also keep in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Grayslake IL residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be increased 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 sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Speak to some of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Grayslake IL, confirm that the schools you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, check 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 Grayslake IL?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Grayslake Illinois area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Grayslake is a village in Lake County in the U.S. state of Illinois. It is located in the Chicago metropolitan area, about 40 miles (64 km) north of Chicago's downtown, 14 miles (23 km) west of Lake Michigan, and 15 miles (24 km) south of the Wisconsin border. The village's population at the 2010 census was 20,957.
Grayslake is home to the College of Lake County, Grayslake North High School, Grayslake Central High School, the University Center of Lake County and the Lake County Fairgrounds. There are tentative plans to develop a lifestyle shopping center on the previous location of the Lake County Fairgrounds. At the south end of Grayslake, there are plans for a 641-acre (259 ha) development containing light industry, office space and residential space.
In 1880, the Wisconsin Central Railroad built a line from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, to Chicago which passed by the east side of Grays Lake. In 1886, the railroad built a station there, naming it Grayslake. The village incorporated in 1895.
Air Conditioner Diploma Course Grayslake IL
Selecting the ideal HVAC school course is an important beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating & cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Air Conditioner Diploma Course. However, as we have covered in this article, you need to select an Heating and Cooling technical school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC profession. Other factors to search for are sufficient practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to visit each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. In addition, inquire about scheduling options and whether night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial aid and student loan options also. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have detailed in our checklist for comparing schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC contractor in Grayslake IL.
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