How to Find the Right HVAC Program near Griggsville Illinois
Once you have decided on a career as a heating and cooling professional, the next action is to choose an HVAC technical school near Griggsville IL. But with so many to pick from, how do you select the best one to receive the training that you require? A number of potential students will make their selection based entirely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their home. Even though these are relevant considerations, they are not the only ones to evaluate. A few 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. These and other criteria will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we examine how to choose an HVAC vocational school, let’s look at what a heating and a/c technician does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Contractor
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, although each state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Obtaining professional certification is not required, but an alternative way for Griggsville IL HVAC techs to demonstrate that they are exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are a number of respected certifications within the field that are offered. 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 attained by passing a competency exam and may be received in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of field experience in addition to passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience along with a passing result on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are made available in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is required for techs that work with refrigerants. There are three types of certification available, 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 obtain certification, it’s imperative that you enroll in an HVAC vocational school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the program you decide on readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Courses
There are several choices offered for HVAC training in a technical or vocational school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the minimum amount of time, typically accomplished in just 6 months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify 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 edge in the job market and will provide more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief summary of each credential offered near Griggsville IL.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning residential or commercial HVAC professionals. 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 understanding of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually taking 2 years to finish, many degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more towards a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional 4 year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Picking the right credential program will be based on what your long term career aspirations are, in addition to the time and money that you have to commit. One option is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Griggsville IL, later returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Schools
Attending an HVAC program online is one possibility in attaining your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in hands on training. A number also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes can be participated in on the web, this option may be a more convenient solution for many Griggsville IL students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other traditional alternatives. Even driving expenses from Griggsville and study supplies may be minimized, helping to make schooling more affordable. And numerous online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family commitments have left you with minimal time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your busy lifestyle.
Questions For HVAC Training Classes
When you have selected the type of certificate or degree that you would like to acquire, either online or on campus, you can start to decrease your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous HVAC technical schools in the Griggsville IL area and across the United States to pick from. That’s why it is imperative to have a checklist of key qualifiers when making school assessments. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the first two factors you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you need to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC trade programs in the Griggsville IL area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Make sure that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you get a superior education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, some states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate could signify that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It may also signify that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s also important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list 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 field, but also that it has the network of Griggsville IL HVAC employers to assist grads acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC trade programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC companies or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Griggsville IL HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. 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 Griggsville IL HVAC contractor if they can give you some pointers. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Griggsville IL residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Speak to a few of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to a few of the teachers and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Griggsville IL, check that the programs you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, 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, sickness or family emergencies.
Considering an HVAC School near Griggsville IL?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Griggsville Illinois area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,258 people, 500 households, and 360 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,215.0 people per square mile (467.0/km2). There were 548 housing units at an average density of 529.3 per square mile (203.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 99.21% White, 0.16% African American, 0.08% Asian, 0.24% from other races, and 0.32% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.24% of the population.
There were 500 households out of which 36.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.2% were married couples living together, 10.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.8% were non-families. 24.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 2.92.
In the city, the population was spread out with 27.9% under the age of 18, 6.6% from 18 to 24, 26.9% from 25 to 44, 22.1% from 45 to 64, and 16.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.2 males.
Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Courses Online Griggsville IL
Picking the right HVAC training course is an important beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating & cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Courses Online. However, as we have discussed in this article, you need to select an Heating and Cooling trade school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC profession. Other features to search for are lots of practical training and modern facilities. You should visit each of the schools in person 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 training and the interaction between them. In addition, inquire about scheduling choices and if evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the right questions as we have laid out in our guidelines for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC technician in Griggsville IL.
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