HVAC Training Schools in Chicago, IL
Those planning to attend a school should first determine if the chosen school is accredited. Accreditation is the process by which an independent agency evaluates the curriculum and instructors presenting the program.
Two industry organizations provide accreditation for HVAC programs. The Partnership for Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration Accreditation (PAHRA) has provided accreditation to the following colleges in Illinois:
- College of Lake County, Grayslake, IL
- Elgin Community College, Elgin, IL
- Illinois Central College, East Peoria, IL
- John A. Logan College, Carterville, IL
- Oakton Community College, Des Plaines, IL
And HVAC Excellence has accredited the following programs in Illinois:
- HVAC Technical Institute, Chicago, IL
- Midwest Technical Institute, Springfield, IL
- Richland Community College, Decatur, IL
- Waubonsee Community College, Sugar Grove, IL
Elgin Community College and College of Lake County are included in the schools profiled below, because of their accreditation, although attending would probably require students to temporarily relocate as they will have to commute.
HVAC Technical Institute
The HVAC Technical Institute, which was first established in 1994, is located in Chicago. The school offers courses in HVAC, HVAC/R, LCR, and Electrical topics. Graduates of the HVAC program will earn a certificate through both classroom and hands-on training.
The HVAC course outline involves the following seven modules:
Covering all aspects of electricity, this module includes parts such as AC & DC circuits, electrical circuit tracing, schematic reading, relays, motors, transformers, thermostats, gas valves, and switches
Along with exploring all phases of heating, it also offers detailed overviews of forced air systems. Products include high-efficiency furnaces, condensing furnaces, and standing pilots
- Module 3: Basic air conditioning
Students in this module will get an overview of the operation and theory of residential air conditioning. An in-depth explanation of electrical circuits will be covered along with recovery, vacuum pumps, charging, superheating, and troubleshooting
- Module 4: Advanced air conditioning
The module prepares students for the EPA section 608 exam (refrigeration license) and the R-410A Safety Certification Exam
- Module 5: Ventilation and installation
Covers ventilation (duct sizing and fabrication requirements) and installation procedures ( such as soldering, brazing, ductwork installation, and pipe threading)
Both steam heating systems and hot water will be covered
- Module 7: Career readiness
In this module, students will acquire tools that are needed to succeed in a competitive job market. It culminates in students conducting an exit interview with the job developer to discuss next steps in the employment process and outline a career strategy.
When students complete this HVAC certification course, they receive an R-410A safety certification and an EPA section 608 universal license. These certifications allow them to put their skills to work and build a career as soon as they leave the doors. HVAC Technical Institute’s hands-on training provides students with technical skills and knowledge necessary for repairing, maintaining, and servicing HVAC equipment. All in all, students get a rigorous understanding of the inner working of each HVAC system.
- Location: Chicago, IL
- Accreditation: Commission of the Council of Occupational Education (COE); HVAC Excellence
- Expected Time to Completion: Contact the school for a customized assessment
- Estimated Tuition: $15,000
Elgin Community College
Just outside of Chicago is Elgin, Illinois, the home of Elgin Community College. This college offers an associate of applied science (AAS) degree program in HVAC and the following certificates:
- Sheet Metal Mechanics – Vocational Specialist certificate (34.5 credit-hours)
- Light Commercial HVAC Service Tech – Vocational Specialist certificate (38.5 credit-hours)
- Residential HVAC Service Technician – Basic Vocational Specialist certificate (26.5 credit-hours)
- Residential HVAC Systems – Basic Vocational Specialist certificate (12.5 credit-hours)
- HVAC Facilities Maintenance Tech – Vocational Specialist certificate (46.5 credit-hours)
- Refrigeration Service Technician – Basic Vocational Specialist certificate (18.5 credit-hours)
The AAS degree program is made up of 62.5 credit-hours. The curriculum includes courses such as air conditioning and refrigeration I and II, basic electricity and HVAC/R controls, basic heating gas/oil, basic sheet metal, refrigerant recovery certification, advanced heating hydronics/steam, blueprint reading for heating & AC, heat pumps & electrical heat, and commercial air conditioning, among others.
These programs will prepare students to pursue a high paying career in the HVAC industry. Students will be able to work in fields that provide a crucial service in both commercial and residential settings. They will gain practical knowledge and skills from faculty members who have years of experience in this industry. Well-equipped labs with the latest equipment, such as roof-top units and heat pumps, further help students in getting hands-on experience with actual systems.
- Location: Elgin, IL
- Accreditation: Higher Learning Commision; PAHRA
- Expected Time to Completion: AAS (four semesters); sheet metal mechanics (two semesters); light commercial HVAC service tech (three semesters); residential HVAC service technician (two semesters); residential HVAC systems (one semester); HVAC facilities maintenance tech (four semesters); refrigeration service technician (one semester)
- Estimated Tuition: In-district Resident ($132 per credit-hour); out-of-district resident ($297 per credit-hour); out-of-state ($396 credit-hour)
College of Lake County
In the Chicago suburb of Grayslake, Illinois students can study HVAC at the College of Lake County. The extensive HVAC department includes the following tracks:
- HVAC/R Engineering Technology A.A.S. (63-67 credit-hours)
- HVAC/R Installation Technician Certificate (18.5-20 credit-hours)
- HVAC/R Service Technician Certificate (29 credit-hours)
- Commercial Refrigeration Technician Certificate (14 credit-hours)
- Electrical Troubleshooting Technician Certificate (14 credit-hours)
- Residential Air Conditioning Technician Certificate (14 credit-hours)
- Residential Energy Auditing Certificate (16 credit-hours)
- Residential Heating Technician Certificate (14 credit-hours)
In addition, students can choose the FastTrack program, which takes only 16 weeks and prepares graduates to take the HVAC certification exam.
Sample some of the courses in the curriculum: basic refrigeration, HVACR electricity I and II, EPA certification, refrigeration II commercial appliances, HVAC/R load calculation, air conditioning split-systems, sheet metal fabrication, A/C III installation and service, and air movement and ventilation.
These programs provide students with instruction in HVAC/R and prepare them for employment in the HVAC industry. Students learn about electricity, the theory of refrigeration, electric motors, uses of air conditioning, air circulation, humidity and temperature control, and the installation and troubleshooting of equipment.
- Location: Grayslake, IL
- Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission; PAHRA
- Expected Time to Completion: AAS (four semesters); certificates (two semesters each)
- Estimated Tuition: In-district ($122 to $125 per credit-hour); out-of-district ($314.50 to $322 per credit-hour)
Coyne College offers a diploma in heating, air conditioning & refrigeration. The program prepares students for basic, entry-level employment in the HVAC/R service industry. The essentials of the electrical and mechanical systems of contemporary HVAC/R systems are addressed throughout the program. This program prepares students to take the EPA 608 refrigeration certification exams. Students must note that laboratory work carried out in the might occasionally require stooping, lifting loads greater than 50 pounds, and climbing ladders.
Consisting 49 quarter credit-hours, the program includes courses such as introduction to mechanical refrigeration systems, introduction to electrical servicing, introduction to commercial controls, commercial controls and applications, gas heating, air conditioning, electric heat, and heat pumps, troubleshooting systems and installation, and essential workplace skills.
The program helps students acquire real-world skills and know-how, hands-on work experience, and they also benefit from individualized attention. They’ll learn about installing, troubleshooting, and servicing commercial and domestic systems. They can take up entry-level positions as a heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanic, installer, or service technician.
- Location: Chicago, IL
- Accreditation: Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges(ACCSC)
- Expected Time to Completion: 42 weeks
- Estimated Tuition: $14,956