ETI School of Skilled Trades - Willowbrook, IL

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ETI School of Skilled Trades Programs

  • Skilled Welding Training Program
  • HVAC/R Training Program

ETI School of Skilled Trades


eti school of skilled trades


The ETI School of Skilled Trades provides educational opportunities to students in the Chicago area of the state of Illinois. The school focuses on providing students with the professional skills they need to excel in their chosen career field. There is particular focus on customer service and promoting student satisfaction within all programs.

ETI understands the unique demands of working in the fields of HVAC/R and welding. This puts them in the unique position of being able to work with students in a way that prepares them for immediate entry into their selected job field. ETI provides focused educational opportunities to students who are interested in pursuing a career in HVAC/R or Welding. Prospective students will receive assistance throughout the application process, including the pursuit of financial aid, from the New Student Start Team.

Military and former military students can also receive assistance in applying their educational benefits, such as those available through the GI Bill. Scholarship and grant programs are available through ETI, including a Military Grant designed to assist qualified students who are currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, or have served previously.


Campus Locations
ETI Campus
500 Joliet Rd, Suite 500
Willowbrook, IL 60527

Program Structures
Flexible class schedules allow students to pursue their new career in a manner that suits their current life and obligations. The programs are offered in day and evening formats, allowing students to choose a schedule that will allow them to learn while still meeting their other needs. No-cost tutoring services are also provided to all students, allowing everyone access to the educational assistance they need to succeed.

Classroom Experience
Based on the nature of the programs, the majority of coursework is taught in a lab setting. This allows students to receive hands-on training in the areas being covered in the coursework, and provides them practical experience as they learn the techniques being taught. To facilitate this form of learning, class sizes are kept small. This provides a more favorable student to teacher ratio, making one-on-one assistance easier to obtain. Classroom learning is completed in one of eight classrooms, each designed to hold 14 to 40 students at any point in time, while the rest of the learning experience is completed in the appropriate lab environment.
Instructors have working experience in the industry in which they teach. This helps instructors to pass on information based on its applicability to real-world scenarios and circumstances. Other industry experts also provide input on coursework and class design to ensure the long-term relevance of the program, and to prepare students for the hiring conditions as they are today.

ETI aims to keep the campus modernized in order to meet the needs of today’s employer. Ample parking is provided to meet the needs of students and faculty. Additional resources include a bookstore, career resource center, cafeteria, and administrative offices.

Career Development
Program graduates have access to employment assistance through the Career Services Department. This allows students to explore opportunities through a vast network of business and individuals that have relationships with ETI. Area businesses may even contact the school directly to recruit suitable students directly from the current programs. Other job placement assistance is also available, including job search techniques. Programs also include courses on certain career skills, such as interview techniques and resume writing.

Financial Aid
All potential students will need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to be considered as a potential recipient of financial aid. Minimum qualifications for completing the FAFSA include being a United States citizen or an eligible non-citizen, having a high school diploma of GED, not currently being in default on other government loans, and being registered for Selective Service if you are male. A students enrollment status may also affect their eligibility for federal aid.

Students have access to a full complement of financial aid options. Based on the results of their FAFSA, eligible students may receive Federal Pell Grant funds to assist with obtaining their education. A variety of federal student loans can also be available including Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans, Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans, and Federal Direct Plus Loans.

Qualified students may also be eligible for scholarship money to help fund their education. Separate scholarship funds are available to high school students as well as adult students. Funds available through the United States Department of Veterans Affairs can also be applied to an education at ETI. This includes monies from the Montgomery GI Bill, the Post 9/11 GI Bill, Reserve Education Assistance Program, and Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Vet Success program. Military personnel have access to additional grant funds, including the ETI Military Grant. Spouses of military personnel can apply to the MyCAA Benefit program.

School History
The school was founded in 1973 as the Environmental Technical Institute after operating for 12 years as an HVAC/R service and affiliate service company. In 1977, classes began for industry-sponsored students in the area of HVAC/R technology. ETI first became accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges in 1994, and maintains the accreditation today.

In 2010, ETI added the Welding Technology program to diversify their campus offerings, with the first ISBA approved welding courses beginning in 2011. The school moved in to its current location in Williowbrook, Illinois in 2013, and has focused their efforts on providing a quality education in the 50,000 sq. feet worth of facilities to this day.

ETI is approved by the United States Department of Education to participate in the Federal Financial Aid Program, and is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). Further, ETI is licensed by the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

Campus Tours
Interested applicants can schedule a tour of the ETI facilities to help introduce them to the learning environment. The tour includes classroom spaces and lab facilities. This helps familiarize potential students with the environment, and can provide an opportunity to observe current students during their activities. An introduction to key student support personnel and certain instructors may also be provided depending on availability.

Students interested in pursuing a career in skilled welding trades can pursue an education through the Skilled Welding Certificate Program offered through ETI. Coursework will include the study of a variety of techniques including cutting, stick, MIG, and TIG welding. OSHA Safety information is also thoroughly covered in the curriculum, ensuring every student knows how to work safely in the workplace.

ETI’s welding lab covers 12,000 sq. ft. and students will spend approximately 75 percent of their time working in the lab environment. This puts a focus on hands-on learning, and gives students the opportunity to learn and hone their skills over the course of the program. All program content is designed with The National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) Welding Curriculum in mind. This ensures all students will be instructed in a manner that is consistent with working in the welding field. ETI is also recognized as an AWS Certified Welding Facility.

The Skilled Welding Certificate Program can be completed during a day or evening program, providing flexible options to students who may have other obligations that must be met. Depending on the timetable selected, students may be eligible to graduate in as little as seven months.

ETI offers an HVAC/R program designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills required to work in the HVAC/R industry. Instruction is provided with hands-on experience in mind. Approximately 60 percent of the coursework is performed in the HVAC/R lab, while the classroom instruction supplements key information required in this field of work.

Coursework covers a wide variety of topics relevant to the HVAC/R industry. Time is dedicated to learning key skills related to duct work and conduit bending, as well as furnaces, boilers, air conditioning, and refrigeration. Classes covering electrical knowledge are also included to supplement other repair and installation skills. Diagnostic techniques are also taught to assess issues in residential and commercial equipment.

The installation lab allows students to practice practical skills in a hands-on environment that facilitates learning under controlled circumstances. As part of a senior level project, students will rebuild three levels of the installation lab to test their knowledge and ensure full competency.

The HVAC/R program is available in day and evening classes, allowing students to learn new skills at a time that suits their current scheduling needs. Depending on the class structure selected, students can complete the program in as little as seven months. Additional coursework is provided in the area of career development. This helps graduate learn employment skills such as resume writing and interview techniques.

Successful graduates from the program will be prepared for a variety of tests and certifications including the Section 608, EPA Universal Certification 410A, and additional HVAC/R certifications. The training provided is based on The National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) HVAC/R curriculum requirements.