How to Pick an HVAC Training Class near Blanchard Louisiana
Once you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning professional, the next step is to locate an HVAC trade school near Blanchard LA. But with so many to choose from, how do you choose the best one to get the training that you need? A number of potential students will make their selection based exclusively on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Even though these are relevant considerations, they are not the only ones to take into account. A few of the other things 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 addressed in more detail later within this article. But before we explore how to choose an HVAC trade school, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning contractor does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Specialist in Blanchard LA
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, although each state and local municipality has its own criteria. Acquiring professional certification is not mandatory, but an alternative way for Blanchard LA HVAC techs to establish that they are highly qualified and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are several respected certifications within the field that are available. Following are a few of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is achieved by passing a competency examination and may be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of professional experience together with passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience as well as a passing result on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are three types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing may be required in your area, and you may also intend to obtain certification, it’s essential that you select an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the program you decide on readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Courses
There are a variety of alternatives offered for HVAC training in a technical or trade school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the least amount of time, typically achieved in just six months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree programs may provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will furnish more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief explanation of each credential offered near Blanchard LA.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level residential or commercial HVAC specialists. They provide a strong foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more comprehensive background of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually taking 2 years to complete, many degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more for a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional 4 year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Selecting the ideal credential program will be based on what your future career goals are, along with the time and money that you have to invest. One option is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Blanchard LA, subsequently returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Courses
Attending an HVAC school online is one possibility in getting your education and earning a certificate or degree. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. A number also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be participated in online, this approach may be a more accessible solution for some Blanchard LA students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are more economical than other on campus choices. Even driving expenses from Blanchard and study materials can be minimized, helping to make schooling more economical. And numerous online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family obligations have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to accommodate school into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask HVAC Certification Courses near Blanchard LA
Once you have decided on the type of degree or certificate that you desire to acquire, either online or on campus, you can begin to decrease your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are numerous HVAC technical schools in the Blanchard LA area and throughout the Country to select from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of relevant qualifiers when making school assessments. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the initial two aspects you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you will want to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC vocational programs in the Blanchard LA area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Make sure that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it can assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, many states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate may suggest that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It could also suggest that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which can result in more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Blanchard LA HVAC employers to assist graduates secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC trade programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC businesses or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with local Blanchard LA HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date 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 under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Blanchard LA HVAC contracting company if they can give you some pointers. Additionally keep in mind that unless you can move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Blanchard LA home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Speak to a few of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with a few of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Blanchard LA, verify that the programs you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending HVAC School near Blanchard LA?
Blanchard is located at 32°35′12″N 93°53′15″W / 32.58667°N 93.88750°W / 32.58667; -93.88750 (32.586762, -93.887590).Louisiana Highway 173 passes through the town as Main Street. Downtown Shreveport is 10 miles (16 km) to the southeast.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,682 people, 787 households, and 602 families residing in the town. The population density was 849.0 people per square mile (328.4/km²). There were 813 housing units at an average density of 336.7 per square mile (130.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 95.32% White, 2.93% African American, 0.54% Native American, 0.39% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 0.10% from other races, and 0.63% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.59% of the population.
There were 787 households out of which 37.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.8% were married couples living together, 7.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.4% were non-families. 21.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.02.
Choose the Right HVAC Trade School near Blanchard LA
Selecting the ideal HVAC training program is an important beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating and air conditioning field. As we have addressed in this post, you should select a trade school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC profession. Other factors to look for are ample practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to visit each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. In addition, ask about scheduling choices and whether evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have detailed in our guidelines for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC specialist in Blanchard LA.
More Fabulous Cities in Louisiana
Business Results 1 - 10 of 33