How to Pick an HVAC Certification Course near Hammond Louisiana
Now that you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioning professional, the next step is to look for an HVAC technical school near Hammond LA. But with so many to choose from, how do you choose the ideal one to receive the training that you need? Many future students will make their decision based entirely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Even though these are significant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to take into account. A few of the other details 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 benchmarks will be covered in more detail later within this article. But before we explore how to select an HVAC technical school, let’s take a look at what a heating and air conditioning specialist does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Pro in Hammond LA
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, though each state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Acquiring professional certification is not required, but an alternative means for Hammond LA HVAC technicians to establish that they are highly qualified and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are multiple respected certifications within the industry that are available. Here are some 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 exam 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 field experience as well as passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience as well as a passing result on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are made available in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing might be required in your area, and you may also desire to obtain certification, it’s imperative 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 choose preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Courses
There are a number of choices offered for HVAC training in a technical or vocational school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the least amount of time, often accomplished in just six months, although some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs might provide a competitive edge in the job market and will provide more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief explanation of each credential offered near Hammond LA.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more detailed understanding of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Normally requiring 2 years to finish, many degrees include an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more for a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional four year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Selecting the ideal credential program will be dependent on what your future career goals are, as well as the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One option is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the field in Hammond LA, subsequently going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Training Online
Choosing an HVAC school online is one option in obtaining your education and earning a certificate or degree. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. A number 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 participated in via the internet, this approach may be a more practical solution for many Hammond LA students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are more economical than other on campus choices. Even travelling expenses from Hammond and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family commitments have left you with limited time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to fit school into your busy lifestyle.
Questions For HVAC Schools near Hammond LA
After you have chosen the type of certificate or degree that you wish to attain, either on campus or online, you can start to limit your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are a large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Hammond LA area and all over the Country to choose from. That’s why it is imperative to have a checklist of key qualifiers when making school comparisons. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the initial 2 aspects you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you need to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC technical schools in the Hammond LA area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Confirm that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you acquire a quality education, it can help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, some states require that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning 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 course and dropped out. It may also indicate that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which can mean more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Hammond LA HVAC employers to help students obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC trade programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC companies or labor unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with local Hammond LA HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm 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 looking for. If not, ask a local Hammond LA HVAC contractor if they can give you some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Hammond LA residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much individualized training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak with some of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with a few of the teachers and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Hammond LA, check that the schools you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending HVAC School near Hammond LA?
Hammond is the largest city in Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana, United States, located 45 miles (72 km) east of Baton Rouge and 45 miles (72 km) northwest of New Orleans. Its population was 20,019 in the 2010 census; Hammond is home to Southeastern Louisiana University and is the principal city of the Hammond Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Tangipahoa Parish.
The city is named for Peter Hammond (1798–1870), the surname anglicized from Peter av Hammerdal (Peter of Hammerdal) — a Swedish immigrant who first settled the area around 1818. Peter, a sailor, had been briefly imprisoned by the British at Dartmoor Prison during the Napoleonic Wars. He escaped during a prison riot, made his way back to sea, and later on arrived in New Orleans. Hammond used his savings to buy then-inexpensive land northwest of Lake Pontchartrain. There, he started a plantation to cultivate trees, which he made into masts, charcoal, and other products for the maritime industry in New Orleans. He transported the goods by oxcart to the head of navigation on the Natalbany River at Springfield. He owned at least 30 slaves before the Civil War. Peter Hammond lost his wealth during the war, as Union soldiers raided his property.
In 1854, the New Orleans, Jackson and Great Northern Railroad (later the Illinois Central Railroad, now Canadian National Railway) came through the area, launching the town's emergence as a commercial and transport center. The point where the railroad met the trail to Springfield was at first known as Hammond's Crossing. Peter Hammond's grave is near the center of town under the Hammond Oak, along with the graves of his wife Caroline Hammond (née Tucker), three of their children, and a favorite slave boy. The Hammond Oak is a member tree of the Live Oak Society.
Select the Right HVAC Certification Training near Hammond LA
Selecting the ideal HVAC training program is an important first step toward a rewarding career in the heating and cooling trade. As we have covered in this article, you should pick a vocational school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC field. Other things to look for are plenty of practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to check out each of the schools personally 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 teaching and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling choices and whether evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the right questions as we have detailed in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC contractor in Hammond LA.
More Fabulous Cities in Louisiana
Business Results 1 - 10 of 43