How to Enroll In an HVAC Certification Class near Holden Louisiana
Now that you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next action is to find an HVAC vocational school near Holden LA. But with so many to select from, how do you pick the best one to obtain the training that you need? Many prospective students will make their decision based solely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. While these are important factors to consider, they are not the only ones to evaluate. A few of the other factors that you need to investigate are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and other criteria will be addressed in more detail later in this article. But before we tackle how to choose an HVAC vocational school, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling contractor does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Pro in Holden LA
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly 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 generally mandated to be licensed, although each state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Obtaining professional certification is not compulsory, but an alternative means for Holden LA HVAC techs to establish that they are exceptionally skilled and experienced in their area of specialization. There are many acknowledged certifications within the field that are offered. Below are a few of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is earned by passing a competency exam and may be received in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience as well as passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience in addition to a passing score on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in multiple specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for specialists that handle 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 mandated in your location, and you may also desire to acquire certification, it’s essential that you choose an HVAC trade school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be handling refrigerants, make certain that the program you decide on preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are several alternatives offered for HVAC training in a trade or technical school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the lesser period of time, often accomplished in as little as six months, though some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will furnish more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief explanation of each option offered near Holden LA.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning residential or commercial HVAC specialists. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more exhaustive knowledge of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually requiring two years to complete, a number of degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more for a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a standard four 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 dependent on what your long term career objectives are, as well as the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One possibility is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Holden LA, later returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your tactic, be sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Courses
Attending an HVAC program online is one option in getting your training and earning a degree or certificate. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to complete practical training. Some also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes can be participated in online, this approach may be a more practical solution for many Holden LA students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even travelling expenses from Holden and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family commitments have left you with minimal time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to fit school into your busy schedule.
What to Ask HVAC Schools near Holden LA
Once you have selected the type of degree or certificate that you desire to earn, either on campus or online, you can start to limit your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are a large number of HVAC trade schools in the Holden LA area and across the Country to choose from. That’s why it is essential to have a list of important qualifications when making school evaluations. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the first two aspects you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you need to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC technical programs in the Holden LA area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Make sure that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you receive a superior education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, many states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to qualify 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 of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate may signify that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It could also mean that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of graduates, which may produce more contacts for the school to employ 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 trade, but also that it has the network of Holden LA HVAC employers to assist grads obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of HVAC vocational programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling businesses or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local Holden LA HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the equipment 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, consult with the HVAC specialist you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Holden LA HVAC company if they can give you some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Holden LA home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Talk with a few of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with a few of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Holden LA, verify that the schools you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Attending HVAC School near Holden LA?
Holden is an unincorporated community located on U.S. Highway 190 between Albany and Livingston in Livingston Parish, Louisiana, United States. Holden is in a section of land awarded to Micajah Spillars by a Spanish land grant. LA Hwy 441 which runs through Holden in a northwest-southeast direction is the road that connected Springfield with Baton Rouge to the west and points in Mississippi to the east. In 1907, the east-west line of the Baton Rouge, Hammond & Eastern Railroad was constructed.
Another person who contributed to the economic growth of the area was James "Jim" F. McCarroll, who had the town surveyed into lots. Owner of the McCarroll Lumber Co., he established a sawmill about 1909 and contracted with the railroad for a spur track to his mill south of the railroad on the east bank of the Tickfaw River.
Sinclair Cooper constructed the spur, and the spur and the community became known as Cooper's Spur. Some residents were not happy with the name because Cooper was not a native of the area. When the Coopers later moved away the locals asked for the name to be changed to Holden to honor James Mahlon Holden.
Select the Right HVAC Training Course near Holden LA
Picking the right HVAC training program is a crucial beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating and air conditioning industry. As we have addressed in this post, you should choose a vocational school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC community. Other features to search for are lots of hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to visit each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and talk 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 options and whether night or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to inquire about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the right questions as we have detailed in our guidelines for comparing schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC contractor in Holden LA.
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