How to Find the Right HVAC Training Class near Houma Louisiana
Now that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next step is to look for an HVAC trade school near Houma LA. But with so many to select from, how do you decide on the ideal one to get the training that you require? Many prospective students will make their selection based exclusively on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. Although these are necessary concerns, they are not the only ones to take into account. Just some of the other factors that you need to investigate are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and additional benchmarks will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we discuss how to pick an HVAC training program, let’s take a look at what a heating and air conditioning contractor does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Professional in Houma LA
HVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly required to be licensed, however every state and local municipality has its own requirements. Obtaining professional certification is not required, but an alternative way for Houma LA HVAC techs to demonstrate that they are highly skilled and experienced in their area of expertise. There are several acknowledged certifications within the industry that are offered. Below are some of the important ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is attained 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. Two years of field experience together with passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have three years of experience as well as a passing score on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are offered in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for techs that handle refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Because licensing might be required in your location, and you may also intend to acquire certification, it’s imperative that you pick an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be dealing with refrigerants, make certain that the program you pick preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Degree Courses
There are a variety of choices available for HVAC instruction in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the minimum period of time, usually achieved in just six months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree programs may provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will furnish more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short summary of each credential offered near Houma LA.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They provide a solid foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more comprehensive knowledge of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically taking 2 years to finish, many degrees incorporate an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more towards a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a standard 4 year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Selecting the appropriate credential program will be based on what your future career objectives are, in addition to the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One approach is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Houma LA, eventually returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, be sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Schools Online
Attending an HVAC program online is one option in attaining your education and earning a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. Many also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes can be attended via the internet, this approach may be a more accessible solution for many Houma LA students that are short on time. And some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even commuting expenses from Houma and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And many online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family obligations have left you with limited time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it easier to accommodate school into your active schedule.
Questions For HVAC Certification Classes near Houma LA
As soon as you have selected the type of certificate or degree that you would like to attain, either on campus or online, you can begin to narrow down your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are many HVAC trade schools in the Houma LA area and across the Country to choose from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a list of important qualifiers when making school evaluations. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the initial two variables you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you should explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC trade schools in the Houma LA area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Confirm that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of states require 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 portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate could suggest that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It may also signify that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which can result in more contacts for the school to use 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 field, but also that it has the network of Houma LA HVAC employers to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC training programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling businesses or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with local Houma LA HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC technician you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Houma LA HVAC contracting company if they can provide some tips. Also bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Houma LA home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger 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 instructors and students. Talk with several of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Houma LA, verify that the schools you are comparing offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.
Attending HVAC School near Houma LA?
Houma (/ˈhoʊmə/ HOH-mə) is the largest city in and the parish seat of Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana, United States and the largest principal city of the Houma–Bayou Cane–Thibodaux Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city's powers of government have been absorbed by the parish, which is now run by the Terrebonne Parish Consolidated Government. The population was 33,727 at the 2010 census, an increase of 1,334 over the 2000 tabulation of 32,393.
Many unincorporated areas are adjacent to the city of Houma. The largest, Bayou Cane, is an urbanized area commonly referred to by locals as being part of Houma, but it is not included in the city's census counts, and is a separate census-designated place. If the populations of the urbanized census-designated places were included with that of the city of Houma, the total would exceed 60,000 residents. The city was named after the historic Native American tribe of Houma people, believed to be related to the Choctaw. The United Houma Nation Tribe is recognized by the state of Louisiana, but it has not achieved federal recognition.
Houma was founded by European Americans in 1834 at a former settlement of the Houma people, who historically occupied this area. The city was named after them. The city was incorporated in 1848. The United Houma Nation and two other Houma tribes have been recognized by the state. Houma is rated as a medium-size city.
Select the Right HVAC Trade School near Houma LA
Picking the ideal HVAC training course is an important beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating and cooling trade. As we have discussed in this post, you need to pick a trade school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC trade. Other features to search for are plenty of hands-on training and modern facilities. You should check out 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 instruction and the interaction between them. In addition, inquire about scheduling options and if evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial assistance and student loan options as well. If you ask the right questions as we have laid out in our checklist for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC professional in Houma LA.
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