Category Archives: Louisiana

HVAC Schools Near Me in Westlake LA 70669

How to Find the Right HVAC Training Class near Westlake Louisiana

Westlake LA HVAC tech servicing AC compressorOnce you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and cooling technician, the next step is to locate an HVAC trade school near Westlake LA. But with so many to choose from, how do you select the right one to get the training that you require? A number of future students will make their selection based entirely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Although these are significant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to investigate. A few of the other things that you need to look into are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and additional benchmarks will be discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we discuss how to select an HVAC trade school, let’s look at what a heating and cooling technician does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Tech in Westlake LA

Westlake LA HVAC tech servicing industrial furnacesHVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, though each state and local municipality has its own criteria. Attaining professional certification is not required, but an alternative way for Westlake LA HVAC technicians to demonstrate that they are highly proficient and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are multiple acknowledged certifications within the trade that are offered. Below are a few of the important ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is attained by passing a proficiency examination and can be acquired in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience together with passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience together with a passing score on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are provided in multiple specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for techs that handle refrigerants. There are three forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Since licensing might be mandated in your location, and you may also wish to obtain certification, it’s imperative that you enroll in an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the program you select preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Certificate and Degree Training Programs

Westlake LA HVAC contractor installing residential water heaterThere are a variety of options available for HVAC training in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the minimum amount of time, typically achieved in just 6 months, although some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree programs might provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will provide more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short description of each credential offered near Westlake LA.

  • Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level residential or commercial HVAC specialists. They provide a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program delivers a more exhaustive understanding of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Typically requiring 2 years to complete, a number of 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 as well as business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional four year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.

Selecting the right credential program will be based on what your long term career objectives are, along with the time and money that you have to commit. One option is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Westlake 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 Classes

attending HVAC Training School Online in Westlake LAAttending an HVAC school online is one option in attaining your education and earning a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will require some attendance on campus to participate in practical training. Some also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or as an alternative to practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes may be attended via the internet, this approach may be a more convenient solution for some Westlake LA students that are pressed for time. And a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other traditional alternatives. Even driving expenses from Westlake and study supplies may be lessened, helping to make schooling more economical. And numerous online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family obligations have left you with limited time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your active schedule.

Questions For HVAC Trade Schools near Westlake LA

As soon as you have selected the type of degree or certificate that you desire to obtain, either online or on campus, you can start to decrease your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are many HVAC vocational schools in the Westlake LA area and all over the Country to select from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school assessments. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the initial two factors you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Numerous HVAC trade programs in the Westlake LA area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Confirm that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain an excellent education, it can help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, some 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 looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate might suggest that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It may also indicate that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which may result in more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Westlake LA HVAC employers to help students secure apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  A large number of HVAC trade programs are taught together 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 contractors or labor unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with local Westlake LA HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make sure that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC specialist you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Westlake LA HVAC company if they can give you some tips. Additionally keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Westlake LA residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s desirable that you get as much personalized 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 large they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Speak to several of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.

Flexible Scheduling.  Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Westlake LA, check that the programs you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.

Attending HVAC School near Westlake LA?

Westlake, Louisiana

Westlake is a city in Calcasieu Parish, in western Louisiana, United States, and is part of the Lake Charles Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 4,568 at the 2010 census.[3] Westlake was incorporated in 1945.

In January 2007, Gerald "Wash" Washington, the first African-American elected as mayor of the majority-white city, was found shot to death, shortly before he was to take office. His death was ruled a suicide but his family said it was an assassination.

Westlake is located in east-central Calcasieu Parish at 30°14′54″N 93°15′33″W / 30.24833°N 93.25917°W / 30.24833; -93.25917 (30.248455, -93.259047),[4] on the west bank of the Calcasieu River, just north of that river's entry into the water body of Lake Charles. The city of Lake Charles borders Westlake across the river, connected via the Interstate 10 bridge.

The location could not be found.

Select the Right HVAC Trade School near Westlake LA

Choosing the right HVAC training course is a critical beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating and air conditioning field. As we have covered in this post, you need to select a technical school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC field. Other factors to search for are sufficient practical training and modern facilities. You should go to each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to explore 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. In addition, ask about scheduling choices and if evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial aid and student loan options too. If you ask the right questions as we have outlined in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC specialist in Westlake LA.

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