Best HVAC Training Schools Benton LA

How to Select the Right HVAC Degree Program near Benton Louisiana

air conditioner condensers in Benton LANow that you have decided on a career as a heating and cooling technician, the next step is to find an HVAC trade school near Benton 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 choice based entirely on the price of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Although these are necessary considerations, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Some of the other factors that you need to research are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and other criteria will be covered in more detail later within this article. But before we explore how to choose an HVAC technical school, let’s take a look at what a heating and air conditioning contractor does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.

Becoming an HVAC Professional

Benton LA HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are generally required to be licensed, though each state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Earning professional certification is not required, but an optional means for Benton LA HVAC specialists to demonstrate that they are exceptionally skilled and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are multiple recognized certifications within the field that are offered. Here are some of the important ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is achieved by passing a competency exam and may 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 as well as passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience in addition to a passing result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in multiple specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Considering that licensing could be required in your location, and you may also wish to acquire certification, it’s essential that you pick an HVAC vocational school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be handling refrigerants, make sure that the program you decide on prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.

HVAC Degree and Certificate Schools

radiator heater in Benton LA homeThere are a number of choices available for HVAC instruction in a technical or vocational school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the least period of time, often achieved in as little as 6 months, though some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification related to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will deliver more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a short summary of each credential offered near Benton LA.

  • Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They provide a strong foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more exhaustive understanding of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Normally taking two years to finish, some degrees include an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more for a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional four year program. In addition to mastering how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.

Choosing the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your long term career aspirations are, together with the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One possibility is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Benton LA, subsequently returning to acquire a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make certain to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Online Schools

Benton LA student attending HVAC school onlineAttending an HVAC school online is one alternative to getting your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to complete practical training. A number also offer 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 on the web, this approach may be a more convenient solution for many Benton LA students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are less costly than other traditional choices. Even commuting expenses from Benton and study materials can be minimized, helping to make schooling more budget-friendly. And numerous online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family commitments have left you with limited time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to fit school into your hectic lifestyle.

Questions For HVAC Trade Schools

Questions to ask Benton LA HVAC training schoolsAs soon as you have chosen the type of degree or certificate that you want to attain, either on campus or online, you can start to decrease your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are many HVAC vocational schools in the Benton LA area and all over the Country to pick from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a checklist of relevant qualifications when making school evaluations. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the initial two factors you will take into consideration. Following are some additional ones that you need to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  A large number of HVAC trade programs in the Benton LA area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain 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 school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you acquire a superior education, it may assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many states require that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the HVAC 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 course. A low completion rate could signify that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It may also mean that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which can produce more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Benton LA HVAC employers to help students acquire apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Many HVAC training programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC companies or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with local Benton LA HVAC professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make sure that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC specialist you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Benton LA HVAC company if they can give you some tips. Additionally keep in mind that unless you can move, the school must be within driving distance of your Benton LA home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be increased tuition charges 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 monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Speak to some of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to a few of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.

Flexible Scheduling.  Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Benton LA, check that the programs you are comparing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Considering an HVAC School near Benton LA?

Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Benton Louisiana area.  If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.

Benton, Louisiana

Benton is a town in and the parish seat of Bossier Parish, in the U.S. state of Louisiana. The population was 2,035 at the 2000 census but declined to 1,948 in 2010.[3] The town is named for 19th century U.S. Senator Thomas Hart Benton, a Democrat from Missouri and an ally of U.S. President Andrew Jackson.[4]

The larger Bossier City is located south of Benton. In Benton Square downtown near the Bossier Parish School Board office, the town maintains several historical buildings, including primitive cabins, a one-room schoolhouse museum, and the boyhood home of William Clark Hughes, who was the Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1926 to 1928.

On April 3, 1999, a powerful F4-rated tornado roared through portions of the town killing six people and injuring 90. A mobile home park located south of town and homes near the Palmetto Country Club were devastated. Neighborhoods affected included Haymeadow Trailer Park, Palmetto Park/Palmetto Place (adjacent to the country club), Bay Hills, Woodlake South, Twin Lake Community, and many other newer lakefront homes located around Cypress Lake. The population of Benton lakefront area nearly doubled between 2004 and 2008.[5]

Best HVAC Training Schools Benton LA

Selecting the ideal HVAC training course is an important beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating and cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Best HVAC Training Schools. However, as we have covered in this article, you should pick an Heating and Cooling training program and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC field. Other features to search for are lots of hands-on training and modern facilities. You need to go to each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Additionally, inquire about scheduling choices and whether evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial assistance and student loan options as well. If you ask the appropriate 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 educated decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC professional in Benton LA.

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