Top Heating and Cooling Training Schools Bogalusa LA

How to Pick the Right Heating and Cooling School near Bogalusa Louisiana

air conditioner condensers in Bogalusa LAOnce you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioning technician, the next step is to locate an HVAC vocational school near Bogalusa LA. But with so many to choose from, how do you choose the best one to get the training that you need? Some prospective students will make their choice based solely on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. While these are relevant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to investigate. A few of the other things 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 other criteria will be addressed in more detail later within this article. But before we explore how to select an HVAC technical school, let’s look at what a heating and a/c professional does to become a licensed professional tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Tech

Bogalusa LA HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is frequently used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, however every state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Attaining professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary means for Bogalusa LA HVAC specialists to prove that they are highly proficient and experienced in their area of expertise. There are many recognized certifications within the industry that are offered. Following are a few of the significant ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is attained by passing a competency exam and can be earned in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of professional experience in addition to passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience along with a passing score on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in several specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is required for technicians that work with refrigerants. There are three types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Because licensing could be required in your area, and you may also desire to acquire certification, it’s imperative that you enroll in an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will most likely be working with refrigerants, make sure that the program you select prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.

HVAC Certificate and Degree Schools

radiator heater in Bogalusa LA homeThere are several options available for HVAC instruction in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring 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 qualify you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive edge in the job market and will deliver more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief explanation of each option offered near Bogalusa LA.

  • Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They provide a strong foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more comprehensive understanding of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Normally taking 2 years to finish, many degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more towards a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional 4 year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.

Selecting the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your long term career aspirations are, as well as the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One approach is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Bogalusa LA, subsequently returning to obtain 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 Classes

Bogalusa LA student attending HVAC school onlineEnrolling in an HVAC school online is one possibility in obtaining your training and receiving a certificate or degree. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. A number also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes may be attended via the internet, this option may be a more practical solution for many Bogalusa LA students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are more economical than other on campus choices. Even commuting expenses from Bogalusa and study supplies can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family obligations have left you with little time to attend classes, perhaps an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to fit school into your active lifestyle.

Questions For HVAC Certification Classes

Questions to ask Bogalusa LA HVAC training schoolsWhen you have picked the type of degree or certificate that you want to acquire, either online or on campus, you can begin to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are many HVAC vocational schools in the Bogalusa LA area and throughout the Country to select from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of relevant qualifiers when making school assessments. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the first two aspects you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you should explore before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  A large number of HVAC vocational programs in the Bogalusa LA area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Make sure that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Also, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate could indicate that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It may also indicate that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which may mean more contacts for the school to utilize 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 industry, but also that it has the network of Bogalusa LA HVAC employers to help graduates obtain apprenticeships or employment.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Most HVAC vocational programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling companies or labor unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with local Bogalusa LA HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make certain that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC tech you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Bogalusa LA HVAC company if they can give you some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Bogalusa LA residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s important that you get as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak with a few of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with some of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.

Flexible Scheduling.  Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Bogalusa LA, check that the schools you are reviewing offer 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 policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.

Considering an HVAC School near Bogalusa LA?

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

Bogalusa, Louisiana

Bogalusa is a city in Washington Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 12,232 at the 2010 census. It is the principal city of the Bogalusa Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Washington Parish and is also part of the larger New Orleans–Metairie–Bogalusa Combined Statistical Area.

The name of the city derives from the Choctaw language term bogue lusa, which translates to "dark water" in English.[4] Located in an area of pine forests, in the early 20th century, this industrial city was developed as a company town, to provide worker housing and services in association with a Great Southern Lumber Company sawmill. In the late 1930s, this operation was replaced with paper mills and chemical operations.

In the early 1900s, brothers Frank Henry Goodyear and Charles W. Goodyear of Buffalo, New York, bought hundreds of thousands of acres of virgin pine forests in southeastern Louisiana and southwestern Mississippi. They had already been successful in lumbering isolated areas in New York and Pennsylvania, and had developed a strategy of building railroad spurs to provide access to the forests. In 1902, they chartered the Great Southern Lumber Company (1908–38) and built its sawmill in what became Bogalusa, a company town which they built to support this rural operation. The sawmill was the largest in the world at the time.[5] The Goodyear interests built the city of Bogalusa to house workers and supervisors, and associated infrastructure. They also built the Great Northern New Orleans Railroad to New Orleans to transport their lumber and products to market.

Top Heating and Cooling Training Schools Bogalusa LA

Finding the ideal HVAC school course is an important beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating and air conditioning trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Top Heating and Cooling Training Schools. However, as we have addressed in this post, you should pick an HVAC school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC profession. Other things to look for are plenty of practical training and modern facilities. You need to check out each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. In addition, 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 also. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have outlined in our checklist for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC contractor in Bogalusa LA.

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