HVAC Schools Covington LA

How to Select the Right HVAC Certification Training near Covington Louisiana

air conditioner condensers in Covington LANow that you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioning specialist, the next action is to find an HVAC vocational school near Covington LA. But with so many to pick from, how do you decide on the best one to obtain the training that you need? A number of future students will make their decision based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Although these are relevant concerns, they are not the only ones to take into account. 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 benchmarks will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we examine how to pick an HVAC technical school, let’s look at what a heating and cooling professional does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.

Becoming an HVAC Specialist

Covington 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 professionals specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, though each state and local municipality has its own requirements. Earning professional certification is not required, but an optional means for Covington LA HVAC technicians to demonstrate that they are highly qualified and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. There are multiple respected certifications within the field that are available. Following are a few of the important ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is achieved by passing a competency exam and can be acquired in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification offers 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 along with a passing result on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are provided in multiple specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is required for technicians that work with refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Considering that licensing may be required in your area, and you may also wish to earn certification, it’s essential that you enroll in an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will most likely be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the program you pick preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Degree Courses

radiator heater in Covington LA homeThere are several options available for HVAC instruction in a technical or vocational school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, typically accomplished 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 edge in the job market and will provide more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief explanation of each option offered near Covington LA.

  • Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more comprehensive understanding of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually taking two years to complete, many 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 or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional 4 year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.

Selecting the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your future career aspirations are, as well as the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One possibility is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Covington LA, subsequently going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make certain to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Online Courses

Covington LA student attending HVAC school onlineAttending an HVAC school online is one option in obtaining your education and earning a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. Some 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 online, this approach may be a more convenient solution for some Covington LA students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even commuting expenses from Covington and study materials can be minimized, helping to make schooling more affordable. And numerous online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family responsibilities have left you with minimal time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it easier to fit school into your hectic schedule.

Questions For HVAC Certification Courses

Questions to ask Covington LA HVAC training schoolsAs soon as you have chosen the type of certificate or degree that you would like to attain, either online or on campus, you can start to limit your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Covington LA area and all over the USA to pick from. That’s why it is essential to have a checklist of important qualifiers when making school comparisons. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the first two factors you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you need to research before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Numerous HVAC trade programs in the Covington LA area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance HVAC technology. Make sure that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you acquire an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Also, many states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate may signify that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It might also indicate that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s also important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of graduates, which can mean more contacts for the school to use 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 trade, but additionally that it has the network of Covington LA HVAC employers to help grads acquire apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  A large number of HVAC trade programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with local Covington LA HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding 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 certain 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 presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC technician you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Covington LA HVAC contracting company if they can give you some tips. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Covington LA residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s desirable that you receive as much individualized training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on 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 several of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.

Flexible Scheduling.  Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Covington LA, check that the programs you are comparing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.

Considering an HVAC School near Covington LA?

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

Covington, Louisiana

Covington is a city in, and the parish seat of, St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, United States.[3] The population was 8,765 at the 2010 census.[4] It is located at a fork of the Bogue Falaya and the Tchefuncte River.

In 1813, John Wharton Collins established a town with the name of Wharton. He is buried on the corner of the city cemetery directly across from the Covington Police Department. There are conflicting stories about how the city came to be named Covington. Many historians believe the city was renamed for General Leonard Covington, a hero of the War of 1812.[5][6] (Covington was killed late in 1813, having established his home in the Mississippi Territory.)

Local historian Judge Steve Ellis floats another theory centered on the suggestion by Jesse Jones, a local attorney, that the city be named in honor of the Blue Grass whiskey---made in Covington, Kentucky---enjoyed by town officials.[7] In any case, Leonard Covington is the namesake of both towns.[6]

HVAC Schools Covington LA

Finding the right HVAC school program is an important first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating & cooling industry. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Schools. However, as we have discussed in this article, you need to pick an Heating and Cooling training program and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC field. Other features to search for are ample hands-on training and modern facilities. You need to visit 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. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. In addition, inquire about scheduling options and if night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the right questions as we have laid out in our guidelines 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 specialist in Covington LA.

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