HVAC College Greenwood LA

How to Pick the Right Heating and Cooling Certificate Program near Greenwood Louisiana

air conditioner condensers in Greenwood LAOnce you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next action is to choose an HVAC trade school near Greenwood LA. But with so many to select from, how do you choose the best one to obtain the training that you need? A number of potential students will make their choice based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. Even though these are relevant concerns, they are not the only ones to take into account. Just some 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. These and additional criteria will be covered in more detail later within this article. But before we explore how to choose an HVAC training program, let’s look at what a heating and air conditioning technician does to become a licensed professional tradesman.

Becoming an HVAC Pro

Greenwood LA HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, however each state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Attaining professional certification is not required, but a voluntary way for Greenwood LA HVAC techs to demonstrate that they are highly proficient and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are multiple recognized certifications within the industry that are offered. Here are some of the important ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is earned by passing a competency examination 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 examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in multiple specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are three types of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Because licensing could be required in your location, and you may also intend to earn certification, it’s important that you select an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be handling refrigerants, make sure that the school you decide on readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Degree and Certificate Schools

radiator heater in Greenwood LA homeThere are several options available for HVAC instruction in a technical or trade school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the lesser period of time, usually accomplished in just six months, however 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 training programs might provide a competitive edge in the job market and will deliver more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief summary of each option offered near Greenwood LA.

  • Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among beginning residential or commercial HVAC specialists. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more comprehensive understanding of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally requiring two years to complete, some degrees incorporate 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 call for an Associate Degree, while others are a standard four year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.

Choosing 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 invest. One option is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Greenwood LA, later going back to acquire 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 Online Courses

Greenwood LA student attending HVAC school onlineChoosing an HVAC school online is one option to attaining your education and receiving a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will call for some attendance on campus to participate in hands on training. A number also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes can be participated in on the web, this alternative may be a more accessible solution for many Greenwood LA students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are cheaper than other traditional alternatives. Even driving expenses from Greenwood and study supplies can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family responsibilities have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it more convenient to fit school into your active schedule.

Questions For HVAC Schools

Questions to ask Greenwood LA HVAC training schoolsAfter you have selected the type of certificate or degree that you want to earn, either online or on campus, you can begin to limit your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are many HVAC trade schools in the Greenwood LA area and across the Country to pick from. That’s why it is imperative to have a checklist of key qualifications when making school assessments. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the first two factors you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you will want to research before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  A large number of HVAC trade programs in the Greenwood LA area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance HVAC technology. Verify that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you acquire an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, some states require that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower 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 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 list of alumni, 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 validate that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Greenwood LA HVAC employers to assist students obtain apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Many HVAC vocational programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling contractors or trade unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with local Greenwood LA HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make certain that the school facilities and the equipment 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, check with the HVAC technician you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Greenwood LA HVAC company if they can provide some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Greenwood LA home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s important that you receive as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Talk to several of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to some of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.

Flexible Scheduling.  Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Greenwood LA, verify that the schools you are comparing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.

Considering an HVAC School near Greenwood LA?

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

Greenwood, Louisiana

Greenwood is a town in southern Caddo Parish, which is located in the northwest corner of Louisiana, United States. The population was 3,219 at the 2010 census,[3] up from 2,458 in 2000. Part of the Shreveport-Bossier City Metropolitan Statistical Area, it is located 15 miles west of downtown Shreveport.

Greenwood is approximately 165 miles east of Dallas, Texas, and about 290 miles northwest of New Orleans. In 2006 Earnest Lampkins was elected as the first black mayor of Greenwood; in January 2007 shots were fired into his house and he received threats during his tenure.

During the Civil War Battle of Mansfield in April 1864, Confederate wounded were treated at the historic Dunn House built in the 1840s. It is now located next to the Town Hall on Highway 80. Several other historic houses located in Greenwood, including the Trosper House, have been added to the National Register of Historic Places.

HVAC College Greenwood LA

Choosing the ideal HVAC training program is a crucial first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating and air conditioning field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC College. However, as we have addressed in this article, you should pick an Heating and Cooling technical school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC field. Other features to search for are plenty of hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should go to each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to explore the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Additionally, ask about scheduling options and whether or not evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to ask about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the right questions as we have laid out in our guidelines for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC contractor in Greenwood LA.

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