Heating and Cooling Classes Lafayette LA

How to Pick the Right HVAC Degree Program near Lafayette Louisiana

air conditioner condensers in Lafayette LANow that you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next step is to choose an HVAC technical school near Lafayette LA. But with so many to pick from, how do you choose the ideal one to get the training that you need? A number of potential students will make their selection based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. While these are relevant considerations, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Some of the other factors that you need to investigate are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and other criteria will be discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we discuss how to choose an HVAC training program, let’s look at what a heating and a/c technician does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.

Becoming an HVAC Tech

Lafayette LA HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC contractors provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, though each state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Attaining professional certification is not compulsory, but a voluntary way for Lafayette LA HVAC specialists to establish that they are exceptionally proficient and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are multiple acknowledged certifications within the field that are available. Here are a few 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 may be received 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 must have three years of experience as well as a passing result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are provided in several specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Since licensing may be required in your area, and you may also desire to obtain certification, it’s imperative that you pick an HVAC technical school that will train you for both. And since you will more than likely be working with refrigerants, make sure that the school you pick prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.

HVAC Certificate and Degree Courses

radiator heater in Lafayette LA homeThere are a variety of alternatives offered for HVAC instruction in a vocational or trade school. You can attain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, typically achieved in just six months, however some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for the majority of HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree training programs might provide a competitive advantage in the job market and will deliver more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short description of each option offered near Lafayette LA.

  • Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They provide a strong foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more detailed background of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually taking two 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 call for an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional 4 year program. In addition to learning 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 objectives are, in addition to the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One approach is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after gaining some experience in the trade in Lafayette LA, later returning to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, make certain to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Training Online

Lafayette LA student attending HVAC school onlineAttending an HVAC school online is one alternative to obtaining your training and receiving a degree or certificate. Most schools will require some attendance on campus to complete practical training. Some also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or in place of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes can be attended online, this approach may be a more accessible solution for many Lafayette LA students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other traditional alternatives. Even travelling expenses from Lafayette and study supplies can be reduced, helping to make schooling more economical. And many online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family responsibilities have left you with limited time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your hectic lifestyle.

Questions to Ask HVAC Trade Schools

Questions to ask Lafayette LA HVAC training schoolsOnce you have picked the type of degree or certificate that you want to attain, either online or on campus, you can begin to limit your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are numerous HVAC trade schools in the Lafayette LA area and throughout the United States to choose from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a list of key qualifiers when making school evaluations. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the initial 2 factors you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you need to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Lafayette LA area have attained 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 an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Make certain that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you obtain a superior education, it can assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, some states require that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the HVAC schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate may indicate that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It could also suggest that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s also important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which can produce 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 a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Lafayette LA HVAC employers to assist grads obtain apprenticeships or employment.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Most HVAC technical programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling businesses or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with local Lafayette LA HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to form 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 up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC tech you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Lafayette LA HVAC contractor if they can provide some suggestions. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Lafayette LA home. Take note 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 desirable that you receive as much one-on-one 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 teachers and students. Talk to some of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with a few of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.

Flexible Scheduling.  Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Lafayette LA, confirm that the programs you are comparing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.

Considering an HVAC School near Lafayette LA?

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

Lafayette, Louisiana

Lafayette (/ˌlɑːfiːˈɛt, ˌlæf-/, French: [lafajɛt]) is a city in and the parish seat of Lafayette Parish, Louisiana,[4] located along the Vermilion River in the southwestern part of the state. The city of Lafayette is the fourth-largest in the state, with a population of 127,657 according to 2015 U.S. Census estimates.[5] It is the principal city of the Lafayette, Louisiana Metropolitan Statistical Area, with a 2015 estimated population of 490,488. The larger trade area or Combined Statistical Area of Lafayette-Opelousas-Morgan City CSA was 627,146 in 2015.[5] Its nickname is The Hub City.

The Attakapas Native Americans inhabited this area at the time of European encounter. French colonists founded the first European settlement, Petit Manchac, a trading post along the Vermilion River.[6] In the late eighteenth century, numerous Acadian refugees settled in this area, after being expelled from Canada after Great Britain defeated France in the Seven Years' War. They intermarried with other settlers, forming what is known as Cajun culture, which continued as strongly French language and Catholic religion.

Jean Mouton, of Acadian descent, donated land to the Catholic church for construction of a small Catholic chapel at this site. In 1824 this area was selected for the Lafayette Parish seat and known as Vermilionville, for its location on the river. In 1836 the Louisiana Legislature granted it incorporation.

Heating and Cooling Classes Lafayette LA

Choosing the ideal HVAC training program is a crucial first step toward a rewarding career in the heating and cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Heating and Cooling Classes. However, as we have addressed in this article, you should pick an HVAC school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC profession. Other features to search for are plenty of practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to go to 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 training and the interaction between them. Also, inquire about scheduling choices and whether or not evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the right questions as we have detailed in our guidelines for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter your options 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 Lafayette LA.

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