HVAC License and Certification in Louisiana
To obtain a license and be certified in HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) an education on how to maintain the operating condition of residential heating and air conditioning refrigeration systems is required. Heating, air conditioning, and ventilation systems are made up of many mechanical, electrical, and electronic components. Through HVAC education, students will learn how to diagnose and fix problems throughout the systems using specialized tools and testing equipment. Maintenance of these systems is also a significant activity in which the knowledge and training on this could be effectively obtained through HVAC schools.
Aside from undergoing a formal apprenticeship program that usually takes 3 to 5 years, another viable option to start your career in HVAC in Louisiana is to take an HVAC education in one of its training centers or colleges. Presently, there are 16 community/technical colleges that offer HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) programs within the state of Louisiana. The technical programs provided by these institutions can be completed within 6 months or even two years, depending on the course that you’ll be choosing. Certification programs usually take 6 months which is quite apt for those who does not have enough time for school and just want to take a very specific training or course in HVAC. Associate’s degree (most of the time Associate in Applied Science Degree) on the other hand will usually take up to two years (4 regular semesters) to complete. Some HVAC schools in this state required the enrolled students to achieve a minimum grade of “C” for major subjects. HVAC programs in these schools mostly have no special admission requirements but only the college’s general admission requirements. Though some might also required the HVAC school enrollees to provide official transcripts from accredited high school or HiSET/GED and colleges/universities. A good way to help you decide which school to choose is to check if the college is accredited by legitimate institutions like the Committee on HVAC Excellence and ESCO group.
Here are some of the Associate degrees, Diploma programs and certifications offered by some of the Louisiana HVAC schools. The credit hours/units per program specified below might differ from one school to another.
HVAC-R Associate in Applied Science Degree: ( usually minimum of two years or four semesters)
- Master HVAC/R Technician (57 credit Hours)
- Air Conditioning and Refrigeration
- Certificate of Technical Studies in Certified HVAC Technician (30-33 credit hours)
- Residential Air Conditioning Certificate
- Air Conditioning and Electrical Technology Certificate
- Heating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technical Diploma (45 units)
- Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Diploma
- Residential Air Conditioning Diploma
- Technical Diploma in Air Conditioning and Refrigeration
- Master HVAC/R Technical Diploma
HVAC schools students and graduates can be also prepared for these HVAC-related examinations that are based on the national standards for practicing the HVAC trade:
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) testing
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE) testing
- Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) testing
- Technical Diploma (TD) Certificate of Technical Studies (CTS) Technical Competency Area
- EPA Clean Air Act, Section 608, Type I Certification Exam
In one of these HVAC schools in Louisiana, the current tuition for a student completing the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Technician Diploma Program in regular is $13,815 and the additional cost for books, supplies graduation fees is $1,550 (for a total cost of $15,365). If you want to take the Master HVAC/R Technical Diploma, the Master HVAC/R Technician program will provide the majority of intensive training needed for the skills needed for any type or branding of HVAC/R equipment. The Certificate of Technical Studies is earned by completion of the courses contained in the first two semesters. Students will earn a Level One NCCER HVAC certification upon completion of the Technical Diploma. In some of the aforementioned HVAC schools, it takes 900 clock-hour program or nine (9) months to complete a single HVAC program that is if the program is taken during the day program and twelve (12) months if it is during the evening program.
Getting HVAC Certification in Louisiana
The requirements for HVAC certification will differ depending on the type of certification. There are instances that an HVAC student might need to complete a course of training or undergo an HVAC job immersion before obtaining a certain HVAC certificate. These prerequisites are essential since these will aid students to gain knowledge that will be useful in taking the final examination. Certifications are very important for HVAC techs for this will show that an HVAC specialist has a specific competency. Aside from that, certifications could open professionals up to career advancements. In most states in the US, HVAC techs are required to have a state license before practicing in the state. However, there are exceptions. Some states do not require a license to practice, in this case, the technician may or may need to be licensed at the local or municipal level. In the state of Louisiana, the certification authority is the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors. If you are interested to get an HVAC license in Louisiana, the Board will require you to pass two exams (law section and trade section) before you can obtain the license.