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If you are looking for a lucrative career in Louisiana, becoming an HVAC technician is an option you should explore. Learning the HVAC trade is one way that you can be your own boss. HVAC training is available, and we have the information you need for exploring this career path.
HVAC Licensing Requirements for Louisiana
In Louisiana, you must be licensed to be a HVAC contractor. If you have the desire to work in extreme heat and cold conditions, to be your own boss, or work as part of a team, HVAC is the field you should explore. Heating and air technicians are valued in Louisiana because the extreme heat is battled by effective air conditioning units.
Traditional HVAC Training
In Louisiana, you can become a licensed HVAC technician by following one of the paths to licensure. You can become an apprentice or attend a vocational school. There are numerous vocational schools and community colleges that offer HVAC training programs including electrical and refrigeration courses in addition to the air conditioning and heating courses. From Shreveport to Baton Rouge and many points in between, you can almost throw a dart at the map and be able to find an HVAC training location near you.
If you study hard, you will be able to pass the exam to become a licensed HVAC technician in Louisiana and attain a degree from the community college. This is the most common way to enter the HVAC field.
Alternative HVAC Training
If a traditional school setting is not for you, you can be selected to work under a journeyman, licensed HVAC technician to learn the trade. Experience as an apprentice gives you the on-the-job HVAC training that you need. To be able to pass the exams, you must know the basics about heating and air conditioning repair and installation. Working alongside an experienced HVAC technician provides you with insights that you can’t get from just reading a textbook. Learning the business from the ground up is one advantage of working as an apprentice.
Louisiana has its own Apprenticeship Division of the Louisiana Workforce Commission. Apprentices must be 18 years old and have a high school diploma or an equivalent. Programs of work study last from 2 to 5 years. Apprentices also attend classroom instruction and are required to log 144 hours in the classroom per year. Apprentices usually are required to furnish their own books and tools. There is an application process that must be followed. If you are selected, you must be a diligent student worker to obtain licensure. In some cases, you may be able to obtain college credit during your apprenticeship.
HVAC apprenticeship training is only one of 50 different occupations that are registered in Louisiana. You could be one of the eligible applicants who is placed in a vacant apprenticeship opportunity. You can learn and be paid at the same time! If you do satisfactory work, your wages are gradually increased. It is just another reason to do your best during your apprenticeship.
HVAC Licensing Requirements
A commercial contractor or subcontractor license is required for projects exceeding a value of $50,000 including labor and materials.
To become a Louisiana HVAC contractor, you have to meet these requirements:
- Complete the commercial application
- Provide a financial statement showing a net worth of at least $10,000 within the previous 12 months
- Pass the exams, as detailed below
The minimum fee for contractor licensing in Louisiana is $120.The fee is an administrative cost that is assessed. The trade exam is required. A Business and Law exam is also required if you intend to be an HVAC contractor in Louisiana.
The Louisiana State Board of Contractors’ Department of Examinations and Assessment is responsible for administering the exams. After your application has been accepted, you will be given an exam approval notice with instructions on how to register for the exam online. You will receive an email with the date, time, and location of the exam. You must sit for the exam personally.
In the event that you don’t pass the exam, it costs a whopping $120 to retake the test. You also must wait 30 days before you are allowed to retake the test. If you fail, you will be notified about how to register for your next attempt.
Business and Law Exam
The Business and Law exam is an honor system online exam that is open book. You don’t have to register ahead of time to take the exam. This exam is multiple choice and is based on the Contractor’s Guide to Business, Law and Project Management. The test questions are based on the entire book, including the appendices.
Trade Exam Content
The Air Conditioning Work, Ventilation, Refrigeration, and Duct Work exam contains 100 multiple-choice questions and is closed book. You are given four hours to complete the exam. The exam covers five sections of content.
Twenty-six percent of the exam covers HVAC and Refrigeration Systems. Another 26 percent of the exam covers Piping Systems and Hydronics for industrial, commercial, and residential projects. Instrumentation, controls, and balancing is 10 percent of the exam.
Eighteen percent of the exam covers Air Distribution Systems and Ventilation. And 21 percent of the exam covers Project Management, Estimating and Plan Reading.
The exam is administered by Department of Examinations and Assessment, which is a division of the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors.
To be able to pass the exam, you must have a working knowledge of modern refrigeration and air conditioning. A suggested reference is Modern Refrigeration and Air Conditioning. You should be familiar with the Trane Air Conditioning Manual and the 2012 International Mechanical Code. Managing the Construction Process and MCAA Project Manager’s Manual are additional references that should be reviewed before sitting for this exam.
Things To Leave Behind Before Entering the Testing Center
The testing center prohibits cameras, hats, sunglasses, scanning devices, food and drinks, books and reference materials, cell phones, and calculators. You can’t wear a watch on testing day either. Pens and pencils are also restricted along with purses or tote bags. If you bring any of these contraband items, you will have to leave them behind during check-in.
Pencils, paper, and calculators will be provided at the test site. Reference materials will also be provided. You may not use your own books. It is a good idea to be familiar with all of the reference materials before the test.
There are ten testing centers in Louisiana. They are located at the community colleges around the state. You can also sit for the exam at the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors location in Baton Rouge or at LSU-Alexandria. Be sure to bring your government-issued photo ID to the testing center, and you must know your social security number.
Gaining experience, studying hard, and passing the exams will put you well on the way to becoming licensed as an HVAC contractor in Louisiana. Being able to set your own schedule and being your own boss point toward unlimited earning potential. Being a heating and air technician is a wise career choice in Louisiana.