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.
How to Become an HVAC Technician in Louisiana
HVAC technicians are trained to maintain, operate, and amend heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems. To be able to become a technician, a certain degree of skill is required.
Through specialized education, students learn how to diagnose and provide fixtures for a problem in an HVAC system.
To become a technician, you should:
- Enroll in a school or a community college offering certifications and training programs on HVAC education. They provide training and education, which lasts for a span of six months to two years, depending upon the program you are choosing.
- Students seeking further education and a higher degree can apply for an associate's degree that usually lasts for two years.
- If you do not want or cannot opt for a college-based course, you can apply for an apprenticeship, which requires a four-year high school diploma. An apprenticeship program usually lasts for five years and requires 144 classroom studying hours and a minimum of two years' experience.
What Makes Louisiana a Great Place to Start an HVAC Career?
Situated in the Deep South of the United States, Louisiana has twisty and sinuous shorelines along the Gulf of Mexico. The HVAC industry in Louisiana is booming because of its climatic changes and conditions.
The following climatic features of this state are the major reasons why the industry is at a boom:
Rainfall in Louisiana occurs throughout the year. The average rainfall ranges from 48" in the North to 75" in the south. The wet season lasts from April to September, and the dry season remains from October to March, increasing the need for a dry and moderate temperature indoors. Therefore, HVAC professionals are high in demand here.
Louisiana is a humid and hot state. The average high temperature during the day is 90F, while the thermostat stays below 70F at night. Air conditioning systems are a commodity.
North Louisiana experiences cold days in winter. Cold fronts from the North can reduce the temperature below freezing point, causing snowfall. In these weather conditions, residents call out for a technician to install and maintain central heating systems to prevent them from cold.
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. You can start by checking out the schools near you below:
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.
Another suggested resource is our EPA 608 practice tests. These are a great way to familiarize yourself with the material.
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.
HVAC Technician Salary and Job Outlook in Louisiana
Louisiana has a constant urging demand for industrial plant constructions. Moreover, being a populated state, HVAC systems in many households seek timely maintenance and repair.
More experienced technicians get retired with time, leaving a vacant space for new and emerging students and technicians, creating a lot of job opportunities.
The Louisiana Workforce Commission predicts an increase of 9.2% in HVAC jobs between 2014 and 2024. The construction industry in the state is creating tremendous job opportunities for HVAC professionals. The job growth increases every year in Louisiana.
Salaries vary from city to city within the state. Some technicians with a license earn about $46,000. The top 10% earn way more than this.
Technicians residing in rural areas may earn about $35,000 per year, and technicians living in a city may earn an average of $55,000 per year.
How Much Do HVAC Technicians Make in Louisiana?
An entry-level HVAC technician in Louisiana may earn up to $35,660 per annum.
A technician may earn up to $55,000 per year in Louisiana.
A master-level technician residing in Louisiana may make $82,740 every year.
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.
People Also Ask
Before starting any career, questions may pop up in your mind about the field. To answer some of those queries, this section will further help you out. Below are answers to some commonly asked questions.
How Many Hours of HVAC Training Are Needed in Louisiana?
To become a certified technician in Louisiana, you need to study and train via training programs in an HVAC college for two years. An apprenticeship is also beneficial, which lasts for three to five years and gives experience and physical training required to become a trained professional.
How Much Does HVAC School Cost in Louisiana?
There are many schools in Louisiana offering degree and certification programs. Some schools may charge $6,500 for a one-year certificate program and $13,500 for a nine-month program. An associate degree may cost $15,000-$35,000 and may be completed in two years. Apprenticeships may cost $500-$2000 and may last for three to five years.
Is There a Difference Between an HVAC and Contractor's License in Louisiana?
Yes, there is a difference between an HVAC license and a contractor's license. In some states, only a contractor is required to have a license to supervise their employees. In other states, the contractor needs to appoint a person with an HVAC license and to supervise the other employees.
Do You Need a License for HVAC in Louisiana?
HVAC technicians residing in Louisiana do not need a license. However, contractors that work with materials or projects with a value of $50,000 or above require a license. HVAC professionals may obtain a license by attempting the required test or exam and take vocational courses before the exam.