The apprenticeship program is an extremely efficient way to learn the HVAC industry trade.
What’s more, you can earn income while learning and gaining practical experience which is a huge advantage.
So if you learn in practice better than in theory, the apprenticeship program is the perfect road for you.
Not only can you gain technical skills but also tricks and insider information from your mentors.
In this guide, you’ll have everything you need to know about the HVAC apprenticeship.
What Is HVAC Apprenticeship
The HVAC apprenticeship provides paid jobs with the aim to…
- Help you earn certification and/or license
- Turn you into a highly-skilled professional
So as an apprentice, you’ll learn from seasoned HVAC technicians in learning the required trade skills.
Aside from the OJT, the company will also provide training classes to further consolidate your learning.
The apprenticeship program usually lasts between 4 to 5 years, depending on the company’s required log hours.
Upon completion, you can sit for the certification exam to become a journeyman HVAC technician.
Duties of an HVAC Apprentice
As you gain more experience and understanding, your mentor will mostly assign some tasks for you to complete.
Typically, you’ll perform the following tasks under the mentor’s supervision:
- Install and service HVAC systems
- Identify refrigeration materials
- Read blueprints
- Identify, observe, and mark safety practices and regulations
- Use power tools
Qualifications to Become HVAC Apprentice
Different companies have different requirements for accepting an HVAC apprentice.
Below, you’ll find the most common qualifications they’re looking for:
- Must be at least 18 years
- Have a high school diploma or GED equivalent
- Valid driver’s license
- Pass the drug test
- Can work in a physically demanding environment
Why Apply for HVAC Apprenticeship
Doing an HVAC apprenticeship gives you several benefits, such as:
- Practical on-the-job experience
- Good blueprint-reading skills you can use in construction and industrial areas
- Fundamental knowledge and skills in refrigeration
- Skills in installing and servicing parts of AC and refrigeration systems
- Knowledge of ventilation systems and their respective requirements
- Work with state-of-the-art electrical systems and relevant equipment
- Correctly identify piping materials for various purposes
How to Search and Find an HVAC Apprenticeship Program
To apply for an HVAC apprenticeship, you should search for an apprenticeship program in your area.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration has made it easier to search for such programs.
Visit https://www.apprenticeship.gov/ to find the HVAC apprenticeship program you’re looking for.
Four HVAC Apprenticeship Options
You can become an HVAC apprentice in four ways.
You can apply for an apprenticeship through…
- Enrolling in national HVAC organizations
- Enrolling in trade schools and technical and community colleges
- Contacting local union chapters
- Contacting senior HVAC technicians and companies
Potential Salary of an HVAC Apprentice
Because the apprenticeship program is a paid job, you can receive a salary like regular employees.
But of course, your salary will be much lower than the more experienced HVAC technicians.
The table below shows the average salary you can earn as an HVAC apprentice:
|Compensation Website||Average Hourly Pay||Average Annual Pay|
Data were as of July 2022
What’s Next After the HVAC Apprenticeship
After completing the apprenticeship, you have several career pathways to choose from.
- Get certification and/or license (varies by state)
- Advance to a relevant or higher-level career (e.g. crew or service manager or move to sales)
- Become an independent contractor
- Run your own business
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I skip the training school and go immediately to an apprenticeship program?
Yes, you can choose to apply for an HVAC apprenticeship after high school.
However, most will want to enroll in an HVAC program at vocational schools.
Doing so helps them acquire fundamental knowledge and basic skills that they can use during the apprenticeship.
Plus, it adds value to their application, making companies have a preference for them.
Does the apprenticeship require a license?
No, because the certified HVAC technician will supervise and guide you during the apprenticeship.
What are the tools that an apprentice needs?
As an HVAC apprentice, you’ll need a set of tools to perform the work.
The commonly used tools you’ll prepare include:
- Gauge set
- Leak detector
- Cordless drill
- Hex-head wrench
- Extension cord
- Refrigerant scale
- Recovery machine
- Pipe-fitting equipment
How do I compose a resume to get hired as an apprentice?
A resume should be well-written, clear, and concise.
Aside from providing your basic information, you should emphasize your qualities and abilities.
Highlight the following in your resume:
- Relevant work experiences
- Qualities you possess that the company is looking for
- Recognition and awards if any
Doing so will help you gain a good first impression from the employer.