One way to effectively learn a skilled trade is by obtaining an apprenticeship in the area you want to work. It offers you a hands-on way to learn a professional skill or trade such as HVAC; all while being supervised by someone who has a lot of experience with the job and a great deal of knowledge to offer.
HVAC, in particular, is the maintenance, repair, and installation of heating, cooling and ventilation systems. You’ll not only likely need to take some classes and possibly earn a two-year degree but you should also plan on finding and securing an HVAC apprenticeship. The upside about choosing to work as an HVAC technician is that you’ll be joining a field that is in very high demand and will likely have positions available and open after you complete your apprenticeship.
What is an Apprenticeship
The first order of business is to define and better understand what an apprenticeship is in detail. Generally speaking, it’s a way to receive training as you work on the job. You are in the act of apprenticing any time you’re working and earning all under the supervision of someone who is experienced in the field or task at hand. As a trainee, you’ll be matched with professionals in a skilled trade all while earning an income. It’s a recognized type of program that will help you to become an entry-level employee shortly.
You can expect to complete your apprenticeship within three to five years as you work and gain hands-on experience and take classes. The entire goal is for the other person to train you and for you to gain new skills in the specific area so that you can eventually work independently or on your own. In the end, you may receive a certification or license, for example.
Apprenticeships & an HVAC Career
You may also be wondering if an apprenticeship is required to have a career in HVAC. The reality is that the requirements vary and are different by state. Some states require training and licensing while others have the local governments set the requirements for working in HVAC. It’s important to look into matter where you live before you begin any classes or training.
While in most cases you’ll find an apprenticeship for a career in HVAC isn’t required, it is desirable and admired. Having training and experience will give you a leg up on the competition. Keep in mind there are training-only apprenticeships and others that offer hands-on training and classroom work combined.
Securing an HVAC Apprenticeship
Once you decide to move forward with an HVAC apprenticeship you’ll need to know where to look for and find one. The good news is that there are several ways to locate and secure one. For instance, you might want to start by contacting local HVAC companies in your area and inquiring about what they’re offering and if you can work there. Other ideas include enrolling in a program or community college that offers one, searching via the U.S. Department of Labor or a state labor or apprenticeship agency, or the U.S. Department of Labor’s Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs. Also, you can contact HVAC unions or non-union organizations for apprenticeship and training programs.
Another idea is to contact an online HVAC training and career center such as HVAC Training HQ to see what’s available. They have all you need to get started on your journey including:
· State-specific training requirements
· A step-by-step hiring process
· Potential employers to help you get hired
· Insight into HVAC training classes, programs, and schools near you
Each apprenticeship program is unique and may look different. The list of apprenticeship requirements might vary somewhat but there are a few that are common to most of them. For example, you’re likely going to have to be 18 years of age to get started. You should also make sure you have a GED or high school diploma before attempting to take on an HVAC apprenticeship. Also, you not only need to be physically capable of performing the work and tasks but also have a valid driver’s license that you can show.
Getting an HVAC apprenticeship is a very realistic and attainable goal to have. You can dive right in and get started today by looking further into securing your apprenticeship with any number of the places listed above. It won’t be long before you’re rolling up your sleeves and being trained by an experienced professional who can help you navigate the field and ensure you find success with this career.
How To Be A Successful HVAC Apprentice
Feel free to read our post on becoming an HVAC apprentice for more detailed information.