HVAC Apprenticeship 101

Since the beginning of the Middle Ages, the apprenticeship model has been one of the oldest and better ways to initiate a new underling in the process of achieving mastery in a specific trade.

Journeymen used to keep apprentices for around 7 years in which they teached them every secret of the trade they knew plus provided the structure needed to gain experience through practice.

In this article, we want to plead the case for HVAC apprenticeship and why it’s such an invaluable, time-tested model that can help you reach mastery as quick as possible.


What you’ll learn in an HVAC apprenticeship

Through an HVAC apprenticeship you will gain a basic overview of technical and industrial knowledge, which counts as the foundation for your career.

It will also provide you with the basics of refrigeration, heating, plumbing and electrical work you need to know as an HVAC apprentice.

Your real world math skills will be put to the test while conducting your day-to-day activities.

But don’t worry, you’ll go through the process of learning and applying industrial math, which is different from the one you’re used to.

Plus, you’ll get the chance to work on CAD (computer aided design) software, which is a must for technicians that want to up their game by being able to create computer based blueprints.

Now that we’ve displayed some of the benefits of going through the apprenticeship program, let’s find out how you can get into one.


How to get an HVAC apprenticeship?

There are three major ways in which you can land yourself an HVAC apprenticeship: job openings, approaching an independent HVAC technician or through a union.


Job openings

You should be able to check on indeed.com or other local papers for job openings on HVAC jobs, and depending on your specific area, you might be surprised of how many open positions are there.

You could manage to bag in an HVAC apprenticeship this way in no time.

Even if you don’t manage to get the job, they might be able to redirect you to a technician willing to kickstart your HVAC apprenticeship.


Approaching an independent HVAC technician

If the first option doesn’t go anywhere, there is also the option to approach an independent HVAC technician.

There is a big chance for them to take you in as an apprentice.

But, you have to be willing and to express your desire to become a reliable guy that also learns fast.

Basically, you should try to show him that you won’t become a liability in any shape or form.

There are alot of willing technicians ready to pass on their knowledge to a willing apprentice, so this should be a great option for you.

The thing to keep in mind here is that there is a big chance that you’ll end up working for free, at least for starters, if the technician decides to accept you as an HVAC apprentice.

Don’t forget to bring with you at least your resume, if not also your driver’s license, social security number (SSN) or social insurance number (SIN) and your high school / college transcript.

Depending on the employer, you might be asked to bring in specific documents, so it’s best to ask them after establishing first contact.



There is also the union option, on an HVAC related field.

You should search for local unions, because the chances are they probably are much more willing to take in HVAC apprentices.

Head on over to UA Local and fill in the application, so you become eligible for an HVAC apprenticeship through a union.


How long does an apprenticeship take?

Historically, apprenticeships took around 7 years to complete; nowadays, it depends. 

There are some regulations that vary by state, so you should check those first, but usually there is a set number of clocked-in hours before during the apprenticeship. 

After that, you should be eligible to participate in certification exams.

Also, for some it’s a 3-5 year apprenticeship, so it can also depend on how quickly you pick up the skills needed for day-to-day work.


Building up your resume

It may be the case that since you want to become an apprentice, there isn’t much experience you have on your belt.

It’s somewhat to be expected, and the plus side is that any experience counts for more.

So, if you’ve done any projects of your own, such as installing and maintaining your own AC, make sure to write it down in your resume.

As a lot of math is involved in our field, if you had good grades in high school be sure to mention those too.

Also make sure to specify that you are a quick learner and that you’re willing to give your best to become good at the job.


How much should you expect to earn?

Again, this depends on a variety of factors.

It can vary anywhere from nothing to $10 an hour, or as much as $20+ an hour, depending on your state.

As an apprentice, you shouldn’t make getting a high paying job a priority.

You’re here to learn and give your best at trying to become as good on the job as you can, as fast as you can.

By properly developing your skills, you make sure that you build a strong foundation that will earn you serious money in the future.

Also, it’s important to not be discouraged when it comes to age, as a lot of people (understandably) associate apprenticeship with young age.

But this is not always the case, as an apprenticeship can be done at any age, and chances are, the older you get the more willing you are to work and chances are you have developed yourself into a diligent worker.



The apprenticeship is a time-tested way to acquire trade knowledge and skills that will help mold you into the professional you want to be, so make sure you give it a go.

Don’t forget that it’s never too late to go the HVAC apprenticeship route, irrespective of age.

We hope our article has provided you with some useful information, and we’ll catch you in the next one!

Written by

Rares Taut, Marketing Manager at FieldVibe.com, the best scheduling app tailored for field service professionals.

Leave a Reply