You can’t be an HVAC technician without completing the necessary education and state licensing. There are two routes to take: Go to a training program at a school, or serve as an apprentice.
Trade school programs teach you in the classroom, and you will graduate in six months to two years. HVAC apprenticeships are a mix of classes and on-the-job training, and they take three to five years to complete.
What Is An HVAC Apprenticeship?
HVAC apprenticeships are generally paid positions, though the salary isn’t much—usually minimum wage for the first couple years. As mentioned, most demand a three to five-year commitment, depending on the position.
They can sometimes be difficult to find, and success depends on the quality of the person you are training under. You will have the choice between a local union or non-union apprenticeship program. There are benefits to both options. The most common way to enter a program is through a local union. Most unions have in-house programs as well as a classroom component, making this an appealing option to some.
An apprenticeship can help you learn how to deal with situations beyond the textbook. You may even walk away with a full time job afterward.
To start an HVAC apprenticeship, you must be:
- at least 18 years old
- a high school graduate (or have a GED)
- able to present a valid driver's license
There may be other qualifications expected as well, depending on your employer.
Working In The HVAC Field
Once you have earned your state license and successfully complete your apprenticeship, you are qualified to work either for a contractor or set up your own business. So start your career in HVAC—train for a position in this always-in-demand industry by finding a program near you.