If you don't want to spend a lot of money on schooling, the HVAC Apprentice route may be your best option, as it usually equates to some form of on-the-job training and classroom education that is paid for by your employer. Allowing you to earn, while you learn!
You can become an Apprentice through a Union or through employment with an HVAC company:
Should I pursue an "earn while you learn" (FREE Schooling) apprentice program over a trade school, college, or online learning platform?
What's the catch?
Employers have different definitions of what an apprentice is and because of that you'll find different types of HVAC apprentice programs available to you.
According to Google and Merriam-Webster, the definition of an apprentice is:
These definitions are "right on point". Because they define the different apprentice opportunities.
Basically, you are either an absolute inexperienced apprentice or you have a year or so of experience under your belt, but are still considered an apprentice because you haven't put in enough hours to advance to a journeyman level.
So when it comes to employers, they are either looking for experienced apprentices or they're accepting newbies. Of course, most of them desire experience but many times are taking whatever they can get.
You may have to work for a fixed period of time (through a contractual obligation), and if you have little experience, your pay will more than likely reflect that.
The Heating,Ventilation,Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration field is a broad one with a lot of different specialties and opportunities including:
So you may want to figure out which of these specialties you'd prefer to work in before signing up with an apprentice program. Especially if your plan is to someday turn your HVAC knowledge into a business.
It's also important to review the company or apprentice program that you are considering........Especially if your signing a contractual commitment of your time.
When there aren't very many apprentice job opportunities or programs available, beggars can't be choosers and you either have to take what you can get, or explore other options such as an online program or trade school.
But it you have several options to choose from, then you might as well be the chooser and do your due-diligence by choosing a company and program that best fits you and your goals.
You can find current apprentice job opportunities, look up any company your thinking about working for and read their reviews at:
glassdoor.com - Built on the foundation of increasing workplace transparency, glassdoor offers millions of the latest job listings, combined with a growing database of company reviews and approval ratings. All of this information is shared by those who know a company best - the employees.
indeed.com - Indeed strives to put job seekers first, giving them free access to search for jobs, post resumes, and research companies.
kununu.com - Provides a fresh collection of employer reviews and company insights from workers in companies all over the U.S. so that it's easy to find out what it's like to work at a company before applying there.
careerbliss.com - An information hub for everyone in the workforce including direct employers, job seekers, and recruiters.
HVAC Schools › HVAC Apprentice
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