Attorney Portrait
Topic HVAC Software,

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) technicians are skilled professionals. 

They know precisely how to balance airflow for optimal system efficiency. They can find the specific type of refrigerant needed for different AC units. They know how to troubleshoot digital thermostats. 

Building this knowledge takes time—both in the classroom and on the job. That’s why those considering joining the industry typically need to undertake an HVAC apprenticeship. 

What are the benefits of an apprenticeship? How do you find one? What can you expect day-to-day? In this article, we answer all your questions. We’ll also give you an overview of the HVAC market and quick, practical tips to help you get started. 

Benefits of an HVAC Apprenticeship 

An HVAC apprenticeship is a training program in which you learn to install, maintain, and repair heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. 

You work with skilled professionals and gain real-world experience. Sometimes, you’ll earn a wage too. 

RELATED ARTICLE: Digging into HVAC Technician Training with ForgeNow 

Let’s take a closer look at the benefits. 

Learn from Experienced Professionals 

One of the biggest benefits of an HVAC apprenticeship is the opportunity to learn from experienced technicians. 

These professionals have years of knowledge and skills under their belts. They can show you how to handle various equipment correctly. They can explain the reasoning behind each task and teach you best practices. 

By watching and interacting with them, you learn the tricks of the trade that aren’t always found in books. 

Get Hands-on Experience 

In an HVAC apprenticeship, you get to work on actual equipment. This hands-on experience is invaluable. Why? Because it helps you understand the mechanics and quirks of HVAC systems. 

You’ll learn how to install units, troubleshoot problems, and perform regular maintenance. This direct involvement prepares you for real job scenarios you’ll face daily once you start working. 

Improve Customer Service 

During your apprenticeship, you’ll also interact with customers. This is a chance to improve your customer service skills. 

You’ll learn to communicate clearly, handle complaints professionally, and ensure customer satisfaction. 

These skills are crucial. Good customer service can lead to repeat business and positive referrals. These are vital for a successful career in HVAC—especially if you decide to start your own business. 

Sharpen Your Problem-Solving Skills 

HVAC systems can be complex. You’ll face various technical challenges that demand creative problem-solving as an apprentice. 

Each repair or maintenance task might present a new problem that needs a unique solution. Through these experiences, you’ll develop the ability to diagnose issues quickly. From there, you can figure out the best ways to fix them. 

How to Find HVAC Apprenticeship Programs 

An HVAC apprenticeship is a big part of your professional training. Finding a program that aligns with your goals and values is a must. 

Who Offers HVAC Apprenticeships? 

Many HVAC companies run their own apprenticeship programs to train new technicians. These programs are often the most hands-on, as they are run by businesses working in the industry. 

Technical schools and community colleges may also offer programs. These combine classwork with some practical training. 

Some trade unions and professional associations take on apprentices as well. This might include both educational components and work placements. 

FROM ONE OF OUR PARTNERS: The Best HVAC Technician Training Programs in the U.S. 

What to Look for in an HVAC Apprenticeship 

To be the best, you’ve got to learn from the best. When choosing where to do your apprenticeship, consider these: 

  • Reputation: Look for programs that are well-regarded in the industry. Good reviews from former apprentices and a history of successful training are positive signs. If you work with a company, choose one with great community feedback. 
  • Experience: Go for programs with experienced trainers who have been in the field for many years. They can provide you with deeper insights and higher-quality training. 
  • Type of services: Ensure the program covers the HVAC services that interest you. If you want to specialize in something specific, find a program that includes this. Examples might be solar-integrated or industrial HVAC systems. 
  • Compensation: Some apprenticeships are paid. This can be a huge help. Compare the pay rates and benefits of different programs. 

Quick Tips for Finding and Securing an HVAC Apprenticeship 

Finding the right apprenticeship involves research and reaching out. Be proactive and start with these steps: 

  • Use job boards. Look at websites like Indeed, Monster, or industry-specific job boards. These have listings for HVAC apprenticeships. 
  • Contact vocational colleges. Speak to advisors at vocational colleges. They often have connections with local businesses looking for apprentices. 
  • Network. Talk to people already working in HVAC. Ask your family, friends, or community members. Do they know anyone in the industry who could give advice or needs an apprentice? 
  • Approach companies directly. They might be interested even if a company isn’t advertising an apprenticeship. Prepare a brief, professional pitch about why you would be a good fit for their company. Highlight your eagerness to learn and contribute. 
  • Contact local unions. Many HVAC workers are part of local unions that offer apprenticeship programs. Unions also have strong relationships with HVAC companies. 

RELATED ARTICLE: HVAC Networking Groups: Growing with Associations & Partners 

What to Expect During an HVAC Apprenticeship 

An HVAC apprenticeship is a hands-on learning experience. Here’s what you can expect: 

Getting Started 

In the beginning, you will help more experienced technicians. This stage is about becoming familiar with the day-to-day tasks of an HVAC technician. 

You will start by assisting with primary duties. This might include: 

  • Carrying tools 
  • Cleaning work areas 
  • Accompanying experienced technicians on job callouts 

You will also observe more complex tasks. This period builds your foundational knowledge. 

Gaining Responsibilities 

As you gain experience and trust, your responsibilities will increase. 

You might start with simpler tasks like changing filters or replacing small parts under supervision. Gradually, you will handle more complex duties. This includes troubleshooting and repairing HVAC units. 

Your mentor will guide you. This ensures you learn the correct techniques and safest procedures. 

Learning About Different Specializations 

Your apprenticeship will also show you different parts of HVAC work. This includes installation, repair, and preventative maintenance. 

Variety helps you discover which areas you excel in. 

Undergoing Advanced Training and Mentorship 

As you progress further, your training will become more specific. 

For example, say you show interest in maintenance. You might spend several months working with a supervisor on maintenance calls. 

During this time, you will learn more advanced technical skills. You will also gain a real-world understanding of reporting and customer support procedures. 

Using Tools and Technology 

During your apprenticeship, you’ll learn to use many tools needed for HVAC work. You’ll start with simple tools like wrenches and screwdrivers. 

Later, you’ll use more advanced tools like vacuum pumps to find system leaks and voltage testers to check thermostats. 

FROM ONE OF OUR PARTNERS: Top 22 Electrical Tools for Your Apprentice Electricians 

Progressing and Getting Licensed 

An HVAC apprenticeship can last three to five years. You’ll complete more complex jobs and grow your skills as you advance. 

After hundreds of hours of training, you will be well-prepared to pursue licensing and certification. You can then start your career as an HVAC professional. 

HVAC Certifications and Licensing 

You must have a license to work as an HVAC technician in many areas. The specific requirements for licensing vary depending on where you live. 

Generally, you must prove you have worked under a licensed technician. Most places also require insurance and passing a licensing exam. 

Here are some examples: 


To get licensed in Alabama, you must pass an exam from the Alabama Board of Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Contractors

To qualify for the exam, you must meet one of the following criteria: 

  • Held an apprenticeship certificate for two years 
  • Graduated from an approved course 
  • Worked under a licensed contractor for at least 3,000 hours 


In Hawaii, you need a specialty contractor license. You get this from the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs

You must pass exams in business law and trade. 

You also need four years of supervisory experience and the right insurance coverage. 


In Oregon, HVAC contractors need a license from the Oregon Construction Contractors Board

There are different types of licenses for residential and commercial work. You must meet specific experience, training, and testing requirements to get a license. 

HVAC Certifications 

Alongside your state license, you might need certifications. 

For example, the EPA Section 608 certification is mandatory for those who work with refrigerants. This certification helps prevent harmful substances from being released into the atmosphere. 

You must pass an EPA-approved exam that covers proper refrigerant handling and management. 


You might consider certifications in specific areas of HVAC. This can boost your skills and help you stand out. 

While they require more study and testing, they can increase your job prospects. Niche services generally have less competition. This could be a significant advantage if you plan to start your own business. 

Practical Steps to Take Today 

You can make the licensing and certification process more accessible by preparing now. Here are some quick steps to take: 

  • Check local requirements. Find out your state’s licensing and certification requirements early in your career. 
  • Prepare for tests. Spend time studying for the exams. Use study guides and practice tests to increase your chances of passing the first time. 
  • Consider continuing education. To stay active, many certifications ask you to undertake continuing education. Plan to take extra courses throughout your career. This will keep your skills up-to-date and your certifications valid. 

Outlook of the HVAC Industry 

Homes and businesses must be comfortable. That’s why HVAC services are essential. And this means they are relatively resilient to market changes and global events. 

Over the past five years, the industry’s revenue has grown by 0.1% annually. It’s expected to reach $127.1 billion in 2024. 

This is excellent news for aspiring HVAC technicians like you. You will probably experience good job security and ongoing demand for your services. 

How does this impact your chosen career path? Let’s find out. 

HVAC Technician 

An HVAC technician might be your first role. You’ll handle the installation, maintenance, and repair of HVAC systems. This job is crucial because it keeps heating and cooling systems running smoothly. 

High demand for these services provides job security. Variety also allows you to develop a broad range of skills. 

HVAC Installer 

If you prefer working on new projects, consider becoming an HVAC installer. You’ll install new systems in buildings under construction. 

Just keep your region or city in mind when deciding. The best prospects for installers are in larger or growing cities with lots of new construction

HVAC Service Manager 

With experience, you might move up to a service manager position. You’ll oversee teams and make sure projects meet high standards. 

You’ll also engage more with clients and learn about business processes. 

This role offers higher pay. The average salary for an HVAC service manager is $80,264. This can range from $69,303 to $91,181. 

An HVAC service manager is a good fit if you like leading teams and solving logistical challenges. 

HVAC Sales Consultant 

Do you have strong communication skills? Do you have a knack for understanding technology? You could become a sales consultant. 

You will help clients choose the best HVAC system for their needs. 

Where to Start with HVAC Apprenticeships 

Here are simple steps to help you start your HVAC apprenticeship: 

  • Look on job sites. Check online job boards for apprenticeship openings. Why not apply for the ones that sound like a good fit? 
  • Pick your interest area. Think about what part of HVAC work you like most. This might be residential repairs, installing commercial systems, or regular checks on industrial equipment. This will help you choose the right apprenticeship. 
  • Research good companies. Learn about HVAC companies near you. Look for those with positive reviews and solid reputations. Choose one that seems like a good match for you. 
  • Talk to schools. Contact schools that offer HVAC programs. They can connect you with companies that need apprentices. 
  • Update your resume. Ensure it is ready and shows any skills or experiences related to HVAC work. 

Related Posts

Stay Informed

Get the latest news and insights plus, Service Fusion offers and updates.