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HVAC Technician: Apprenticeship to Journeyperson


Published on March 6, 2024

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To embark on a career as an HVAC technician, a traditional four-year degree is not necessary. The fundamental educational prerequisites include obtaining a high school diploma or GED equivalent, followed by completing an apprenticeship.

While there are pre-apprenticeship programs available for HVAC technicians, they are not obligatory. However, participating in one can enhance your chances of securing an apprenticeship in the future.

The Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) oversees the regulation of HVAC technicians. Their requirements encompass:

  • High school diploma or GED equivalent

  • Completion of an apprenticeship

  • Gas technician license

While not mandatory, the following programs and certifications may prove beneficial:

  • Oil Burner Technician certification

  • Wood Energy Technology Transfer (WETT) certification

  • Pre-apprenticeship program for HVAC

  • High School Co-op Diploma Apprenticeship Program

Also read: How Much Do HVAC Techs Make?

HVAC Apprenticeship Process and Examination

Becoming an HVAC technician entails an apprenticeship combining practical on-the-job training with classroom instruction. Specifically, the process includes:

  • Approximately 5 years of on-the-job training, totaling 8,280 hours

  • 720 hours of in-school HVAC training

  • Successful completion of a certification exam

  • Meeting the registration criteria to attain journeyperson status

  • Applying for and obtaining certification as a journeyperson in the trade

Depending on the arrangement with your employer, it may be possible to complete the apprenticeship in less than five years. Additionally, there are three levels of exams to be completed, with a minimum passing grade of 70% required on the final exam. It's essential to apply to HVAC companies offering apprenticeships, as these programs are not affiliated with educational institutions, and participation in pre-apprenticeship programs does not guarantee acceptance.

Embarking on the Journey 

Achieving journey person status marks the commencement of a journey of continual growth and learning within the HVAC industry. As an HVAC technician, you can pursue additional certifications and tailor your career path according to your aspirations, whether that involves establishing your own business or exploring other avenues.

For further inquiries regarding how to become an HVAC technician or to explore career opportunities within the industry, check out the blog about How to Become an HVAC Apprentice for more information. 

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