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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2016
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    HVAC newbie (Canada) - questions about training, demand, location

    Hi all.

    I'm 31 years old, and have been teaching in Korea ever since graduating with my BA eight years ago. It's been fun, but I really don't see it as a viable long-term career option, especially when it comes time to raise a family.

    I'm hoping to go back to Canada and make a career change, and HVAC is something that has really piqued my interested. Unfortunately my experience in the trades is extremely limited (worked a couple years in the electrical department at Home Depot, so I have just a little knowledge in that field).

    I have some time off over the next few months, so I'd like to use this time to do some self-study and familiarize myself with the field as much as possible before I look into pre-apprentice programs in Canada. Can anyone recommend a good way of doing this? Any books or web series worth looking at? Simply browsing through threads on this forum doesn't help much because I generally lack familiarity with the terminology and concepts.

    Also: what's the demand really like these days? I read all these articles talking about how Canada is experiencing a major labor shortage in the trades, but then I read posts on here about HVAC techs who are struggling to find work.

    Is there anywhere with a high demand for HVAC workers these days? I'd pretty much be willing to move anywhere between Victoria and Montreal, although ideally not anywhere too isolated.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta
    Posts
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    Stay away from Ontario. The apprentice-journeyman ratio is way out of whack, making it hard to break into any trade.
    Go west, BC has lots of work, Saskatchewan isn't bad. We're slow in Alberta.
    Pre-apprenticeship programs *may* help you break into a trade, but they're a lot of money for small benefit.



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  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2016
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    2
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    Thanks for your response, syndicated.

    I'm originally from BC, so I have no problem moving there!

    I guess my logic in taking a pre-apprenticeship program is just so that I can put at least some type of concrete HVAC qualification on my resume. Rather than "I spent the last 7 years working in a classroom and office, but read some books on refrigeration, so give me job please!"

    I read in another post on here that JARTS (which is seemingly the go-to place for HVAC training in BC) has a 2-year wait list for its pre-app program.

    So to hear that the pre-app program may not be necessary is encouraging. Anyway, I'll keep researching to try to determine a viable course of action!

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta
    Posts
    1,537
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    I'm told there's a school in Kelowna that has the same program.

    I get what you're saying, just be aware that at the end of the day with that course, you'll still have no experience.
    Before you apply to the program, go have a chat with a few employers if you can to get a feel for what they look for. Maybe they're looking for a helper!
    This is a great trade, it pays well and never gets boring.
    Best of luck man!


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