What do I need to do, to get a shot at being a apprentice for a union?
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  1. #1

    What do I need to do, to get a shot at being a apprentice for a union?

    I went to a vocational school in high school, and never got certified. I was thinking about going back to college, or a trade school, now that I'm serious about learning. I feel this would be the best option, but from the threads that I have read, it seems to be quite the opposite.

    I am wondering, how could I have the best chance at being accepted into a apprentice program? Is college/trade school and option? Which one would be better for learning the trade? The college I would go to, would be HVCC (Hudson Valley Community College). Should I try and get a job at a residential HVAC shop?

    I'm lost, and have nobody to help direct me.

    Thanks for all your help and support.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    177
    I posted a reply and then my pc crashed so I'll try to keep this short.

    I was in your shoes earlier this year and even came on here for advice. I'd apply for the UA and then I'd enroll into an HVACR program at a community college. I'm not sure how your locals do it where you're at but, I had 6-7 months before I'd get an interview which is part of the reason why I went to college. It was too much time to be wasting just sitting around especially when I wasn't certain whether I'd get accepted or not. I think that ultimately helped me in the end because when I had the apprenticeship interview, they liked the fact that I didn't waste any time at all and it showed them that I was serious about making it into this field. Another good reason to at least start school is because if you don't get accepted into the apprenticeship, at least your in school and now you just finished a semester (or however much time has passed). Its all about being proactive.

    I heard a lot of horror stories about how hard it can be to get accepted and so I really wasn't expecting to hear any good news but I ended up making it through and again, I think that really helped. I don't think it would hurt to apply for any entry level positions either if they are available to you. Again, I think the key to all this is to be proactive.

    I still have another 2-3 weeks before I start the apprenticeship so I can't speak on how good it is but, according to everyone I spoke to (both online and in person), you really can't beat it. Not only is it free but you get paid to be there and its mixed with OJT (or supposed to be at least). Either way, its better than what my current situation is so I won't complain. Hope this helps somewhat and good luck with whatever you decide to do!

  3. #3
    Thank you for taking the time to reply after such a frustrating event. Also, thank you for your advice. I think Community College may be a good route. Any other advice is welcome.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Chicagoland Area
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    4,495
    Put your name on the list and take the test or get a job at a union shop as a driver or coil cleaner.
    Officially, Down for the count

    YOU HAVE TO GET OFF YOUR ASS TO GET ON YOUR FEET

    I know enough to know, I don't know enough
    Liberalism-Ideas so good they mandate them

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Near Chicago, IL
    Posts
    3,317
    Quote Originally Posted by ThePipeMan View Post
    I am wondering, how could I have the best chance at being accepted into a apprentice program? Is college/trade school and option? Which one would be better for learning the trade? The college I would go to, would be HVCC (Hudson Valley Community College). Should I try and get a job at a residential HVAC shop?

    I'm lost, and have nobody to help direct me.

    Thanks for all your help and support.
    Here is your light at the end of the tunnel:

    You need to physically go to the local unions you are interested in, or visit their website, and get information on their apprentice application process.

    There are 4 different HVAC specific unions in my area, and they all have different testing and sign-up requirements. This does not count the nearby electricians and carpenters that both have some type of pseudo-HVAC "training". Some take applications only once a year and another takes applications monthly but tests once a year.

    Assuming, of course, that the union you are looking to apply at is even accepting applications, or accepting applications without the potential apprentice obtaining bona-fide job offer letter from an employer, or if the union is always taking applications and filling 40 slots from 300+ HVAC applicants or if the union will have an apprentice class after accepting applications.

    Yes, there are ways to "back-door" the process, but unless (1) you know someone or (2) you get a job at a non-union shop that becomes signatory with a union, your chances of buying a card in this economic climate is slim... unless you are a 6G X-ray capable welder.

    I wouldn't count on a college degree or vo-tech getting you a job, unless they have a placement program. And then, is the employment afterward at a sleazy operation that just takes the fresh meat for filter changer jobs with no/little advancement opportunity? College/vo-tech will not open any new doors for you at the union as an apprentice. The knowledge may help you, but you won't skip a year.

  6. #6
    Aw, that's sad to hear for me then. How am I supposed to get an A on the test though, if I don't know enough to get an A?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Near Chicago, IL
    Posts
    3,317
    The union apprentice application tests here do not have technical HVAC questions.

    Basic math, basic mechanical competency, reading comprehension.

    One local union sells a study guide if you sign up for their test (which also costs money).

    Don't know what it is like in your area, but probably not much different.

    Apprentice = entry level. They aren't making it difficult.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Kansas City, Kansas, United States
    Posts
    13,817
    any hvac training is good training!

    community colleges you dont have to pay $50k up front!

    if you get picked up you can just quit!
    I WILL SELL WORK,GENERATE BUSINESS, GO GET NEW CUSTOMERS!
    YOU SHUT THE HELL UP AND QUIT RUNNING YOUR MOUTH!

  9. #9
    That's good to hear. At least I can practice.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Kansas City, Kansas, United States
    Posts
    13,817
    there is plenty of stuff on the net

    my favorite is the honeywell grey manual!

    it is on PDF
    I WILL SELL WORK,GENERATE BUSINESS, GO GET NEW CUSTOMERS!
    YOU SHUT THE HELL UP AND QUIT RUNNING YOUR MOUTH!

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