I am a 2 year residential service tech and want to graduate to become a commercial apprentice. However all the commercial companies I talk to want me to become a parts runner first for at least a year, then if I have talent bump me into apprenticeship position. I have been studying the carrier service manuals for chillers and boilers that I have and all the info in my book: Modern refrigeration and air conditioning. However I have very little hands on experience on chillers or boilers. No public community colleges I know off teach or give classes in these subjects. So if I have to become a parts runner, how do I survive on $11/hr? How do I pay my rent? Is there an easier solution? Any way to become an apprentice without doing the **** work? Basically, how do I get hands experience without joining a company? Can I get hands on experience say at a community college that any of you guys know of? I prefer to stay away from private colleges, since I will end owing them $6,000 in the end, which unfortunately I can't afford at this moment. Any advice given is appreciated. Thanks.