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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
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    Ottawa, CA
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    Advice for a hopeful apprentice

    I am getting ready to approach HVAC businesses in Ottawa, Ontario regarding a potential apprenticeship and would love any advice this forum has to offer.

    I am 33, have recently spent 6yrs as the caretaker of a vacation ranch, am currently working in retail, and yet I desperately want to enter the HVAC trade. I considered the 2yr course at Algonquin college but I simply cannot afford to go back to school, so apprenticeship is looking like my only viable option.

    What is an employer hoping/expecting to hear from me as I walk in the door and ask to speak to the manager? What should I already know?

    If you can offer any suggestions or have any questions for me, please fire away!

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    Dover, DE
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    Just be honest. Be honest about what you know, who you are and where you want to be in the next 5-10 years.
    Nobody's expecting you to walk in the door calculating manual j reports and quoting lines off a PT chart.
    I havent failed. Ive just found 10,000 ways that wont work. - Thomas Edison

    Its not whether you get knocked down, its whether you get up. - Vince Lombardi

    "In this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics" - Homer Simpson

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  4. #3
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    Jan 2017
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    Ottawa, CA
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    Thread Starter
    Thanks, that is the approach I prefer and it usually though not always works out in my favor.

    I'm already excited to take the first steps on what is going to be a very long road.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    So. Cal
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    I agree, be honest on your experience/knowledge. A manager will see thru you if you are faking it till you make it. Another word of encouragement is to be eager to do all aspects of the job, and questions aren't stupid until the third time. Good luck to you common sense and a can do attitude will get you far.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Southeastern Pa
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    You might want to contact the local union in your jurisdiction and ask them about any type of testing that is given for potential apprentice applicants.
    [Avatar photo from a Florida training accident. Everyone walked away.]
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  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
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    I'm in Ottawa myself and have recently started as a 313A apprentice. I was a lot like you and switched careers a little later then most apprentices (32 years old), was working retail and desperately wanted back into HVAC.(started Algonquin 10 years ago but it didn't work out). But I couldn't afford Algonquin (time or cost) but I knew that the chances of getting hired on without a gas license is slim to none in Ottawa/Ontario. So here's what I did.

    I completed the G3/2 Coop through Himark in Ottawa and was hired on by the company I was doing coop with. Generally it seems to be the way most guys get hired on right after getting their gas tickets. In total I think I was done with my G2 within 5/6 months. So it is rough for those months but as long as you pass the TSSA exams and you don't screw up on coop there is a good chance you will be hired. Or worst case if you're a good coop but they don't hire they should be able to refer or be a reference.

    It will also depend greatly if you are aiming for commercial refrigeration 313A, 313D Air Conditoong (residential) or just gas work.

    To my knowledge there are very little pure refrigeration techs left since most units have a gas component and TSSA mandates that you can't touch them unless you have the proper gas licenses.
    Last edited by Tperleyr; 01-05-2017 at 09:10 PM. Reason: Adding some more relevance

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
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    Forgot to add a few things.

    The local union here is the 787 and you can check out their site but I received confirmation that they are not doing an intake for the Ottawa area this round. (They only run intakes a few times a year)

    If you want commercial then most of the big outfits are all 787 (mine is not and I was lucky to know the right people for them to take me)

    Also I've been a long term lurker but didn't feel the need to post till I saw this one since it's right up my alley.

    Oh and last but not least Himark are also the only people in Ottawa who are allowed to offer the G1 course so they are in good standing with TSSA which I think helps them run the G3/2 coop course with a high success rate.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    Oregon
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    Anymore, a guy that wants to work and leaves his cell phone in the truck at work is who I would hire.
    Federal Reserve, stealing your kids futures since 1913

    UA290

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by acjourneyman View Post
    Anymore, a guy that wants to work and leaves his cell phone in the truck at work is who I would hire.
    haha nice

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
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    Ontari-ari-ari-o
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    I'd go in asking for a "helper" position. Apprenticeships are a long commitment on both ends and if you are lucky enough for a company to take you on for a spot you should be spending that luck on lottery tickets instead. If you can get a job as a helper drilling holes and carrying stuff you will learn what you need and it will go a long way to getting you where you need to go.

    The Himark suggestion is a good one getting your license through the college is more expensive and you have to take a lot of stuff you don't really need for the privilege of a diploma. I got my license through a college and by the third semester I had gotten frustrated and just dropped all but the classes I needed to get my license.

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