HVAC job market for apprentice in Washington state and BC Canada
I am investigating if this is the field for me. I have been in at least two trades both aviation and automotive. But the automotive cost alot in the term of tools and time for overnight classes that want to enter into a field that is not so burdonsom and yes, pays well.
I heard that apprentice HVAC techs some times have to dig ditches or, are the grunt tech that has to haul everything?
I don't mind moving equipment but would resent being singled out as the sole person in hauling everything up and down. Just a story I heard from the son of a HVAC Father in PA.
Anyway, I am very interested so if anyone can fill me in on the day and life of a 1-2 year hvac tech would like to know more details.
Last edited by lortech; 02-05-2010 at 10:25 PM.
When you say apprentice I assume you are talking about going the union route. If you go into the commercial arena there will not be any ditch digging. Yes there will be some grunt work, and the level of abuse depends on who you work with. Loading tools and lifting parts, changing filters and washing towers. Until you have been trained there isn't much for you to do anyway.
As an apprentice all your school is paid for and depending on which union you join, your tools could be paid for. If you are lucky enough to get in you will be making some serious dough in 6 years.
I STARTED WITH NOTHING, AND I STILL HAVE MOST OF IT!
The apprenticeship program in BC and the rest of Canada does not involve the union.
Refrigeration tools are expensive, too.
As far as what type of work would be expected of you as an apprentice, depends on the company. If you work for a large company, likely you'll just be changing filters.
actually, there is a union in BC
look up JARTS. Is in surrey. Talked to them about a week ago. AC gear may be expensive but not 20-50k in tools like the automotive sector.
I don't mind the work. I worked my tail off in another field but its small and does not pay great!
Going to talk to Jart's again and see if thay can register me.
Only if I knew the health of the hvac business immigrating up here to BC in 02 would I be in much better shape
I know all about JARTS, I've attended the first two years of my apprenticeship training there.
I didn't say there isn't a union. There is a union, UA local 516.
From what I gather reading on this website, the "apprenticeship" program in the United States is run by the union. That is, you join the union and become an apprentice.
Up here in socialist Canada, you do not need to work for a union company to enroll in the apprenticeship program. You find an employer (union or non-union) who will sponsor you as an apprentice. First two years of school are 6 weeks each, second two years of school are 8 weeks. After writing your Trade Qualification exam, you are certified as a Red Seal Journeyman. Red Seal is good in any province in Canada.
There are two places to attend apprenticeship training in BC. JARTS in Surrey, and BCIT in Burnaby. JARTS is run by UA local 516 and shares the same building as the union office, but you do not need to work for a union company to attend school there. The union subsidizes the tuition for all students at JARTS, union company or not.
As far as JARTS "registering" you...first thing you need to do is find a job with a company who will sponsor you.