Well, I've been browsing this site for a couple of days - was directed here by a member from another site because I was asking questions about aquiring a trade skill in HVAC.

My basic question is this - is it possible to get started in the HVAC industry by taking a part time job on the weekends to get experience? I have no certifications, and don't know what, if any, are needed/required/desired by employers.

I am working at a dead end job sitting in a cubicle for 30K +/- a year and I'm ready to get out. I've found my degree (B.A. English) is useless (like I didn't know that already), and that the people who seem to consistently make good money have an identifiable and marketable skill. That being said, I'm very mechanically inclined, and would like to learn this trade, but have to compromise given the fact that I have to continue to support my family while I learn (mine is the only income).

Bottom line is, I need to know if there are 30K/yr jobs out there that I can take to learn this trade, and if not, what I need to do. Sounds like a HVAC degree might help, but not much? Getting conflicting info there. And the local colleges offer both two year AAS degrees as well as one year certificates. I'd like to get to work as soon as possible. I know I can't take the full-time helper route, so would it be possible to find work as an apprentice? I'm finding it difficult to get clear answers as to the normal career progression (whatever normal means).

Anyway, I'd appreciate any input anyone has - and thanks in advance.