Top 7 Skills You Learn in HVAC School (& Why They're Important)

It's a great time to get into the heating and cooling trade. Skilled HVAC mechanics and technicians have excellent job prospects all over Ontario.

The Government of Canada Job Bank gives every region of the province 3 stars for HVAC employment - the highest possible rating.

Hoping to land one of those opportunities?

If you want to become a licensed HVAC professional, you'll need to complete an apprenticeship. But to get hired as an apprentice, you typically need some basic training (called pre-apprenticeship training).

So, what exactly does pre-apprenticeship HVAC training involve? What skills will you learn and how will they help you get hired as an apprentice?

In this post, we outline the 7 most important skills you'll develop at HVAC school (and how they'll help you land a job). Here's what you can expect.

 

1. KNOWLEDGE OF HVAC SYSTEMS

HVAC school will give you a solid grounding in a range of HVAC products and systems.

You'll get hands-on training in installing, maintaining, and troubleshooting:

☑️ Air conditioning systems (evaporators, compressors, condensers, etc.)

☑️ Refrigeration equipment and components

☑️ Heating and humidification systems

☑️ Space heaters and decorative appliances

☑️ Duct systems

HVAC expert and Herzing instructor Darren Fearnley says these are the fundamentals you must know if you want to land an apprenticeship.

"Most apprentices start out doing very basic jobs, and they need to know what parts look like, and how they go together.

You need that practical training to break into the HVAC industry."

 

2. GAS TECHNICIAN 3 AND 2 TRAINING

Gas technician training is a crucial part of HVAC school.

You need to know how to safely install and service gas appliances like propane/natural gas refrigerators and boilers.

You also need training on gas meters, tanks, cylinders, relief valves, pressure regulators, and venting practices.

A quality HVAC course offers gas technician training at the G3 level first, then progresses to G2.

By the end of the program, you'll be prepared to challenge the G2 certification exam from the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA).

This will help you compete for good jobs in HVAC. Many employers look for G2-certified techs because so many buildings use natural gas for heat.

 

3. BASICS OF ELECTRICITY

To succeed in HVAC, you need a basic grasp of electrical concepts and systems.

Even a gas furnace uses circuit boards and blower motors that require electrical power. And some experts estimate that more than 75 percent of air conditioning failures are due to electrical issues.

HVAC training will teach you how to:

☑️ Measure current and voltage

☑️ Check the power supply to HVAC units

☑️ Work with fuses, breakers, and GFCIs

You'll get practice troubleshooting common electrical problems in heating and cooling systems—using the correct testing equipment and safety precautions.

 

4. REFRIGERANT HANDLING

Many refrigerants used in air conditioners and refrigerators are environmentally harmful.

HVAC school will teach you about the different types of refrigerants and the impact of ozone depletion and global warming.

This training helps when it comes to getting an Ozone Depletion Prevention (ODP) certificate. You need an ODP certificate to legally buy or handle refrigerants in Ontario.

To get the certificate, you must take a 1-day training course, earn a grade of at least 75%, and pay a fee.

HVAC school can be your first introduction to safe methods for handling and recovering refrigerants.

 

5. HVAC SAFETY RULES AND PROCEDURES

Every employer wants HVAC apprentices who understand job safety rules and regulations.

HVAC school includes in-depth training on how to keep yourself and others safe at work. Quality programs include certifications like WHMIS and lockout and tag safety.

Darren says having safety certifications in hand makes you more attractive as a potential apprentice.

"I think one of the most valuable things students leave with is their safety training and certificates.

All employers prefer to hire HVAC apprentices who are already certified in job safety. It saves the employer money. Otherwise, they have to pay for you to get that training."

 

6. CUSTOMER SERVICE

In the world of HVAC, customer service is king.

Many technicians do home service calls (or work in sales), so communication skills are absolutely essential.

You need to be able to listen patiently, give clear explanations, and put clients at ease while in their homes or businesses.

A good HVAC school includes training in customer relations. You'll learn how to deal with complaints, build rapport, and communicate professionally.

These are skills employers will be looking for.

 

7. HVAC JOB SEARCH & INTERVIEW SKILLS

Finding a good apprenticeship takes more than technical training. You also need to know how to present yourself, where to find jobs, and how to talk to employers.

A reliable HVAC school will help you create a professional resume and present yourself well to employers.

You'll learn about strategies for finding HVAC jobs online, through trades organizations, CLAC, Merit Ontario, etc. And you'll build your confidence through mock job interviews.

A good school also has connections and partnerships with local companies. They'll send your resume directly to employers who regularly hire HVAC graduates.

This gives you a major edge when applying for your first HVAC apprenticeship.

 

EXPLORE HVAC TRAINING AT HERZING COLLEGE

Want to learn more about what HVAC school can do for you?

Check out the 52-week HVAC pre-apprenticeship program at Herzing College. The goal of this program is to get you hired as an HVAC apprentice. Classes available in Toronto and Cambridge.

Training includes hands-on HVAC installation and repair, safety certifications, and total preparation for gas technician exams. 

Click below to get more program details and chat live with an Advisor right now. We're here to help!

Explore the Pre-apprenticeship HVAC Program

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