This post breaks down the theory and skills you’ll learn in HVAC courses, outlines the Ontario College of Trades registration process, and provides links to detailed information on HVAC certification.
We also look at the latest market research on HVAC jobs in Ontario, including what’s driving employment growth in this trade, and which skills are considered most valuable to today’s employers.
Read on for your beginner’s guide to HVAC training and career paths in Ontario.
What will you learn in HVAC training?
Pre-apprenticeship HVAC training gives students a solid grounding in HVAC theory, while offering plenty of opportunity for hands-on learning.
Topics covered in a typical 360-Hr program focus on skill-building in 5 key areas:
1. HVAC safety procedures (for working at heights, in confined spaces, on scaffolds and platforms, etc.)
2. ODP training (awareness of ozone depletion prevention, and the safe handling of refrigerants)
3. HVAC systems (the fundamentals of heating and cooling systems, for both residential and light commercial purposes)
4. Piping and venting (how to thread black steel pipe and soft copper, and understanding how building venting systems work
5. Gas 3 training (an introduction to gas appliances, and the safe handling of propane and natural gas)
A quality HVAC program is your first step toward becoming a member of the Ontario College of Trades, and completing an apprenticeship. Once your apprenticeship is complete, you can take a certification exam and apply to become certified and registered as a journeyperson in the HVAC trade.
It’s important to note that in order to work in HVAC, you will also need to earn a Gas Technician level 2 or 3 license. All candidates are required to pass an exam issued by the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA).
For more detailed information on the HVAC apprenticeship and certification process, take a look at this simple breakdown of requirements issued by the Ontario College of Trades.
Demand for HVAC technicians in Ontario
Market research conducted by the Canadian government shows demand is up for HVAC mechanics across the province of Ontario.
In fact, the biggest problem facing employers right now is the lack of trained HVAC technicians available to fill open positions.
Currently, most HVAC mechanics are employed by heating and air-conditioning contractors within the construction industry. With building development booming in Ontario, employment in this area of HVAC is expected to remain strong over the next several years.
HVAC technicians are also in demand to maintain heating/cooling systems at non-residential buildings, such as supermarkets, ice rinks, and processing plants. Food processing is one of the biggest manufacturing operations in Ontario, and relies heavily on reliable cooling systems to meet food safety requirements.
Overall, the Canadian governments gives “HVAC mechanic” a 3/3 star rating for employment outlook across Ontario—its highest rating for job demand and employability.
Top skills needed for a successful HVAC career
Other than solid training and certification, what other assets will you need to build a successful HVAC career? What traits and additional skills do employers look for when screening candidates?
There are several skill areas widely recognized as crucial for today’s HVAC professionals. These include:
- thorough knowledge of HVAC systems, controls, and installation methods
- up-to-date HVAC safety training; solid knowledge of industry standards and procedures
- effective diagnostic and troubleshooting skills; strong problem-solving abilities
- natural aptitude for customer service and sales; advanced communication skills
- continued learning; ability to quickly learn about and adopt emerging HVAC technologies and techniques
Take a look at the HVAC Program offered by the Pre-apprenticeship Training (PAT) Institute.
Click below to explore the HVAC courses included in training, learn more about PAT’s industry partners, and discover what makes us Ontario’s leading provider of quality trades training. We’re here to help!