Your Complete Guide to Become an HVAC Apprentice

Don’t make the mistake of overlooking the trades as a possible career path. Like other trade options, there is increasing demand for HVAC technicians across Ontario. Unlike other career paths, becoming an HVAC technician is relatively quick, requires less education than many others, and involves practical hands-on work. If that appeals to you, it’s worthwhile to find out how to become an HVAC apprentice in Ontario. We explain the process below. 

Basic HVAC Education Requirements 

Becoming an HVAC technician does not involve a four-year degree. The basic educational requirements are that you complete high school or earn a GED, and then complete an apprenticeship. 

There are pre-apprenticeship programs for HVAC technicians, but they are not actually an HVAC requirement. You do not have to complete them, although completing one may help you gain an apprenticeship later on. 

The organization that regulates HVAC technicians in Ontario is called the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA). This body requires that you have the following: 

  • High school degree or GED 
  • Apprenticeship 
  • Gas technician license 

These programs and certificates may be useful, but are not necessary: 

  • Oil Burner Technician certification 
  • Wood Energy Technology Transfer (WETT) certification 
  • Pre-apprenticeship program for HVAC 
  • High school Co-op Diploma Apprenticeship Program 

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The HVAC Apprenticeship and Exam 

You will have to complete an apprenticeship to become an HVAC technician. In Ontario, an HVAC apprenticeship involves both on-the-job training and in-classroom training. Specifically, it includes: 

  • Roughly 5 years of on-the-job-training that amounts to exactly 8,280 hours 
  • 720 hours of in-school HVAC training 
  • Complete and pass a certification exam 
  • Meet the registration requirements to be a journeyperson 
  • Apply and become certified as a journeyperson in the trade 

Depending on the time that you are able to get from your company, you may be able to complete your apprenticeship faster than five years. There are a few other things to know too. For example, there are three levels of exams you’ll have to complete. And on your final exam, you must achieve at least a 70% grade to pass. The Ontario College of Trades published an Exam Preparation Guide and other information that can help you with that exam and through the overall apprenticeship process. 

In order to complete these steps, you will need to apply to and complete an apprenticeship from an HVAC company that is offering one. Apprenticeships are not conducted through schools and no pre-apprenticeship program will guarantee that you get one. 

Journeyperson is Just the Start 

After you become an HVAC journeyperson, you can continue growing and learning while you work as an HVAC technician. You can gain more certifications and craft your career to be what you want, whether your final goal is to open your own business or do something else. 

Do you have questions about how to become an HVAC technician or what opportunities might be available in the industry? Reach out to Guest Plumbing and HVAC to talk shop today. 


Our Plumbing & HVAC Technicians work throughout the following cities and their surrounding areas. Choose the location nearest to you for more information or contact us today.