What is an Ontario HVACR Apprentice?


Becoming an Ontario HVACR apprentice is the first step to a very rewarding career. Only the most qualified candidates are selected for this program and are made available for hire to ORAC and UA Local 787 contractors.

The apprenticeship program is either residential (2 years) or commercial (5 years), which is a 9000 hour training program that consists of the following components:

  • 1200 hours of in-school training
  • 7800 hours of on-the-job training with a licensed journeyman
  • Practical, hands-on training
  • Related safety instruction codes
  • Relevant math and science theory
  • Computer and automated control theory

HVACR mechanics are highly skilled, professionally educated and in great demand. In this age of emerging technologies and stricter environmental legislation, HVACR mechanics are trained to be experts in the trade.


Excellent Wages

A licensed journeyman (successful graduates of the five year apprenticeship program) can expect wages in excess of $100,000 annually.

While attending the training program, HVACR apprentices earn wages in excess of $40,000 in the first year of the program and in excess of $80,000 in the fifth year. Wages increase each year.


Job Description

A HVACR technician is a person who;

  • Plans, prepares and lays out any cooling system or heating-cooling system that is installed and used in a residential, industrial, commercial or institutional setting
  • Installs and starts up refrigeration and air cooling systems and verifies the operation and function of the systems
  • Installs and connects piping for the purpose of conveying all types of refrigerant used for both primary and secondary cooling
  • Maintains, services, repairs and replaces refrigeration and air cooling systems components and accessories
  • Services, tests, adjusts, commissions and decommissions any refrigeration and air cooling system


Ontario HVACR Apprentice Program Duration

Two years for the residential stream and the commercial apprenticeship program requires 9,000 hours (about 4 ½ years) of training.


On-the-job Training

At the time of registration, an apprentice receives an Apprenticeship Training Standard. The Apprenticeship Training Standard outlines the skills training objectives to be met or competencies to be acquired on the job. These competencies equip an apprentice to work in the trade as a certified skilled worker or “journeyperson”. The employer or trainer of an apprentice signs the relevant section of the training standard to indicate the progress of the apprentice in meeting individual training objectives. This signature demonstrates that an apprentice has learned the skills established by industry that are essential for being a skilled worker.


In-school Training

HVACR apprentices require three levels of theoretical training. Depending on availability at the chosen delivery agency, this training may be completed in one of the following ways:

  • Block Release (full-time, 8 weeks for each level)
  • Day Release (one day per week – same day each week – from September to June for each level)
  • Part-Time (generally night-school programs)

At the time of registration, the training consultant discusses the schooling options to arrange the most suitable option for the apprentice and the employer.

In-school training for HVACR apprentices includes instruction in:

  • Workplace health and safety
  • Applied trade mathematics
  • Engineering drawings and documentation
  • Trade practices
  • Mechanical cooling cycle fundamentals
  • Mechanical cooling cycle components and accessories
  • Electrical and electronic fundamentals
  • Pipe joining, welding, brazing and soldering
  • Installation and system start up procedures
  • Applied psychometrics
  • Prints and heat load calculations
  • Air conditioning systems
  • Air distribution systems and accessories
  • Electrical and electronic control systems
  • Pressure enthalpy and refrigerants
  • Cooling systems and components
  • System design and installation
  • Installation procedures
  • Rigging and hoisting


If you feel you have what it takes to be an Ontario HVACR apprentice and would like to benefit from the many rewards bestowed to successful candidates, click below to take the first step.

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