Arriving Home Modern.

Arriving Home Modern.

Written by Maks Marshall. 

September 25, 2016. 

My Experience as a First Year HVAC Apprentice.

Lots of people tend to believe that after graduating college it is easy to find a job, regardless of the amount of experience you have. However, in reality, even once you graduate college, having field practice is VERY beneficial. In this article, a graduate from the George Brown College will share his first experience in the field as an HVAC Technician.


As a graduate from George Brown College, I thought that in order to get a good job I would simply need to have my diploma and licenses. So, after successfully passing all of my T160 Program exams and getting my Gas Technician Two (G2), I was ready to start hunting for a job. Before graduating I had done my research and already knew where I would like to apply, as Toronto has a lot of big and small HVAC companies. In addition, summer is the “busy season” for this trade; therefore, I truly thought that I would have no problem finding a job.  However, as time went by, I realized that I was largely mistaken – it was actually really difficult to find a job! :/

After a couple of weeks, my first interview was finally scheduled with a residential HVAC Company that services the GTA.  I had done some research about the company and started to prepare for the interview.  However, after this initial interview I quickly realized that I did not know very much about this field of work; the questions that I had been asked were essentially impossible for me to answer without having previous hands-on experience. So, despite having all my necessary licenses, this was not enough to get me the job. So, my job hunt continued for four more weeks -_-

I soon learned that a lot of companies are looking for a tradesman who has at least two years of previous experience, licenses, vehicle, and some of the required tools.

Eventually, I called for an interview with the Senior Technician at “BlackRock HVAC Ltd.,” which was held directly at the jobsite. Orest, the technician, did not ask me a lot of questions about field experience; instead, I was able to assist him with installing a return plenum for a furnace. I was completely unprepared for this kind of “interview,” and was definitely lacking sheet metal skills – overall, my contribution to this job was pathetic (I thought). After three hours of helping the technician, he thanked me and said that he would give me a call later that evening.




The phone call I received the same evening explained that due to my lack of experience, unfortunately they were unable to hire me, but that I could help finish the job I had been assisting Orest with the previous day.  To me, this was both good and bad news; although I did not get hired, I was giving me the opportunity to gain a small amount of experience as I continued searching for a job.

As time went by, I began assisting Orest with various jobs and soon realized not only how efficient and neat he was at his work, but also that he was calm and had the same sense of humor as myself. I noticed how innovative and tidy the work we were doing was; I was hooked on the “modern mechanical room” concept. After one week, I was officially hired as a junior apprentice at “BLACKROCK HVAC”. I arrived back home with my new career as an HVAC Technician. A modern one for that matter!



Almost every day I’ve been learned something new; in my first month as an apprentice, I realized that the amount of knowledge that an HVAC technician needs to have is overwhelming (plus all the hand tools you constantly need to buy). Moreover, every project is different; for instance, on Tuesday we installed a new condenser, Wednesday we had to solder copper pipes for a boiler, and on Thursday we were working with return and supply plenums for the furnace!  My point being that Junior Technicians will soak up information like a Bounty paper towel every single day!

Since the beginning of my second month, I’ve had a chance to service a commercial plant, which gives me a real thrill of working with different and large units. The maintenance project included seven rooftops units, nine furnaces, condensers, ductless units, and unit heaters. With servicing the units there were some obstacles; firstly was the weather – on a hot and sunny day while wearing safety boots, jeans, hard hat, and tools, the heat made it extremely hard to move from one roof to another. Second of all, wasps were the enemy; on the very first day I got stung by one! Lastly, the noise and dust made this experience unforgettable for a “green apprentice” like me. But, despite all the obstacles, the amount of knowledge and skills that I gained from this maintenance project has without a doubt advanced my trade experience.



All in all, my first two months have been a real pleasure working at “BlackRock HVAC” alongside the Senior Technician. I have gained a lot of knowledge from him, and have had a great time while doing so.


If you are just graduating college or thinking about becoming involved with HVAC, it really is a good trade. Don’t be discouraged if you have no field experience. I later found out that my previous experience working with customers, positive attitude, drive, and cleanliness is what got me hired. Companies are willing to train apprentices but you have to be a cultural fit to their organization. So keep trying, you will find a team (big or small) that will take you on board.

In addition, I have learned that this work requires not only physical ability, but logical and critical thinking as well.

Thank you for reading and good luck to everyone in this trade.

Maks Marshall,

HVAC Apprentice.

If you want to follow me or ask questions about starting out in HVAC please find me on Facebook or send a email.