Unlike most liberal arts degrees, your Commercial HVAC Core Classes will prepare you for a lucrative career in the Sheet Metal Industry, and ensure an advanced skillset that is always in demand.

Core Classes: Commercial HVAC

HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. In this field, you will work on high-volume mechanical systems. These systems deliver heated and cooled air to commercial buildings such as schools, hospitals, airports, factories and office buildings. Just as students pursuing a liberal arts degree are required to take Core Classes, all Sheet Metal Apprentices complete Commercial HVAC Certification as the Core Curriculum.

You’ll work in an exciting environment with dozens of other trade workers, creating something that is long-lasting and enhances the quality of life for many people.

Opportunities in this field include:


Service Technician


Commissioning Agent

Project Manager


Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Technician

Energy Management Technician

TAB Technician


In addition to the Core Curriculum Commercial HVAC Certification which makes up the backbone of the Sheet Metal Industry, you will also choose a Major and a Minor. These focused Career Paths prepare you for a career in a specific sheet metal field, and help increase your versatility and employability, ensuring that you have the qualifications and the experience to get the position you really want, with the Contractor you really want to work with.

Architectural sheet metal is a combination of technical skills and artistry. As an Apprentice majoring in Architectural Metal, you will specialize in fastening and joining, managing expansion and contraction, sealing, and controlling moisture to ensure the appearance and durability of buildings. You may spend a good part of your career working at large commercial/industrial sites or residential jobs.

Opportunities in this field include:

  • Installer
  • Fabricator
  • Solderer
  • Crew Leader
  • Designer
  • Project Manager
  • Customer Sales and Service

Sheet metal detailing, also known as detailing, is often thought of as CAD (Computer-Aided Drafting). A Certified Detailer is a skilled commercial HVAC trade person who will advance to provide coordination between the Hardware Fabricators and Installers from various trades. As an Apprentice majoring in Detailing, you will work with project documents, plans and specifications, take field measurements, and create 3-D coordination digital drawings. One important software tool Detailers use is Building Information Modeling (BIM).

Opportunities in this field include:

  • Detailer
  • Customer Service Representative
  • Project Manager
  • Contractor

Almost everything we do indoors depends on a working heating and cooling system. These systems make buildings comfortable and safe. Demand for skilled technicians in this specialized field is high.

As an Apprentice majoring in Service and Refrigeration, you’ll work on a variety of job sites. You may install and test systems to ensure that they are operating safely and efficiently. The work is always exciting and challenging and your services will always be in demand.

Opportunities in this field include:

  • Service Technician
  • Fabricator
  • System Evaluator
  • Energy Consumption Manager
  • Service Manager

Industrial Sheet Metal Workers work on large-scale projects, custom projects or large shop-built modules. In this field, you may make the machines used in automotive assembly or food processing plants. Or you may choose to work on a specialized installation almost anywhere in the world. The projects you will work on last for years, and enhance the quality of life for many people.

Opportunities in this field include:

  • Custom Fabricator
  • Grinder and Finisher
  • Plasma Cutter Operator
  • Field Installer
  • Field Foreman
  • Shop Foreman
  • Estimator
  • Project Manager
  • Shop Owner

Testing, Adjusting, and Balancing (TAB) is an important part of air and water delivery systems. Apprentices majoring in TAB make sure that air and water in heating and air conditioning systems are delivered efficiently, quietly, and safely throughout a building.

As a TAB technician, you will be responsible for working on air and water delivery systems to meet the specifications outlined by the design engineer. If you like math and the idea of working on complex systems and solving problems, TAB is a good career choice for you.

Opportunities in this field include:

  • Energy Management
  • Indoor Air Quality
  • Building Systems Commissioning
  • Sound and Vibration Testing
  • Fire Life Safety Control Systems
  • HVAC Installation or System Controls
  • System Design
  • Project Management or Facility Management
  • Clean Room Work or Certification

Apprentices majoring in Residential HVAC work on installing and servicing complete residential HVAC systems. You’ll install ductwork for a wide variety of residences including single-family homes, town homes and apartment buildings. You may also work on duct systems for existing buildings to remodel, upgrade or troubleshoot. Most of your work will be done in the field.

Opportunities in this field include:

  • New Construction Installer
  • Residential Finish Installer
  • Retrofit Technician
  • Residential Services Technician

Working in a Mechanical Contractor’s shop offers many unique opportunities. As an Apprentice majoring in Fabrication, you will have the opportunity to work with a wide variety of materials and learn fabrication techniques from the experts. Many Commercial HVAC Fabricators also install the products they create. Welding, AutoCAD, CNC, and Quality Control are all part of everyday Fabrication techniques.

Fabrication Workers work in the shop to make finished components for construction projects such as:

  • Spiral Duct Components
  • Square Duct Components
  • Spin-Ins
  • All other Parts and Fittings as Necessary
  • Custom Fabrication
  • Plasma and Laser Cutting
  • CNC Automation
  • Pre-installation Assembly

Welding is part of many industries. Sheet Metal Workers have the benefit of working with a wide range of materials in many different situations. As an Apprentice majoring in Welding, the door is open to numerous opportunities to enhance your Sheet Metal career. And you will be trained and certified in our AWS (American Welding Society) Testing Lab, by AWS Certified Instructors.

Welders work in both field and shop to produce and install:

  • Grease Ducts
  • Stainless Steel Hoods
  • Stainless Steel Exhaust Ducts
  • Form an Understanding of Metal Composition
  • Learn Multiple Fabrication Techniques
  • Work with a Wide Range of Materials – Iron, Copper, Titanium, Stainless Steel, Aluminum, and Plastic
  • Work in Various Locations—Underwater, Skyscrapers, Power Plants, Kitchens, Fabrication Facilities, Semi-conductor Plants, Nuclear Power Plants, Food Processing Plants
  • Learn to Read and Interpret Blueprints
  • Transfer to more than 150 locals across the US and Canada
  • Can take additional courses at no cost to expand skills and certifications

Interested in applying for our Apprenticeship Program?