MISSOULA – Missoula College University of Montana is offering a new HVAC/Electrical Technician Apprenticeship starting this spring.

Neal Wiegert

The apprenticeship is sponsored by the state of Montana and will offer students an “earn while you learn” schooling format. Apprenticeships benefit students by integrating career development and financial stability hand-in-hand with coursework. The end product is a more marketable prospective employee with less debt.

“The HVAC trade, among others, currently has a 0 percent unemployment rate,” said Bill Hillman, MC’s Industrial Technology Department chair. “Young men and women who choose to get into any trade within the construction industry and apply themselves can write their own ticket – and even more so in the near future.”

The apprenticeship is an expansion of MC’s Sustainable Construction Technology program, with students receiving certification after completing 4,000 hours of schooling and workplace experience. Students will complete one semester of classes at MC’s west campus, then work with their sponsor to complete the apprenticeship.

In the apprenticeship, students will learn the scientific principles of HVAC systems, air conditioning and refrigeration, heating and ventilation, hydronic heating, heating and cooling loads, and the scientific principles of electrical services, among many other topics. The class will enroll up to 20 students and already has 15 enrolled for spring.

“This apprenticeship will add to our growing list of exceptional apprenticeship opportunities for the students of Missoula College,” said MC Associate Dean Clint Reading. “HVAC is one of the areas with high demand for workers, and this opportunity helps to bridge the gap by connecting employers with qualified, skilled students in the program.”

For more information about the apprenticeship, email william.hillman@mso.umt.edu.

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