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Careers - Commercial HVAC

What is Commercial HVAC?

HVAC is short 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. Here are just a few of the locations in which you might work:

  • Schools
  • Hospitals
  • Airports
  • Train or subway stations
  • Factories
  • Museums
  • Office buildings
  • Restaurants
  • Shopping centers

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

Opportunities in this field include

  • Installer
  • Service Technician
  • Supervisor
  • Testing, Adjusting, and Balancing (TAB) Technician
  • Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) technician
  • Energy Management Technician
  • Commissioning Agent
  • Project Manager
  • Detailer

Get an Inside Look!

For a quick look into the experience you will have as a Commercial HVAC sheet metal worker, click here.

Earn While You Learn

See how much can earn while improving your skills. Have a look!


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Get an Opinion

Watch what apprentices in this field say about their careers, going "green" and the training they've received.

Commercial HVAC: Curriculum

  • Introduction to HVAC
  • Systems and components
  • Heating
  • Refrigeration
  • Field Installation
  • Understanding electricity
  • Understanding automatic controls
  • Basic testing, adjusting, and balancing (TAB)
  • Commissioning
  • Load calculation and duct design
  • Plans and specifications
  • Project management
  • Safety

Ready to Get Started?

If you're ready to learn more about a career in the sheet metal industry, complete the request for information form. We'll match you to a training center in your area. Your local training school or Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JATC) will contact you in about a week.


HVAC Training

Ready for a challenge? Working as ITI-trained commercial HVAC technician offers vast opportunities and rewards. Commercial HVAC systems control the indoor environment for office buildings, multi-family housing units, schools, hotels, factories, theaters, shopping complexes—anywhere that large numbers of people live, work or visit. Air handling systems manage comfort levels of indoor air, and protect against contaminants and health threats. A fully-trained and certified SMWIA commercial HVAC technician who successfully completes ITI's Commercial HVAC Curriculum knows how to install, operate, maintain and repair, these complex systems. The SMWIA technician is a valuable asset to architects, building owners and managers; with skills to keep commercial HVAC systems operating at peak efficiency, saving energy and money.

You will learn specialized skills, including:

  • Fundamentals of heating/cooling refrigeration and electricity
  • Installation and operation of major systems
  • Calculation of loads and system sizes

Testing and balancing systems for peak efficiency and healthy air.

How we can help your business? By providing your company with a highly-trained, productive, motivated and professional workforce. Click Play to find out more...

Reading Plans and Specifications

In construction, every member of the building team has to understand their specific roles and responsibilities within the overall project. That's why blueprints and design specifications are all expressed with unique symbols and labels. And, that's why it is an essential part of the overall Commercial HVAC training program. All sheet metal apprentices are taught to read and understand specifications and plans, and to comprehend the symbols that apply to the types and size of materials that will be used in their industry

Core Curriculum

core curriculum

Your SMWIA apprenticeship blends hands-on practical work experience with classroom time and projects that challenge your creativity. ITI's Core Curriculum provides a complete overview of all aspects of sheet metal work. Instructors are industry professionals, graduates of the same kind of training. Your classroom is a state of the art lab—fully equipped with the same tools and instruments that are used every day on the job. Textbooks and teaching aids include the latest technology and practical applications. Advantages of SMWIA "can-do" approach—practical knowledge reinforced by hands-on experience, under the direction of the foremost leaders in the industry.

Our "can-do" system makes it easier to master:

  • Practical math
  • Computer-aided design (or CAD)
  • Reading blueprints
  • Care and use of tools
  • Fabrication of materials into usable forms
  • Installation techniques

Sheet Metal Math

sheet metal math

Math is just another tool in your box. That's why ITI's Sheet Metal Math Curriculum is presented in a practical framework that enables students to easily understand its application. You will measure, calculate and figure so often on the job that it will quickly become second nature. You will learn the "tricks" of the trade for using math in your everyday tasks—

  • Calculating angles and curves;
  • Figuring areas and volumes;
  • Establishing heat loads and much more—

with practical, simple math formulas.

Foreman Training

foreman training

What about advancement? At some point, you may want more responsibility—and bigger rewards. In that case, foreman training might be right for you. ITI's Foreman Training Curriculum builds leadership skills, develops management techniques, enables you to motivate others.

You will learn how to:

  • Manage projects and understand budgeting;
  • How to create a culture of safety; and
  • Understand human relations.

Through SMWIA's program of continuing professional development, apprentices become journeymen who become foremen who manage projects, supervise shops or become superintendents. Experience in any of these roles is great preparation for individuals who want to one day own their own company. With SMWIA training the sky is the limit.

Project Management

Training to move up. Project managers assume awesome responsibilities for delivering a project as envisioned by builders, architects and planners— on budget and on time. ITI's Project Management Curriculum covers the fine points of reading plans and specifications, understanding project costs, mastering techniques for meetings and planning, oversight of tools and materials and ultimately closing out a successful job.

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