Workforce and Economic Development Apprenticeships | NorthWest Arkansas Community College

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Apprenticeship Programs


NWACC's Workforce apprenticeships are ideal for those who enjoy working with their hands, problem solving and learning the mechanics behind the systems that keep buildings up and running.

We offer three apprenticeship pathway options including heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), plumbing and electrical. Our HVAC and plumbing programs are specifically sanctioned by the state of Arkansas Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship Training. Plumbing and electrical programs also require state licensure. A student is required to work in either trade under a licensed professional. 

As a student, you are able to earn while you learn. In addition to working full time, you'll attend one four-hour class each week. These classes are held on the NWACC campus from Monday – Thursday nights. 

 


Electrical Apprenticeship

The electrical apprenticeship provides a great learn-by-doing educational experience by combining classroom instruction (146 contact hours a year, 36 weekly classes a year) and on-the-job training (2000 hours/year).

After completing this four-year apprenticeship program successfully, you will gain an apprentice license for the state of Arkansas and be eligible to take the journeyman electrician exam.

  • GED or high school diploma
  • Students must be 18 years of age
  • Employment with an electrical contractor in the state of Arkansas

The electrical apprenticeship program lasts for four years.


 Plumbing Apprenticeship

Our plumbing apprenticeship combines classroom instruction (160 contact hours a year, 40 weekly classes a year) and on-the-job training (2000 hours/year). Classes take place one evening per week during the semester.

After completing this four-year apprenticeship program successfully, you will earn an apprentice license for the state of Arkansas and be eligible to take the journeyman plumbing exam.

  • GED or high school diploma
  • Students must be 18 years of age
  • Employment with a company under the supervision of another employee who holds a master plumbing license in the state of Arkansas

The plumbing apprenticeship program lasts for four years.


HVAC Apprenticeship

Our HVAC apprenticeship provides individuals with the knowledge and skills to become HVAC technicians, and incorporates energy efficiency and green installation techniques, as well as preparation for the EPA exam. Classes are interactive and include hands-on lab work. Classes typically occur in the evenings twice a week.

The program closely follows the academic year and is three semesters long.  Each semester is 108 hours of classroom instruction, and the duration of the program is 18 months. While there is no requirement for on-the-job training, you are encouraged to work in the HVAC industry to apply the skills learned in the classroom.

In the third semester, the students have the opportunity to take the Environmental Protection Agency 608 exam. This certification allows you to purchase refrigerants and other regulated materials. 

  • GED or high school diploma
  • Students must be 18 years or older

HVAC Fundamentals

  • Introduction to the heating and air conditioning trade.
  • Theory and fundamentals, tools, equipment and instruments' proper use and safety.
  • Proper techniques for tubing, piping, soldering and brazing of copper.
  • Cooling system components — why and how they are used. Covers multiple systems including refrigerant recovery and management, lubrication, leak testing, evacuation, charging and cooling trouble-shooting.

Basic Electricity Applied to HVAC

  • Introduction to electricity as applied to HVAC, theory and safety.
  • Types of HVAC controls in HVAC systems
  • Electric motors theory and application
  • Trouble-shooting controls and electrical components

HVAC Systems

  • Can only be taken after Fundamentals of HVAC and Basic Electricity Applied to HVAC have been completed.
  • Introduction to various systems used in HVAC including gas heating, electric heat, and heat pump applications and trouble-shooting.
  • Comfort system and energy efficient design
  • Air distribution layout and sizing
  • Review of cooling systems operation

The HVAC apprenticeship program lasts for three semesters or 324 classroom hours.