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.


Electrical Apprenticeship

The electrical apprenticeship provides a great learn-by-doing educational experience by combining classroom instruction (160 contact hours/year) and on-the-job training (2000 hours/year).

After completing this 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/year) and on-the-job training (2000 hours/year). Classes take place one evening per week during the semester.

After completing this 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.


  • 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.


Apprenticeship Policies and Procedures

  • Apprentices are expected to attend every class for which you are registered, but a minimum of 80% class attendance is required to complete the attendance requirement.
  • Absences may be excused if the instructor is contacted in advance with all missed assignments being completed.
  • Excused absences due to emergencies will require documentation.

  • Apprentices will receive either an “S” (Satisfactory) or “U” (Unsatisfactory) grade in each course.
  • Satisfactory (S) grade is earned through achieving 70% overall
    • This is made up of 70% coursework and 30% attendance
    • Course work includes: class activities, quizzes, exams, classwork, projects, participation, lab-work, and attitude
  • Unsatisfactory (U) grade results from:
    • Failing to meet 80% attendance requirement
    • Not adhering to drop/add/withdrawal policies
  • Apprentices need to earn an “S” for all required and elective courses to achieve certificate completion.
  • An unsatisfactory grade results in no Continuing Education Units being awarded.
  • Apprentices not making a 70% overall grade may be required to repeat the year and/or class hours not credited towards their completion.
  • Apprentices can appeal grades by submitting a written request for review to the Program Advisory Committee.

  • Apprentices may drop from the program at any time by notifying the Director’s Office.
  • If apprentices miss too many classes, they may be subject to being dropped from the program with the potential of no credit given.
  • If apprentices are dropped from the program, they will have to apply for reinstatement into the program with the Program Advisory Committee.

  • Apprentices may be eligible for a refund if they officially drop from classes within the specified refund periods according to program guidelines.
    • Full refunds will be issued (less $35.00 registration fee for Electrical and $50.00 for Plumbing) for drop requests received prior to the first class meeting.
    • After the first class meeting, refunds will be issued on a prorated basis.
  • Tuition and class fees paid by cash, check or credit card will be refunded by check and mailed in approximately 2 to 3 weeks.
  • All refund checks will be mailed to apprentices .

  • Apprentices must have employment sponsorship with a licensed Arkansas Master of the trade to register into Apprenticeship Programs.
  • Apprentices must register for and pay associated fees for the program each year at NWACC Corporate Learning (Shewmaker Center) in Bentonville prior to attending classes.
  • Past due balances will need to be reconciled with the cashier before registration into the program can be processed.
  • If apprentice's employer is paying tuition and employment ends, the apprentice need to immediately notify the Program Director about the change in status and plans.
  • If apprentice is planning on staying in the program, the apprentice needs to call an NWACC cashier to make payment arrangements.
  • If apprentice has found employment elsewhere and the new employer will be paying tuition, the apprentice will need to notify the Program Director of the change and provide all new employee information.
  • It is the apprentice's responsibility to notify the Program Director of potential previous experience credit or programs attended at the time of registration.