Northern Nevada Apprenticeship Spotlight: HVAC Service Technician


“Be a plumber—they get rich,” said Shark Tank’s notorious straight-shooting millionaire Kevin O’Leary, also known as Mr. Wonderful, in a CNBC “Make It” feature last month. “Everybody has to have a plumber, even in a recession.”

O’Leary was speaking to the misconception that anyone who wants to make a lot of money needs to go to college. Not so, says O’Leary—and anyone who’s ever been or known a master plumber, whose salaries can reach into the six digits. And most of them get there without the crippling student debt that plagues college graduates for decades after earning their degree.

Northern Nevada’s registered union apprenticeship programs in the building and construction trades provide not just free but paid college-level education and state-of-the-art, high-tech career training in the classroom and on the job, with the opportunity to earn concurrent college credits from a local, accredited community college—also free—while in the program. Apprentices start earning above-average wages on day one, receive a full benefits package after one to three months, and graduate out-earning most of their college graduate counterparts.

But this gem of a career track goes unnoticed by many—including students, parents, educators, and legislators. So today we’re kicking off a new monthly series to highlight apprenticeship-based careers in the Northern Nevada building and construction trades. And we’re starting with a career track that’s both, shall we say, hot and cool: HVAC Service Technician with the UA Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 350.

Read more over at