PHCC Academy® – Online Plumbing & HVAC Apprenticeship

HVACR Apprentice Web Banner

The PHCC Educational Foundation offers online plumbing and HVACR apprentice courses for apprentices who need a non-classroom based method of Related Technical Instruction. This program is recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration, Office of Apprenticeship, as a reasonable option for apprentice training. Each course is the equivalent of one year of classroom instruction which is 144 hours.

The Foundation’s PHCC Academy® courses offer a standardized learning experience for company training, with course materials developed by industry experts and instructional designers. Our training is offered through PHCC Academy®.

It is the apprentice’s responsibility to confirm that Related Technical Instruction is accepted in their state. On-the-job training must be coordinated with a participating employer.

Each state has its own licensing laws. To help students ensure that their instruction is approved in their state, the PHCC Academy® partners with PHCC state chapters that have obtained these approvals in their states for Academy courses. Not all Academy courses are approved in all states, so check with the appropriate contact for details in your location.

Please hit the button below to find your state chapter partner contact information.

State Chapter Partner Contacts


Apprentices must have the appropriate textbook for the training session in which they are enrolled.

  • Plumbing 101 – 6th edition
  • Plumbing 201 – 6th edition
  • Plumbing 301 – 2nd edition
  • Plumbing 401 – 1st edition
  • HVAC 101 – 1st edition
  • HVAC 201 – 1st edition
  • HVAC 301 – 1st edition
  • HVAC 401 – 1st edition

Plumbing & HVACR Textbook Order Information

Computer System Specs

  • System:Windows Vista or higher or Mac OS X 10.5 or higher
  • Internet Speeds: Download: 1.5 Mbps min. and upload: 1 Mbps min.
  • Hardware: 2 GB RAM min.
  • Browsers: Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox or Safari
  • Other Software: Adobe Flash Player v12, Adobe Shockwave Player

Code of Federal Regulations

This online course is expressly permitted in the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

29 CFR 29.5(b)(4) – Standards of Apprenticeship
“…. A minimum of 144 hours for each year of apprenticeship is recommended. This instruction in technical subjects may be accomplished through media such as classroom, occupational or industry courses, electronic media, or other instruction approved by the Registration Agency.”

eLearning is not the preferred method of apprentice training for most apprentices; however, it offers several important advantages over a traditional classroom:

  • Open Enrollment — Apprentices may enroll at any time throughout the year since there are no class scheduling requirements.
  • Pace of learning — Apprentices work at their own pace. Apprentices who are considerably experienced can typically move through the curriculum quickly. Individuals who are highly motivated can also work at a fast pace.
  • Convenience — Apprentices can work from the comfort of their home or office, at a schedule that best suits their needs. Apprentices may postpone eLearning during peak work periods, setting aside time for study on weekends or other more convenient times.

Since there is no set schedule, apprentices pursuing eLearning must be self-disciplined and self-motivated to maintain steady progress. Employer support and monitoring can be an effective method for addressing this issue.

eLearning places primary responsibility for learning on the apprentice. When needed, most apprentices ask their employer or a colleague for assistance.

Both students and employers are expected to meet certain obligations and responsibilities as part of PHCC Academy.

Student Responsibilities

Students enrolled in PHCC Academy courses are expected to meet the following responsibilities:

  • Complete work in a timely manner.
  • Read all information and assignments within the learning management system before starting the course.
  • Complete all tests in this course as closed-book. Students are on the honor system.
  • Complete all assignments with a passing grade of 70 percent or higher. In the case of a score lower than 70 percent, the assignment will be reset and the student must resubmit it until a passing grade is earned.
  • Complete the course in 1 year (12 months). Extensions to the course are available in 6 month increments for an additional fee of $250 per 6 months and must be requested before the course expiration date. If the student does not complete the program, he/she forfeits all money paid for the program and receives no credit for the portion completed.
  • Maintain records of on-the-job training completed.

Employer Responsibilities

Employers of students enrolled in PHCC Academy courses are apprenticeship sponsors and have specific obligations for ensuring the success of their apprentices:

  • Ensure that all students enrolled are proficient in reading and writing in English at a high school level and possess the self-motivation to complete internet-based coursework.
  • Registering apprentices with the U.S. Department of Labor, either through your own apprenticeship program or through your PHCC State Chapter Partner’s registered apprenticeship program.
  • Track the apprentice’s on-the-job training hours and document such hours. Documentation records must be maintained by the employer for the duration of the apprentice’s employment and must be retained as required by the U.S. Department of Labor.
  • Ensure that apprentices are paid a progressively increasing schedule of wages and fringe benefits based on a percentage of the current journey worker wage rate as specified in the Standards of Apprenticeship for the program under which the apprentice is participating.

You can download a .pdf file with the detailed syllabus for each course below.
Plumbing Syllabi

HVAC Syllabi

In order to implement the PHCC Academy program within a given state, the PHCC Academy apprenticeship training program must be registered with the state registration/approval agency. This is usually a formality, but it is necessary to ensure that the credentials issued through the program are recognized by the state. This recognition is desirable because apprentices should be free to transfer completed training from one apprenticeship program to another.

Contractors who want to use this PHCC Educational Foundation program must secure state approval to use the program prior to enrolling students. The first step is to email the PHCC Academy to let us know your plans. We will help you identify the appropriate point of contact within the state agency charged with oversight of apprenticeship training. The state point-of-contact will walk contractors through the approval process. DOL sample paperwork is available by clicking here.

It is the responsibility of the apprentice to ensure that this program will be accepted by his or her state licensing entity and/or labor department BEFORE enrolling in the course.


Additional Information

For more information on how to start a program, please watch the video below: