View Full Version : Job Advice Needed
08-27-2007, 08:54 PM
Hello ladies and men,
I have spent the last year or so seeking out information on apprenticing here in Ontario Canada. The last three months have been spent job searching trying to find my way in on the ground floor and gaining an apprenticeship. Needless to say I've been met with plenty of rejection. Along with the rejection I feel like I have been getting conflicting information. My father who is no longer alive was in the business and his entry was rather easy...he started in the plumbing/heating side and the position naturally developed to air conditioning as well. Some employers suggest getting some training either in college, or a union..some say that school is a waste of time and I shouldn't waste my time. Are there any employers out there that can give a guy who desperately wants in the business a starting point? I'm almost thirty and I don't want to waste time with pre-trade training if it will not help me get somewhere. I know hard work is ahead, but I just want some ideas I haven't considered. Union training has quite a long waiting list, and maybe I'm just not looking at the right companies. Any advice is most appreciated.
08-27-2007, 09:38 PM
i don't know what things are like in Canada
but you have a number of problems to deal with.
it's really just a matter for luck.
this trade is more about making friends then it is learning how to fix air conditioners.
first thing to do is get your name on the list for the union.
then look for a large company that takes apprentices.
some companies have training and testing too.
(many companies will focus on having you wash the truck rather then learning AC, so it might be difficult)
now , here's the problems with the schools.
first off, technicians don't want to train other techs, so the school may be a good idea.
but,trade schools care more about collecting money then teaching, they all advertise "hands-on" but the real "hands-on" training may be slim to none.
i was lucky and i got very good training from an 8 month trade school, i know more about AC then some people who have been in the field 5 years, so it's up to you if you think that's a "waste" or not.
also you should find out if the school is accredited, and if your time will count for the union,college, and other places
find out if the school has job connections.
i'm in my early 30's
i have 8 months of trade school
i have 2 years experience,
and i still earn $10 per hour
they tell me i'll have a truck in another couple of months (promises)
i've had bad luck with 3 major companies now,
i have an application running through the union because the union will pay me twice as much to be an apprentice then some of these companies want to pay me to fix ACs.
so...thats what happened to me , hope this info will help you.
08-27-2007, 09:40 PM
either way you will want to buy yourself some good HVAC books
(some trade school programs are straight out of a book)
08-28-2007, 08:32 AM
I think the most important thing you can do is get started on some licences. The most important being gas fitter. and the second would be ODP, and then refrigeration licence. The gas fitter can be started without prior training and is required to work on gas equipment. It's a long road but worth it in the end, good luck!!!
08-28-2007, 02:48 PM
Thanx for the insights so far gentlemen. Maybe some pre-trade training could help. I know many courses end up giving you tickets and credit towards apprenticeship time when they are finished. I'm just leary about investing money in more education.
08-28-2007, 08:55 PM
I don't know what your area is like, but where I am located I can honestly say that I think that school is a waste of time and money.
I just got my certificate last May and I have been lucky enough to find a job, so I really can't complain. On the other hand, most of the people that I was in class with are having no luck at all. This is no exaggeration. The only people in my classes that were able to get jobs, other than me, were people that already had their foot in the door at a company. This is usually somebody who has a father in law or brother that owns a HVAC shop or something like that. These people, knowing that they already had a job waiting for them, had nothing to lose by going to school. But for the most part, I would have to say that 90% of the rest of my former class mates do not have a job in the field that they went to school for.
Unfortunately, most of the people that didn't get lucky enough to find a job because they didn't know anyone, are going to work at factories or whatever else they can find. So in their case, I would definitely say school was a waste of time.
I guess it all boils down to some basic math. If these diploma mills give out 100 certificates each semester and there is only 10 entry level job openings in the HVAC field in your area, it's pretty obvious that not everyone is going to get a job in that field.
Then again, your area may be different.
08-28-2007, 09:35 PM
been just as hard for me was a union pipefitter welder journeyman that got into HVAC installs.Roughing in copper lines. Couldn't start units no license.Got license.You don't know about starting units kid.ex out again. went to new shop after work ran out. You need to do it all kid. electrical controls and refrigerant circuit. laid off agian. went back to school and worked non union. You have to do it all kid duct work refrigerant pipe electrical and controls and service. left there and worked for half pay at a casino. now chillers,ddc controls computers you name it work on it. 13 dollars an hour. can't feed family and two hours drive time. we love you and you get it working no future.finish school. union contractor wants you back.start up tech and pipe fitting. Pipe fitters don't know what you know and they don't know service give you a hard time for making the system right.Service techs want your job but can't weld or fit and they don't want you in service.you go to service and they wonder why you cant price and work at fixing a problem in a hurry. maybe you can fix problem but they want fast.this sucks but they say be happy you have a job. management. we need you to get it running not fix it.Try to have a good outlook you could move up . Oh do you understand management?Christ why did I not get out before I started. Key word is yes make friends in the industry they will carry you farther, not just what you know. do school or licenses take you farther? I thought it was knowledge ahhhhh!!!!I hate this part of my trade but love the money.Keep your head up lol tell me how?
01-09-2008, 01:39 AM
" Pipe fitters don't know what you know and they don't know service give you a hard time for making the system right"
Listen kid what would you define as the duties of a pipe fitter?
With roots dating back to ancient Rome, civilized worlds have long relied on plumbing for a safe and healthy living environment. Affecting the everyday on even the most basic levels, plumbers design, install and maintain systems for use in residential, commercial, industrial and institutional settings. Their work is vital, whether it relates to a primary water supply, a nuclear power station or the connection from sink to drain.
While the fundamentals haven't changed, a plumber's tools - the equipment and materials - have evolved considerably. Design aspects of the trade are mostly computerized (Auto CAD) and high tech commonly used to help estimate piping system requirements and cost. Indeed, the laptop has literally earned a spot on the plumber's tool belt.
The Plumber designation is a compulsory certified trade regulated by the Trades Qualification and Apprenticeship Act. A person working in this trade must hold a valid Certificate of Qualification or be registered as an apprentice. Upon successfully completing the apprenticeship program and passing a trade examination, a person earns a Certificate of Apprenticeship and a Certificate of Qualification, thereby becoming entitled to work in the plumbing trade
A steam/pipefitter will organize, assemble, fabricate and repair piping systems that carry water, steam and fuel in the heating, cooling, lubricating processes of plumbing systems. This is a physically demanding career that takes steam/pipefitters both indoors and out.
Working around power tools, heavy equipment and scaffolding on the typical jobsite does increase the risk of injury in such a trade, but experienced steamfitters often advance to supervisory positions and with additional training can seamlessly transfer their skills to plumbing or welding.
The Steam/Pipefitting designation is a compulsory certified trade regulated by the Trades Qualification and Apprenticeship Act. A person working in this trade must hold a valid Certificate of Qualification or be registered as an apprentice. Upon successfully completing the apprenticeship program and passing a trade examination, a person earns a Certificate of Apprenticeship and a Certificate of Qualification, thereby becoming entitled to work in the steam/pipefitting trade
Through my union I have aquired more certifications then the amount of money you make per hour!
Have a little respect and thank a fellow Union member for you day off Labour Day!
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