I would like to think you are right.
It does seem odd that the OP asked, "what should an HVAC school teach?"
Maybe the answer is "respect," for yourself, your trade, and your clients.
That answer might not make sense to a former government guy.
I never said anything about screwing anyone over. I just think there is a lot of "hey you can't make a living doing this" here, and I don't believe this. Nor do I believe that someone will be incompetent after 10 years of work. I think there might be a lot of folks who thought they would get rich quick if they got into HVAC and it didn't work out, but then there is a lot of talk that has nothing to do with telling guys how to make a better living at this trade. No one has shared a viable business model as far as I have seen. When you look at diminishing returns, at some point you are wasting your time trying to learn more. Actually this is the reason I decided to go this route rather than finish my MBA. I have a ton of education and I can’t see more time in at a university getting me anywhere at this point. I will do the same thing other business people do when it comes to education. Get enough to be viable in the trade, undercut the competition until some of the competition is out of business and take the work they had.
The old guy is not always the best guy to learn from. I don’t know how many senior NCOs I had to take time to retrain because they wouldn’t get with the program and learn the modern way of war. “Old” guys often get stuck in the rut of “what they have always done” and never take time to learn new techniques to improve service to the customer. These would include modern design software like CAD and load calculators, modern controls, and improved products such as PEX radiant heat as opposed to copper.
I already have excellent math, science, and writing skills and will use the school I am going to in order to make connections, and learn the ins and out of installing evaporators and condensers. Of course I will work for someone for a time, but only until I know enough to make the same money working for myself. The great thing about being retired at 40 is I have money for trucks and tools to get going. If for some reason I can’t make it work I will sell the tools, buy some fishing poles and use the truck to get to the shore. Either way I win.
I for one think there is money to be made in this business, but I don’t think someone who dropped out of school, and has entered this field has skills to build upon that will allow him to run a successful business. I have always been successful in the past so I believe I have a better than average chance in this business. Of course time will tell and if I fail I will be sure to let you know how and why.
So would someone like to share a successful business model that has worked for them for say a decade.
Wake up every morning, lace up your boots, go to work, do the best you can do, treat your customers and employees the way you want to be treated, learn all you can, go home, go to sleep.... Repeat for 10,15,20,30,40 years.
Yep. dod that for 20 years in another field for someone else. Plan on doing it again for me.
The greatest success a man can achieve begins with the notion of serving others. If you do that well and approach it the right way, profit follows.
And to be honest with you to put a time limit as to years it takes is kind of ridiculous. It depends on how mechanically incline you are, your atitude and the work your doing and the training your getting. If your with a company doing 6 installs a week with a lot of different variety compared to one that does 1 a week. After a few months... god... if they can't pick it up by then maybe they are not cut out for it. I've seen guys doing it for 20+ years that suck and guys doing it 2 that I'd rather work with or have work for me.
Google "Eastern Heating & Cooling Council" they give training classes @ good prices.
As to when to go out on your own, well that's a personal decision you have to make. I'd say when you feel confident, when the boss is starting to really rely on you and values you opinions. You'll never know everything, it's an on going process. If you never fail you not trying hard enough anyway. If you do get back up dust yourself off and get back at it.
Thanks man. That is information I can build on. I think too that some guys are unrealistic in their expectations of the early portion of their career. The thing is get into something you can build on. The thought that you went to school and should make a pile first year out is unrealistic. I have a friend who was a pharmacist and he became a doctor. He took a MAJOR pay cut going to med school for four years, and is just now making some money. His wife was teaching school and they lived off savings. My wife’s cousin is a doctor in the city as is her husband and they live in a one bedroom apartment and store their clothes under their bed.
I could go to law school if I wanted, but do I really want to go in debt sixty or seventy thousand dollars and spend a pile of my own savings to go into a trade that will require me to work for someone for years going through boxes of files and doing little or no litigation.
I look at an $8.00 an hour job as learning and learning I don’t have to pay for. Now you have to remember I have taken numerous college classes since graduation just for knowledge. I am pretty lucky because I did have a really good career and I left because I wanted to be home more. Used to have to travel 100% of the time. I was making 100 grand a year but I have little twins and I want to see them grow up. My wife and I have saved our money for decades. She still works as a CPA and the intention is for her to retire in another seven years.
Last, when I was 22 years old I worked as a farrier and a horse trainer. I bunked up with friends, camped some when I needed to go out of town and just made it work. I was a property development manager for a year and learned some shoddy construction techniques there, and I have my own farm where I got to break and fix stuff all the time. I have put in no less than 3.5 miles of plumbing just to get water to my house because it tasted way better than my well water. Hill country spring water rules.
The things I didn’t do were drop out of school, have children before I could care for them, or get married before I had my degree and a good paying job. I never returned to my parents house once I left, but if I had needed to to save money I would have. What I am trying to say is there are ways to make $8-$10 an hour work. Think of yourself as a scholar monk while you are learning and I think you will feel better. If you have the idea that you will get out of school and make money for a new car and rims and sound system and a bunch of material crap then you will probably be disappointed with any field for a while. Also, quitting to go do retail because it pays two bucks more an hour will get you nowhere. Five years later you will still be working at Best Buy making about the same money you started with. If you are in an area with low pay or little work move to where the better money and more work are. You don’t have to spend the rest of your life two blocks from mom and dad.
Sorry everybody about all the long post. I type really fast so I tend to say a lot.
In terms of being unrealistic, so is going from 0 - 60 in under a second in the service truck.
No, recommending a time line is most certainly not "ridiculous." This is because of human nature and statistical averages. The trade is not merely a dynamic of mechanical ability. It is a synergy of several talents and disciplines, and more so to run a business, as it has unique qualities that set it apart from other businesses.
If someone wants to enter the trade with the idea of owning their own business, when they are ready to do so, then that's fine.
If, on the other hand, someone wants to quickly go from school to business ownership, without several years of hands-on, in-the-field diagnostic experience, with profit being the only real motivator, rather than a desire to learn, serve, and love the work, then I believe the likelihood of being happy and successful are much, much lower.
Absolutely! My dad is petroleum engineer and he always said it takes five years to become profitable in any field. Minimum! I think that is reasonable and sound thinking. The idea that no one can become profitable in five years is also not true. True, some folks will need longer, especially if they are working with zero experience. However if someone knows how to learn and has good study skills, something that also has to be developed then it could take longer to not be a total hack.
When I was in school I lived like there was nothing else. It took a lot of sacrifice and a lot of doing without to pay for tuition. Was it a lot of fun? Not always, but in the end a degree is satisfying. I had to stay in for the long haul. I had a lot of days in that four years when I thought I was giving up a lot of time studying when I could have been making money. The degree paid off in things like getting my foot in the door, my job required a degree, and letting me become a commissioned officer rather than remaining in the enlisted ranks. I got to plan operations and manage large numbers of troops and millions of dollars of equipment. My average operation included around 30 troops and 6-8 armored vehicles, plus commanding assets like artillery and gunships. This being done in a challenging environment. These are things I could not have done without a degree. School was worth it, but I don’t think more formal training in a university would give any sort of return at this point in my life.
yeah, a time line is ridiculous. some people pick up things a lot quicker the others. Saying you have 10yrs exp. means nothing if you are a lazy, unmotivated dumb*ss. On the other hand if your the sharp hardworking motivated type then.......
As I stated in my earlier posted comment, education is a never ending process.
A timeline is a general guideline, like the requirements for a driver's license. It is a compromise that takes the skills and talents of all potential practitioners into account.
Therefore, it is sound thinking.