This is good to know. I think I may have found myself a job as a priject manager in the HVAC field I think the boss wants me to handle some of his customer relations and admin task while I go to school. I told him I would start at minimum wage to have a chance to learn the trade.
School is great, Whats greater is when u go home and learn on Your own. And the greatest thing is appreciating the decisions u made in life.
Get sponsered by union shop after a few months they will send u to union school with pay,, One day a week. It;s all about the teacher. This is best because what u learn u can practice the next day or at least ask your fellow mechanic. Buy them lunch.
One of the best schools around the country is Total Tech in Smyrna, Tennessee. Check out www.totaltechschool.com
There is Apex and TCI
I graduated from RSI in Phoenix in November, and got a commercial service job in December. I know I'm lucky, and I'm thankful. The first day on the job I found out that I know exactly JACK SQUAT (ya gotta imagine that in a Chris Farley kind of voice...:grin2:)! Still, the guy I am training with was happy to find out that I know what superheat and subcooling are and how to determine them, and overjoyed that I can recognize a seized compressor, and damn near fell over when I identified a piston type metering device.
Thing is, I got out of school what I put into it. I worked hard, and showed up, and actually LISTENED and CONTRIBUTED to my classes. Most schools are worth it if you do that, and very few (none) are worth it if you don't.
Just my 2 cents, for what it's worth.
Soooo interesting.......I am here in Michigan. I have been through the really good and the bottom, below the bottom, like sub-bottom. I was once told something that is pretty much the way it is for us in construction trades... you are either insanely rich bringing in like 5-10k a month or broke. That has been true. I think trade schools are good, you learn a skill, yes, you may fall in debt, yes, but you are gaining something that no one, even a crashed out economy can take away. I think the fella posting this has valid points but has been through the bottom way to often. I look at it this way-my situation 58k in debt from hvac school, but one of the only reasons I am able to land interviews is that expensive education, fewer and fewer people have it for the discussed topic. It is a game, it is not about if your a physics scientist from MIT aced all your stuff and are the top tech for 2 years running....YOU have to fully understand it is a numbers game. YOU are a number no matter what catagory you may fall into, this field deals a ton with ego's, mine actually got me let go from the dream job.... I was making 30 an hour to pretty much not bust my butt, work on some of the biggest stuff in the industry and have unbelievable perks- the problem was I was to dumb to notice it, notice I was nothing more then a number on the bottom line. Which is fine, owning a small business now that is what drives me and how I review my guys- the bottom line, your assets and liabilities.
But... I do miss the days of going to night school for HVACR and sheet metal, doing an installs during the day and bringing home 14 an hour back in 97-99 and having a blast doing it!!!!
I have had a jaded experience so far with the HVAC field. I graduated from TCI in Manhattan back at the end of 2008 with my EPA license and certifications, I searched for 6 months to find work with no luck. During my time in school I moved up around Hawley/Milford, Pa (Poconos) with my parents and as much as I love this area it sucks for jobs. I was fine with commuting to New Jersey for the lifestyle/freedom of Pennsylvania with the pay of a city job but no one would touch me, every job I could find in this field demanded years of experience I couldn't give them. After 6 months I found a job at a local resort changing air filters 85% of the time and learning what little I could in the remainder. It has been 5 years almost and the experience was heart breaking: My pay started at $9.00/hr and after all those years it only went up to $9.55/hr, now I have to pay a large portion of my health insurance out of pocket (I make about $135 less per paycheck than I did in 2009 even with the raise), my 401k is no longer matched, overtime will get you in trouble, nepotism is rampant here and I am having issues with some of the people at my company (Including my supervisor) which might peril my employment in the near future.
The few chances I got to learn really sucked too. I would show interest and ask my supervisor to demonstrate things but he would constantly say I am not paying attention because some concepts I wasn't able to grasp on the first go around, I knew nothing of HVAC before my stint at the trade school and he really didn't have the patience for someone that had so little hands on experience. That's not to say I haven't learned anything but I could have learned so much more now if I had more hands on experiences, at least I had two people here take a liking to me and give me a chance to get my hands on some equipment. However since this is a crappy resort my experience is mostly with a few pieces of antiquated commercial equipment (Mostly from the mid-1980's, the one chiller we have was manufactured in 1965) and the majority of my experiences is with older residential equipment. The job is killing me since I feel like so many of my productive years were spent in either a classroom or in a job making close to minimum wage, at this point I really feel I made a grievous error getting into HVAC. I live with the fear that I may never recover from these lost years trying to get established in this field and that I may never find employment/a career which pays well (I am 27 by the way).
I am back here because I planned on searching for a new job in HVAC starting in January and I have no idea where to find work, right now I am dusting off my resume and looking to update it. I want to get into the commercial aspect of this field for my second job since it seems like the high paying jobs are at that level but again I have a deep fear that no one is going to look at my resume. I ask people in this field if I can get into a job that will train me so I can be productive at the commercial level and all I get is vague answers or "I don't know's".
At this point my only hope is a good friend I met through my current job, he left a year ago to work at Comcast. With no previous experience they hired him, trained him (For free) and started him at $14/hour. They are giving him all the perks too (Medical, 401k, overtime and bonuses for furthering his knowledge). He already got 2 raises in 6 months and says based on his projected raises he will be able to get himself a home in under 2 years. I am going to beg him to get me into Comcast if I am still begging these HVAC companies for a better job come May, I am just sick of this attitude I have seen so far in the HVAC field where the employers ask "What are you going to give me?" and "Nevermind your needs". I work as hard as anybody and I am capable or learning given a chance/patience but if no one gives me a chance than I am SOL.