Technical School while in High School - started at about age 16, then co-op during the summer and after graduation full time. Started my own business at age 27 and was in business for 18 years until I sold and went back to work for a great company. Now at age 49. Been at it for 33 years now.
Twilli started at 6 ????????? What did they heat and cool double wides with those days ????? oh ya thats right guess double wides didn't show up till 1960's or 70's......I'm guessing. so what were ya working on that heated the log cabin ? no air I'm guessing ???
Was wondering what age you guys started out doing hvac and how hard and long it took to climb the ladder?
I guess you could say I started doing HVAC in my early 20's.
Not that I was doing it full time or anything. I was in the Navy, HVAC was not my specialty. It was a subject, one of many, that fell under the broad scope of things I was supposed to know something about. And had in fact received some small amount of introductory training about. Along with boilers, steam turbines, distilling plants, generators, pumps, valves, etc, etc.
However, I'd never been assigned specifically to a HVAC shop. Was doing hydraulics at the time, along with stints down in the boiler/engine rooms.
However, I was curious to know more, and knew the guys in the HVAC shop, and in my spare time started helping em out with various repairs, etc.
Of course, what actual experience I was getting was with the bigger stuff. Never actually laid hands on a residential type unit until I was in my 40's.
Tried to get into a HVAC shop (still in the Navy) as a full time assignment, but that wasn't easy. Every darn body amongst the Snipes (shipboard mechanics) wanted into the HVAC shop. It was considered a premier, elite duty.
Never did get into a HVAC shop assignment, full time, while in the Navy. And while I'd had introductory training in HVAC systems, never managed to get them to send me through their formal AC&R school until much later. By which time I'd already been to the Navy's cryogenics school. (School of Compressed and Liquified Gases) Which was a specialized refrigeration school as versus HVAC. Not that I was complaining about that school. Was fun to learn how to turn air into a liquified form and then distill it into it's separate components.
I did, however, end up at one point being the Leading Petty Officer of both the Cryogenics Shop and the HVAC shop on one ship. Was in that position when I finally got to go through the Navy's AC&R school. By that time, I could've taught the course. (I'd probably worked at least a couple thousand hours, hands on, with big HVAC gear by that time. On the side, in my spare time, after catching up with my other, regularly assigned duties.) However ... I wanted that diploma, official documentation for the training. Was already planning for the future, retirement from the Navy and hunting for a civilian job.
It's a terminology and job classification thing. All the basic skills and knowledge sets I actually needed to do HVAC, at least as a newbie, I'd learned back in the Navy's BP&E and MM'A' schools. That's Basic Propulsion and Engineering, and Machinest Mate's 'A' schools. Where they taught tools and their uses, materials science, thermodynamics, gas laws, fluid flow, fluid power, basic electricity, etc, etc. Pumps and valves (all kinds), boilers, turbines, internal combustion engines, heat exchangers, distilling plants, lubrication systems, governors and other controls and instruments, etc.
But BP&E. or MM'A', or "School of Compressed and Liquified Gases", etc meant little to civilians. However, the title of that Navy AC&R school, "Air Conditioning and Refrigeration" DID.
But, in truth, I'd have to say that maybe the real beginning of the road of decisions that took me where it did, and into the HVAC field, started back when I was a youngster. IIRC, was 9 or 10 (maybe 11) when I started getting real interested in How Things Worked.
Was a fan of reading the Tom Swift series of books, and a bunch of the early Robert Heinlein stories. All of which concerned youngsters, gadgets, technology, etc. In such books and stories there were always young folks, usually male, who won the day or at least impressed the heck out of folks and made a difference ... by knowing how to do stuff that others around them did not ... mostly having to do with how things worked and how stuff got done. Boys (guys) who could not only use something ... they knew how it worked and could fix it or modify it, etc.
I wanted to be like that. And was always sticking my nose into things, trying to figure out how it worked, and/or quizzing people who knew about such things to learn about them, and so forth.
Didn't at that early age have a focus at wanting to learn any one particular thing or field. Chuckle ... wanted to know it all.
LOL ... in later years I became a Star Trek fan. But in truth, Capt Kirk wasn't my hero or the person I wanted to be most like. It was Scottie or Spock I most admired.
I was perhaps influenced by Robert Heinlein's line in one of his books:
"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."
I've managed to do most of those things. Well, I've so far avoided dying gallantly ... although it was a particularly close call on 2 occasions. I did end up bleeding like a stuck pig and was hospitalized for lengthy stays in both cases and still carry big, ugly scars as a result. And it was as a result of combat. However, I don't recall either feeling or behaving very gallantly at the time.
And, to be honest, the invasions I planned, and the buildings I designed ... weren't very big or impressive.
Anyway, from the time I decided I wanted to get into HVAC until I actually did, except as a sometimes helper, took over a decade. Was 41 and a civilian after doing a career in the Navy by the time I was doing it full time.
Don't do actual HVAC any more, hands on. These days I'm a controls type.
Started HVAC school at 25 using the G.I. Bill. Did residential and light commercial mostly. Got out of field work at 53 yr old to take a management job. Still do some work for friends and close relatives if I can't get out of it.....