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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    southeast michigan
    Posts
    15

    Which direction should I take?

    I almost completed an Associates degree in hvac, have universal, esco residential certs., joined RSES, BPI , going to take the NATE'S soon. My job prospects are; (A) 1 million square foot office, MEP maint. multiple chillers, heat pumps, boilers,refrigeration, and in house open source proprietary controls, low pay, not much room for advancement, but great learning environment.
    (B) local residential commercial mechanical contractor laborer, minimum 2 years before even beginning union apprenticeship ,possibility of being stuck in shop or residential install, low pay, but advancement based on ability.

    Which job should I take? I plan on continuing my education and have been accepted into a bachelor's program, online starting Sept 2013. I know I could make a lot more with job (B), but can learn more with job (A).

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    376
    What is top pay for job A?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Paper Street Soap Company
    Posts
    2,304
    Job A sounds like you are going the direction of a facilities engineer.

    Job B is at least a practical approach with an oppurtunity to learn the trade hands on.

    I go with Job B

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    California/Nevada
    Posts
    3,607
    commercial work is has far more value

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Sherman, TX
    Posts
    9,441
    As much as I enjoy resi....if I were in your shoes I'd take "A".

    Become a wizard at controls, reefer, chillers, and boilers.....and in 4-5 years you can choose your job.
    Technical incompetence is NOT a sales tool....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Paper Street Soap Company
    Posts
    2,304
    Ive seen guys do that and wind up staying on and never pursuing a carreer in HVAC. You wont get the training in a office building or or the experience.

    Its not a training environment for wanna be HVAC technicians.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    up in the hizzy
    Posts
    1,375
    Go with "A", it would be easier in the future to transition from commercial building mechanic to commercial hvac tech than going from residential to commercial. try to focus on chiller work, start with the basics and move into repairs and tear downs.entry level chiller techs make $32 Hr and up.
    Another option could be to get some field experience and become a hvac teacher, designer or mechanical engineer.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    south jersey
    Posts
    1,096
    Get your bachelors. Try to go the controls route. This is the future of our industry. Need to get computer training with controls. They go hand in hand. Sounds like job A would give you a better chance for this. On the other hand job B will have a greater impact on you if you plan on staying on the mechanical side. Many excellent techs started out in resi ,light commercial. No matter union or non. Good luck in your endeavors.
    You need to put the phone down and get back to work!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    376
    The problem I always found with the B option is that you will most likely start doing resi duct install... If you do a good job they won't want you moving out of that position because you make them good money there... Then the only way to get out of duct install is change jobs... Of course you might like duct install, but if you're mechanically inclined and like variety, you'll hate duct installs particularly in attics or crawl spaces...

    Way back when I started out, they started me on service training, but the first time they were short on installers, they put me on the install crew and would never move me back... I quit and went to the next company... Same thing there... After a short time I got moved on to the duct crew.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    East coast USA
    Posts
    955
    Quote Originally Posted by commtech77 View Post
    Ive seen guys do that and wind up staying on and never pursuing a carreer in HVAC. You wont get the training in a office building or or the experience.

    Its not a training environment for wanna be HVAC technicians.
    What the are you talking about! your advice is shallow and short sighted and holds no merit. A Facility Engineer is a trade, we hold CFC licences, boiler license, steam tickets, and the list goes on.

    For him to start out in this field would give him a good start in the HVAC field. In Plan (A) he has a 1 million square feet of office space, MEP maint. multiple chillers, heat pumps, boilers,refrigeration, and in house open source proprietary controls in which to learn all about proper maintenance procedures and DDC controls. If he applies himself he will learn a lot more then installing residential splits. A good facility engineer is there to properly maintain the buildings equipment, do inspections, trouble shoot, repair and make sure the place is safe to work in etc....

    All jobs you start in, you start with low pay, but in time IF you apply yourself you will make much more. That's in either trade you take but my advice is go with plan A. you can always go to plan B in a few years.

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