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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Fresno, CA
    Posts
    196

    HVAC job progression helper/parts/install

    Hi guys just a couple questions about the progression when starting out. I have been in trade college for the last two years, cookie cutter assembly line with very large class size where you had to seek other means of training outside of school for more informaton. No experience have the hvac excellence certs, universal epa, an IHACI member, some extra trade to round out some industrial elec/powertrain curiosity. Going out filling apps and hitting some interviews and notice that on every application its service technician never do I see a helper or parts runner or installer as a job title, its no biggie I just wondered why? I am 32 years old and have seen from the posts on this site and from what I hear from buddies out in the field that you can either roll around in a truck with a seasoned tech for a couple weeks/months and then go out and do service yourself or be a helper/parts runner/water boy for a couple months then move on to install or some just hit the service truck right out and figure things out for themselves. I know bottom line its what the company wants and I have felt kinda sheephish in interviews when I explained that I'll be a helper or what ever capacity they need just want in, my questions are: Whats the best job to start out at? the filter changer or straight tech? I know I am thousands if not tens of thousands of work experience situations from being a true tech and "know completly" what this field entails but man I really believe I am going to love this line of work, I hear alot of guys rag on the work but do most of you guys love this trade too? Or get excited to go to work? or is that for neon green newbies like me? I have worked sh***y jobs my whole life because I had to. I knew I was wasting my life away flipping burgers or making pizza pies, now I can see some doors starting to open and its pretty exciting, has any of you guys came from the food/restaurant industry to this field? thanks for the replies you guys have a nice one

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Helena, Montana
    Posts
    2,129
    Best place to start...where ever you can get your foot in the door! You seem to have the right attitude and are not trying to BS your way into something you are not ready for.

    Keep hitting them up, even after you have sent in an ap or interviewed. Persistence is often rewarded.

    Good Luck!
    Don't worry zombies are looking for brains, you're safe...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    West Chester, PA
    Posts
    511
    Getting started is the hardest part. Once you're in if you show good work ethic, the sky is the limit. Don't let yourself get pegion holed. My first employer (i was still a helper) told me he was gonna have me start doing the duct cleanings. I told him i was there to learn and do real HVAC work and that if he was gonna have me be his duct cleaning guy, that i'd find another place to work. I think he must have respected my position becasue he didn't fire me and i didn't do duct cleanings That was also when the economy was much more favorable...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    FL
    Posts
    565
    I moved over from the restaurant industry, was a general manager for a big chain.
    What got me into it was that I have family thats in this line of work but also when i would call because unit/freezer was down, watching and talking to them about whatever they were working on i found it intresting. But also once you get GM at a franchise there is really no way to make more, either move on to higher class dining or corporate.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Fresno, CA
    Posts
    196
    yeah same here. Starting out in trade college it seemed pretty frowned upon to come from food service, seems like there is always something to frown upon I guess. But yeah at 30 making a change into a new profession with none of the advantages: mechanical aptitude, family in the industry, or no field experience/ hvac education and having all of the disadvantages is a daunting. Couple that with signing up for a assembly line type private college with super sized class rooms with majority of your initial instructors failing in the teaching department as well as not enough materials or equipment to work with its was trying to say the least. But hey its what you make of it and it turned around towards the end started staying late after morning classes getting extra instruction on off class times as well as coming for night sessions, taking all the IHACI contractors training courses offered in my area as well as getting a good run of interested and competent teachers in the last few classes made a big change in the way I saw my future going. One thing that does stick is that your always feel behind in terms of development or behind the ball like you have to play a game of catch up because your just starting out being the older guy in the group (32 is not old but some of these guys in my classes were 17 or 18 just getting in. thats the way i feel anyway. This trade is challenging and has me dreaming about it, hell sometimes I walk around with my head held high looking towards the sky line, not because I am snobbing but because I am peeping out the residential rooftop units curious of the set ups and internal performance. Just the other night my better half said I was sleep talking about furnace operation and combustion jargon. I laughed it off when she told me but the truth is I love everything about being able to work on equipment and get it running then performing and the future possiblities of service and such. This stuff is embedding in me and can't wait to hit a job be it the water boy, helper, attempting diagnostics or commissioning or whatever. I still am hesitant to talk myself up about being a tech in an interview though, I know I haven't earn it yet. I saw a couple guys get jobs during school and exagerate their skills and only make themselves look foolish and incompetent, hell I can do that without saying any words on somedays(: I do firmly believe you do what your say and say what you do no embelishing, it'll probably not get me kudos in interviews but faking til making is something that I was not raised up chanting but understand theres a time and place for most thing so who knows. One thing I do know is that this site is pretty cool and getting to chat with professionals in the field, ask questions, and just bounce ideas off you guys and gals in the next coming months is going to be great.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    West Chester, PA
    Posts
    511
    It sounds like you'll kick ass. keep it real and good luck!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    88
    Dont let your age hinder you. Your at the perfect age in my opinion. I started in this field at age 36, 6 years later-still loving it. The heat is almost here, (with your good attitude) someone will hire you.

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