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  1. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisTechMech View Post
    I thought the same thing Chris. Me and my journeyman were talking about this today.

    You can have all the book knowledge in the world. Read every book and get to the roof and not have a single clue where to start.
    Get money, get paid.

  2. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by RayD8630 View Post
    I thought the same thing Chris. Me and my journeyman were talking about this today.

    You can have all the book knowledge in the world. Read every book and get to the roof and not have a single clue where to start.
    Which reminds me of...

    Quote Originally Posted by A.C.Cool View Post
    i paid my dues by goin to school.
    Found in one of the most entertaining threads of the year http://hvac-talk.com/vbb/showthread.php?t=1110101 Read post #23 as well

  3. #42
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    Oct 2009
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    Ontario, Canada
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    Eh. That I hate to say it but there are a lot of apprentices out there like that. They want to run before they can walk.

    Fact of the matter is:

    -Companies dont make much money off of maintenance contracts. Its a set in stone price that a contractor is lucky to break even on. We do maintenance so we can find service.
    -It makes more sense to send a guy who costs less per hour than a full technician with knowledge and experience to do the grunt work.
    -The only way to see different types of machinery and equipment as a n00b is by maintenance. Its also how you learn to spot problems. And also how you will end up learning to work through them.

    Then again there are a lot of guys that are purely full of themselves. Like the recycled paper their name is printed on makes them Gods gift. Those guys end up going right to the sales counter jobs.
    Last edited by RayD8630; 06-22-2012 at 11:07 PM. Reason: Cant read
    Get money, get paid.

  4. #43
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    GTA, ON
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    Don't bash the sales counter guys.. Some of them really know their stuff.. Those shops are usually frequented by (smart) younger apprentices who know they can get some solid advice.

    I already am a good tech in another field, but that allowed me to see how much there is to learn in this trade before someone can be trusted with a truck. Especially in commercial, the stakes are too high to just let someone who just has their EPA/ODP/whatever card run around with a truck putting the customers' expensive equipment at risk. One needs to put in plenty of time on the job and studying independently before they can be trusted with just the simple stuff, not to mention the doozies.

    The exposure to the equipment is priceless and they better read up on every piece that they touch. There was a case on my current job where the tech's familiarity with the equipment stopped an ongoing (for 2 weeks) waste of customer's time where the techs were trying to blame the customer for the issue when it took a tech who came from elsewhere and worked with that particular piece of equipment 5min to figure out that it was an upstream vendor's fault and another 115min to run tests and prove it.

  5. #44
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    Aug 2009
    Location
    Beatrice, NE
    Posts
    2,329
    I saw a report several months ago, don't have all the data but basicly in the nest 10 years roughly 30% of current HVAC techs will be retiring or leaving the field. Over that same time periond the need for techs will rise by over 30% so there will be a shortage of techs by about 65% of what is needed. Talk about supply and demand.

    As far as how much you make, compairing $ isn't the answer. If you make $100k but the cost of living where you are at takes $95k your actually not making as much as if you make $50k but your cost of living is $40k i.e $5k disposable compared to $10k.

    The most important thing is if you enjoy what you do and it brings you personal fulfilment ~ you love what you do. And to be erogant enough to think that just because you work on a certain piece of equipment or in one part of this field over another you are somehow better or smarter is pure BS. Could I go work on any piece of equipment and be proficient first time out, no, but you couldn't figure out some of the stuff I have to work on either.

  6. #45
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    36

    I respect you and these sentiments, but they hurt all working people.

    Mlkman, The guy who cashes the customers checks at the company you work for I'm sure is a smart, hard working likeable person. I can assure you that he has thought about what type of employee he likes best- and you are it with bells on. You notice that those who bounce around to different companies demanding more money often get it.

    What you don't notice (because you can't, it's not in the open) is that many, many people in this trade discuss money and compensation and personal reward for contribution to company with owner/principals and they get more money than people who come up with unprovable reasons to explain why they are happy making short money.

    I consider myself very lucky. Not because I make absolute top dollar in my trade AND have gold plated health and retirement benefits, I made that happen myself with negotiating skills, confidence and my sense of knowing my value and proven profit making potential to an organization. I'm lucky because I have been blessed with a mind, body and work ethic that allows me to do this useful, valuable trade, and my family and education was there for me to encourage and guide me through adversity.

    All markets are different around the country and in different niches of the industry, but I have kept track of one ratio that is very telling about who is making out best in our trade. The large union service firms "street" rates compared to the straight journeyman in the envelope hourly rate for as many areas and companies as I can find out about. Universally, the rate charged has gone up way faster than the rate paid over almost thirty years. Common in the area where I first started working was rates only 2-2.5 the envelope rate as the street billing rates. Now it's not uncommon to see companies, even some small independents charging 3.5 to 5 times the base hourly in the pocket jouney man rate for the area. Meaning that no matter how often you are told that paying primadonna mechanics more would make companies less competitive and is unsustainable, the proof is that us mechanics have worked our whole lives slowly getting a smaller and smaller piece of the pie, while the very people who claim we are the problem have been divying more and more money as a percent of their billable rates on overhead and profit, instead of focusing on streamlining the non-jobsite related expenses at least as much as they do on getting the workforce to do more for less.

    Guys like you that act like this is an inevitable consequence of business and competition and say stuff like "there are only so many nice jobs that pay the top dollar. The rest of us will have to bottom feed" are hurting your own earning potential the most, but you discount my share of my productivity as well. Grow a pair my friend. You are the one who can fix the stuff, that's what your company needs the most. They won't ever give you what you don't think you deserve.

    By the way, I go to McD's for the dollar menu, and carry my lunch lots of days, because I need and save even more of my income for my retirement than my pension will give me, and since I make good money I hardly qualify for any college financial aid but I sent/send/will send my 3 kids to college- and pay for it dearly with money I earned.

    I respect contractor owners for their entrepeneurship, sure. But I respect myself as well.



    Quote Originally Posted by Milk man View Post
    It's all relative.

    I'm happy driving the gravel road instead of sitting in traffic. I'll make less but I hope my quality of life ranks with the 100K plus.

    I don't eat lunch out much, but spent $8.60 at Pizza Hut for a lunch buffet with salad and a drink. How much does it cost in the areas that pay 100K? Just for comparison sake.

    Also, there are only so many nice jobs that pay the top dollar. The rest of us will have to bottom feed. For those that have them, good job!

    I don't think I'll ever fully retire. Once my youngest daughter is out of college I'll look for a part time gig. I think some smaller companies around here would have a position open for a peak season mechanic. That is if I can afford to work part time. That is my cost for not jumping enough ships to land a plumb job.

  7. #46
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    36

    I respect you and these sentiments, but they hurt all working people.

    Mlkman, The guy who cashes the customers checks at the company you work for I'm sure is a smart, hard working likeable person. I can assure you that he has thought about what type of employee he likes best- and you are it with bells on. You notice that those who bounce around to different companies demanding more money often get it.

    What you don't notice (because you can't, it's not in the open) is that many, many people in this trade discuss money and compensation and personal reward for contribution to company with owner/principals and they get more money than people who come up with unprovable reasons to explain why they are happy making short money.

    I consider myself very lucky. Not because I make absolute top dollar in my trade AND have gold plated health and retirement benefits, I made that happen myself with negotiating skills, confidence and my sense of knowing my value and proven profit making potential to an organization. I'm lucky because I have been blessed with a mind, body and work ethic that allows me to do this useful, valuable trade, and my family and education was there for me to encourage and guide me through adversity.

    All markets are different around the country and in different niches of the industry, but I have kept track of one ratio that is very telling about who is making out best in our trade. The large union service firms "street" rates compared to the straight journeyman in the envelope hourly rate for as many areas and companies as I can find out about. Universally, the rate charged has gone up way faster than the rate paid over almost thirty years. Common in the area where I first started working was rates only 2-2.5 the envelope rate as the street billing rates. Now it's not uncommon to see companies, even some small independents charging 3.5 to 5 times the base hourly in the pocket jouney man rate for the area. Meaning that no matter how often you are told that paying primadonna mechanics more would make companies less competitive and is unsustainable, the proof is that us mechanics have worked our whole lives slowly getting a smaller and smaller piece of the pie, while the very people who claim we are the problem have been divying more and more money as a percent of their billable rates on overhead and profit, instead of focusing on streamlining the non-jobsite related expenses at least as much as they do on getting the workforce to do more for less.

    Guys like you that act like this is an inevitable consequence of business and competition and say stuff like "there are only so many nice jobs that pay the top dollar. The rest of us will have to bottom feed" are hurting your own earning potential the most, but you discount my share of my productivity as well. Grow a pair my friend. You are the one who can fix the stuff, that's what your company needs the most. They won't ever give you what you don't think you deserve.

    By the way, I go to McD's for the dollar menu, and carry my lunch lots of days, because I need and save even more of my income for my retirement than my pension will give me, and since I make good money I hardly qualify for any college financial aid but I sent/send/will send my 3 kids to college- and pay for it dearly with money I earned.

    I respect contractor owners for their entrepeneurship, sure. But I respect myself as well.



    Quote Originally Posted by Milk man View Post
    It's all relative.

    I'm happy driving the gravel road instead of sitting in traffic. I'll make less but I hope my quality of life ranks with the 100K plus.

    I don't eat lunch out much, but spent $8.60 at Pizza Hut for a lunch buffet with salad and a drink. How much does it cost in the areas that pay 100K? Just for comparison sake.

    Also, there are only so many nice jobs that pay the top dollar. The rest of us will have to bottom feed. For those that have them, good job!

    I don't think I'll ever fully retire. Once my youngest daughter is out of college I'll look for a part time gig. I think some smaller companies around here would have a position open for a peak season mechanic. That is if I can afford to work part time. That is my cost for not jumping enough ships to land a plumb job.

  8. #47
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    Oct 2009
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    Ontario, Canada
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    831
    Quote Originally Posted by Moonrunner View Post
    Don't bash the sales counter guys.. Some of them really know their stuff.. Those shops are usually frequented by (smart) younger apprentices who know they can get some solid advice.
    Keyword: SOME

    I know a few guys who do counters now because no shop will take them on because they would argue with the mechanics and thus ended up black listing themselves from a lot of shops.
    Get money, get paid.

  9. #48
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    Nov 2006
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    Southeastern Pa
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    18,906
    Quote Originally Posted by cheelr View Post
    Mlkman, The guy who cashes the customers checks at the company you work for I'm sure is a smart, hard working likeable person. I can assure you that he has thought about what type of employee he likes best- and you are it with bells on. You notice that those who bounce around to different companies demanding more money often get it.

    What you don't notice (because you can't, it's not in the open) is that many, many people in this trade discuss money and compensation and personal reward for contribution to company with owner/principals and they get more money than people who come up with unprovable reasons to explain why they are happy making short money.

    I consider myself very lucky. Not because I make absolute top dollar in my trade AND have gold plated health and retirement benefits, I made that happen myself with negotiating skills, confidence and my sense of knowing my value and proven profit making potential to an organization. I'm lucky because I have been blessed with a mind, body and work ethic that allows me to do this useful, valuable trade, and my family and education was there for me to encourage and guide me through adversity.

    All markets are different around the country and in different niches of the industry, but I have kept track of one ratio that is very telling about who is making out best in our trade. The large union service firms "street" rates compared to the straight journeyman in the envelope hourly rate for as many areas and companies as I can find out about. Universally, the rate charged has gone up way faster than the rate paid over almost thirty years. Common in the area where I first started working was rates only 2-2.5 the envelope rate as the street billing rates. Now it's not uncommon to see companies, even some small independents charging 3.5 to 5 times the base hourly in the pocket jouney man rate for the area. Meaning that no matter how often you are told that paying primadonna mechanics more would make companies less competitive and is unsustainable, the proof is that us mechanics have worked our whole lives slowly getting a smaller and smaller piece of the pie, while the very people who claim we are the problem have been divying more and more money as a percent of their billable rates on overhead and profit, instead of focusing on streamlining the non-jobsite related expenses at least as much as they do on getting the workforce to do more for less.

    Guys like you that act like this is an inevitable consequence of business and competition and say stuff like "there are only so many nice jobs that pay the top dollar. The rest of us will have to bottom feed" are hurting your own earning potential the most, but you discount my share of my productivity as well. Grow a pair my friend. You are the one who can fix the stuff, that's what your company needs the most. They won't ever give you what you don't think you deserve.

    By the way, I go to McD's for the dollar menu, and carry my lunch lots of days, because I need and save even more of my income for my retirement than my pension will give me, and since I make good money I hardly qualify for any college financial aid but I sent/send/will send my 3 kids to college- and pay for it dearly with money I earned.

    I respect contractor owners for their entrepeneurship, sure. But I respect myself as well.
    Could I ask you to condense your title statement theme into a brief explanation? How is what is being said "hurting all working people?"

    When customers that pay union companies in big cities charge more as a multiple of the hourly rate, it is because they have a stranglehold on the market in those areas. Try, I repeat, TRY to be the customer who decides to hire a competitive non-union contractor in say, Philly or New York, or Chicago. It won't happen. You are stuck with the rates every union contractor is charging.

    But please, explain how "all working people" are getting hurt.

    I love hearing stuff like this.
    [Avatar photo from a Florida training accident. Everyone walked away.]
    2 Tim 3:16-17

    RSES CMS, HVAC Electrical Specialist

    AOP Forum Rules:







  10. #49
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    Mar 2012
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    Texas
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    185
    Quote Originally Posted by RayD8630 View Post
    Keyword: SOME

    I know a few guys who do counters now because no shop will take them on because they would argue with the mechanics and thus ended up black listing themselves from a lot of shops.
    You mean not taking orders well from a bossy jerk? What kind of arguing are we talking about here?

  11. #50
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    Feb 2012
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    GTA, ON
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    Quote Originally Posted by RayD8630 View Post
    Keyword: SOME

    I know a few guys who do counters now because no shop will take them on because they would argue with the mechanics and thus ended up black listing themselves from a lot of shops.
    Good point.. Many young guys don't realize it's a job and not a [part of human anatomy]-measuring contest. Raising a concern is OK if it's done discretely after thinking things through and it's gonna make the mechanic look good. If he's smart and the concern is valid, he'll listen to it. If he's not.. His name goes on the work order.

  12. #51
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    Nov 2006
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    Southeastern Pa
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    Quote Originally Posted by timebuilder View Post
    Could I ask you to condense your title statement theme (I respect you and these sentiments, but they hurt all working people)
    into a brief explanation? How does what is being said "hurt all working people?"

    When customers pay union companies in big cities who charge more as a multiple of the hourly rate, it is because they have a stranglehold on the market in those areas. Try, I repeat, TRY to be the customer who decides to hire a competitive non-union contractor in say, Philly or New York, or Chicago (when you have been using union contractors). It won't happen. You are stuck with the rates every union contractor is charging.

    But please, explain how "all working people" are getting hurt.

    I love hearing stuff like this.
    Correction to post #48, above.
    [Avatar photo from a Florida training accident. Everyone walked away.]
    2 Tim 3:16-17

    RSES CMS, HVAC Electrical Specialist

    AOP Forum Rules:







  13. #52
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    Feb 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by WMG View Post
    You mean not taking orders well from a bossy jerk? What kind of arguing are we talking about here?
    You're on the job, you are paid to do what your supervisor tells you to do, regardless of what you think of the job and of your supervisor, as long as you're not breaking the law or putting yourself at risk.

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