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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    East central, Wisconsin
    Posts
    8

    Need some advice

    First post on here, but have been reading for a while now. I need some advice from people that don't personally know. I have just graduated from tech school as of three weeks ago, and am currently employed at a small shop close to home here. I have been working there for about six months now, mostly residential clean and checks, but also service,and also part of the on call rotation. I have a couple questions about the field, and I'm hoping that you guys have some information that will help me.

    1. I am considered a pre apprentice at this union shop, and I just learned over the weekend that I am not supposed to be doing any service work, as it is against union rules. I have been told that it could ruin my chances of being a journeyman in the future. I have a bad feeling that if I bring it up to my boss he will show me the door, because I know he loves my cheap labor, so what do I do?

    2. Like I said, I have always wanted to be a commercial service tech, or a commercial controls guy. What does it take to get hired to a big shop? I have called, sent my resume, even had an interview at a local controls shop last week, but he said he wouldn't have an answer for a month. I guess, what do I need to do to stand out? I am willing to work, I am wanting to learn, but I just can't seem to get any answers.

    Thanks guys.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    East coast USA
    Posts
    983
    [QUOTE=k5blazerboy;13431121]First post on here, but have been reading for a while now. I need some advice from people that don't personally know. I have just graduated from tech school as of three weeks ago, and am currently employed at a small shop close to home here. I have been working there for about six months now, mostly residential clean and checks, but also service,and also part of the on call rotation. I have a couple questions about the field, and I'm hoping that you guys have some information that will help me.

    1. I am considered a pre apprentice at this union shop, and I just learned over the weekend that I am not supposed to be doing any service work, as it is against union rules. I have been told that it could ruin my chances of being a journeyman in the future. I have a bad feeling that if I bring it up to my boss he will show me the door, because I know he loves my cheap labor, so what do I do? Talk to your union rep. and who ever told you this ask them to show it to you in writing. But if i was you, i would do what I'm asked to do as long you can handle it.

    2. Like I said, I have always wanted to be a commercial service tech, or a commercial controls guy. What does it take to get hired to a big shop? I have called, sent my resume, even had an interview at a local controls shop last week, but he said he wouldn't have an answer for a month. I guess, what do I need to do to stand out? I am willing to work, I am wanting to learn, but I just can't seem to get any answers. you need time under your belt before you start looking for other work. We don't like jumpers. two years or less in one place makes me think something is not right. Hang in there you have much to learn.

    Thanks guys.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    East central, Wisconsin
    Posts
    8
    1. Problem is that I'm not indentured into the union as my boss is trying to keep me under the radar. Trying to keep the union from knowing I'm there.

    2. I'm looking for an apprenticeship, I know I don't have the skills needed to work at another shop as an experienced technician. I am looking for more training, more schooling. I want to learn as much as I can, so I don't find myself in situations I cannot resolve.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    East coast USA
    Posts
    983
    Quote Originally Posted by k5blazerboy View Post
    1. Problem is that I'm not indentured into the union as my boss is trying to keep me under the radar. Trying to keep the union from knowing I'm there.

    2. I'm looking for an apprenticeship, I know I don't have the skills needed to work at another shop as an experienced technician. I am looking for more training, more schooling. I want to learn as much as I can, so I don't find myself in situations I cannot resolve.
    All i can say is find out how long they intend on keep you in this position. I"m sure others will chime in on this for ya. But if it was me, i would ask some questions. maybe your in trial period, I don't know. But i would find out when i can get into the union, whats the procedures, what do i fill out. Who do i talk to. etc..

    There is no harm in asking. Unless the employer sucks. But i would talk to the owner directly and lay it out on the table. see what he says. However, i get the feeling everyone knows who you are and what you do.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    1,350
    [QUOTE=k5blazerboy;13431581]1. Problem is that I'm not indentured into the union as my boss is trying to keep me under the radar. Trying to keep the union from knowing I'm there.

    This is worry some. Each and every shop is usually under contract to keep certain ratios. The number of tradesmen, apprentices to journeymen. In our area it is 3 to 1 journeymen to apprentice ratio. He is trying to pull a fast one, be careful.
    I STARTED WITH NOTHING, AND I STILL HAVE MOST OF IT!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Chicago area
    Posts
    1,439
    I don't think it can hurt you chances of becomming a journeymen in the future. In some areas apprentiships only start certain times of the year, and if hired after that date, then you will be a pre-apprentice until the next starting point.

    I would ask the boss what the deal is, and be sure your expectations are clear.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    185
    If you go to a big city in a non-union state you would probably do better. Less burdensome regulations and more freedom to conduct business with less red tape and paperwork.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    275
    [QUOTE=dlove;13431521]
    Quote Originally Posted by dlove View Post


    two years or less in one place makes me think something is not right. Hang in there you have much to learn.
    I think you missed the mark here, HVAC is seasonal and some companies have a hard time providing 40 hours even in busy seasons. Everyone should be looking for security, sitting at home to fulfill years of being employed at one company is good for the employer and bad for the employee.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    East coast USA
    Posts
    983
    [QUOTE=jrmech;13433191]
    Quote Originally Posted by dlove View Post

    I think you missed the mark here, HVAC is seasonal and some companies have a hard time providing 40 hours even in busy seasons. Everyone should be looking for security, sitting at home to fulfill years of being employed at one company is good for the employer and bad for the employee.
    No i didn't miss the mark, and i understand there are exceptions. But having to read many resumes over the years and talking to other industry professionals, when you show you jump in and out it sends up a red flag. If someone has several jobs in just a few years, they should be prepared to explain themselves. But i can tell you, i will pass them up in the first round of resume selections. That's just plan a fact.

    This OP is young and learning I would rather have him tuff it out then to quit in 6 months or a year. This is a cycle you don't want to get into a habit of.


    and to your point, why do those who find them selves coming and going continue to be in that situation? if they produced there would be work for them. Some people like this style and that's ok but, for those who want to work full time, all the time will choose their employer carefully. I wouldn't take a job knowing i could be let go after the summer. But to be clear, I'm not saying don't work seasonal if you need the money, but know this upfront and when you take the job be ready to explain one or two short employment stretches when your asked. But if you worked in 5 places in five years well good luck.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    275
    [QUOTE=dlove;13433611]
    Quote Originally Posted by jrmech View Post

    No i didn't miss the mark, and i understand there are exceptions. But having to read many resumes over the years and talking to other industry professionals, when you show you jump in and out it sends up a red flag. If someone has several jobs in just a few years, they should be prepared to explain themselves. But i can tell you, i will pass them up in the first round of resume selections. That's just plan a fact.

    This OP is young and learning I would rather have him tuff it out then to quit in 6 months or a year. This is a cycle you don't want to get into a habit of.


    and to your point, why do those who find them selves coming and going continue to be in that situation? if they produced there would be work for them. Some people like this style and that's ok but, for those who want to work full time, all the time will choose their employer carefully. I wouldn't take a job knowing i could be let go after the summer. But to be clear, I'm not saying don't work seasonal if you need the money, but know this upfront and when you take the job be ready to explain one or two short employment stretches when your asked. But if you worked in 5 places in five years well good luck.
    I'm just saying that assumption may hinder your effectiveness of hiring personnel. There is no loyalty today coming from employers or empoloyees. I worked in the corporate world prior to HVAC and it was the same thing there...this is the new way of things to go, 20 year seniority is long gone.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    East coast USA
    Posts
    983
    [QUOTE=jrmech;13434741]
    Quote Originally Posted by dlove View Post

    I'm just saying that assumption may hinder your effectiveness of hiring personnel. There is no loyalty today coming from employers or empoloyees. I worked in the corporate world prior to HVAC and it was the same thing there...this is the new way of things to go, 20 year seniority is long gone.
    Its not an assumption it is a fact. you can Google this subject and you will see. the average is about 2 to 4 years. and yes that depends on the type of work, demographics and age.

    in short if i have 20 resumes with 10 Techs having a low turn around and 10 with high turn around. Where do you think i will place my attention? There is no shortage of guys looking for work.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    East central, Wisconsin
    Posts
    8
    If the opportunity arises I will jump on the chance to get into a commercial shop. Residential is not my thing, and I got into this field already knowing that. Whether it is controls, balancing, or service, I am jumping on the first commercial opportunity I get.

    Also, what is your guys opinion about me being on call? I graduated 3 weeks ago, been working here since November though. Just need opinions. I am OK with it, but I have met a lot of people that are OK with it as well as against it.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Jacksonville,Fl
    Posts
    123
    [QUOTE=dlove;13435171]
    Quote Originally Posted by jrmech View Post

    Its not an assumption it is a fact. you can Google this subject and you will see. the average is about 2 to 4 years. and yes that depends on the type of work, demographics and age.

    in short if i have 20 resumes with 10 Techs having a low turn around and 10 with high turn around. Where do you think i will place my attention? There is no shortage of guys looking for work.
    There is in Florida.

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