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  1. #1

    looking to get into HVAC

    Hello,
    I am currently in the Marine Corps and my contract will be up soon and im looking to get into HVAC when I get out. I was just looking for a little guidance on how to get started. I looked at some schools online just by searching 'HVAC schools' in google and nothing appears to be in my area. My local technical college offers a Bachelors in Air conditioning and refrigeration. Would this be fine or do I need to do an actual HVAC school? Sorry if this is a dumb question I just dont know anybody in the trade so have no one to point me in the right direction. Any advcie or tips would be greatly appreciated!
    Thanks for your time,
    Mike

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Lynn, Mass
    Posts
    134
    Quote Originally Posted by MJH1987 View Post
    Hello,
    I am currently in the Marine Corps and my contract will be up soon and im looking to get into HVAC when I get out. I was just looking for a little guidance on how to get started. I looked at some schools online just by searching 'HVAC schools' in google and nothing appears to be in my area. My local technical college offers a Bachelors in Air conditioning and refrigeration. Would this be fine or do I need to do an actual HVAC school? Sorry if this is a dumb question I just dont know anybody in the trade so have no one to point me in the right direction. Any advcie or tips would be greatly appreciated!
    Thanks for your time,
    Mike
    Not sure where you are located, but I am a former Marine also, if you got the G.I. Bill you will be able to get your school paid for and get a check for around 2k a month just for going. I would research the trade schools in the area and see what the bestone is and go there.... hell, you wont be paying for it, you'll be getting paid to go. Maybe even move close to one for the year or 2 you would have to go.

    Either way, good luck and Semper Fi

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Paper Street Soap Company
    Posts
    2,304
    I want to thank both of you guys for your service. My son is an MP in the Navy.

    Some HVAC schools are better than others so it would be worth doing some research.

    The trade is very dependent on experienced technicians and any HVAC school can only prepare you for a vocation that demands a commitment to continued education and hands on experience to improve your skills.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    up in the hizzy
    Posts
    1,390
    Give the union a try, UA has a program for people like you. check it out http://helmetstohardhats.org/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    11
    Dont know how you feel about staying in the military, but I know know plenty of guys who got their training in the Air Force. You can get out and go into the reserve or air national guard. They all told me you get your EPA Cert while youre in training. Its porbably not as thorough as a 2 year associate degree but if you're already in military and wouldn't mind waiting to go into another branch it might be worth looking into. You wouldnt have to use your GI Bill either. Just a thought...
    Its a great field however or wherever you get your training. Good luck

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Lynn, Mass
    Posts
    134
    Some states dont take your military schooling into account for your school hours for licensing. Completely bull if you ask me.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Southeastern Pa
    Posts
    18,797
    Is would also recommend a union apprenticeship. You can use your GI Bill benefits for other schooling, and as an apprentice, you become a known entity to potential employers.
    [Avatar photo from a Florida training accident. Everyone walked away.]
    2 Tim 3:16-17

    RSES CMS, HVAC Electrical Specialist

    AOP Forum Rules:







  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    West Chester, PA
    Posts
    511
    re-enlist and change your MOS to to hvac. I'm pretty sure that is an available ocupational service in the marines. I knew a girl who was in the marines and did HVAC. You will learn but the big benefit is that you will get EXPERIENCE. Schooling and experience are both essential. The schooling you will get in a trade school or community college will not guarantee you a job when you get out. But if you can say that you worked in the field for some time and have formal schooling, you will deff be able to get a job. I taught at a trade school and we had alot of highly motivated ex-miltary guys there. They did well but sometimes breaking into this trade can be tough. If you have a GI bill and whatever the other one that they are giving you guys right now is (the one that pays for cost of living while you're in school) then you might want to consider a 4 year degree in something where you wont go home dirty, tired and frustrated...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Southwest
    Posts
    114
    I'm non union and make pretty good money without the dues, contract etc.
    There are schools online for HVAC, my former teacher started the first one. Try a search on the subject.
    Most Community Colleges have HVAC programs. I went for one year, started in the field at $10 an hour, and I'm more than 3 times that less than 10 years later.
    Its all about your work ethic.
    Start in Commercial and basically the bigger the equipment, the better the pay.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Rutherford,NJ
    Posts
    15
    I was 17 when I started in the field of hvac. I would say that if you can get into the union do it. Everybody can say what they want to but the ability to goto school and work in the field while going to school is great. I think getting the experience while your going to school is priceless especial when you goto school one day for theory and see it hands on the next. It's a grat way to learn.

    Good luck with your choice. My teacher always use to say questions aren't dumb. The people who don't ask them are.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Tenn
    Posts
    139
    MJH, thank you for your service. I retired from the USCG, and I did 9 of my years in the Navy. This is what I did in the service. I don't know what schools the USMC has, but, the Navy and Coast Guard have very entensive class C schools in AC&R that teach everything related to any system you might use. I imagine the USMC has an AC&R school that is on par with the other sea services. Around here, if you have EPA 608 card, which you will get at a class C school, a lot of companies will hire you as a trainee, and teach you the trade. Perhaps you work in an AC&R field in the Corps. Your service may have a quick 608 course and test. Remember that like the military AC&R schools, the civilian ones cover a wide spectrum of the field, while almost no one works on everything. You may have noticed that on this forum that some people work on air conditioning, some on refrigeration, some work on cyrogenic equipment and some only work on low pressure chillers. If you work on anything that might deal with refrigerents in the Marine, you probably have access to the quick course and test for your 608 card. May I ask what you do in the Marines?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Baltimore, MD
    Posts
    9
    first i would like to thank you for your service to our country , i got int this industry buy checking out ABC.org they have an apprenticeship program that is 4 years with classroom time and on the job training

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Oklahoma City
    Posts
    170
    When you say technical college I am not sure what you have found. In Oklahoma one of the most respected schools is OSU Tech, a branch of the university that offers an Associates degree. Some of the "for profit" schools also offer one and they are not well respected around here. School reputation is important as well as cost. My son went to a local vo tech for $4000 and learned as much as the guys paying the for profit schools $35,000. One year out of school he makes 75% of union scale.

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