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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    WV
    Posts
    17

    Phoenix Service Tech

    I would like to hear from anyone working in eithier Phoenix or Tucson AZ. as a Service Tech. I am considering selling my house and relocating to Az. in 2013. I have been around the block once or twice and just looking for the typical work week as in hours and dealing with 112 degree heat, and anything else that might be relevent to the job you think I might need to know down there. Thanks Paul

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Phoenix
    Posts
    29
    I just moved to Phoenix in April from Chicago. Do u do res. or commercial. There's a lot of sketchy companies but also have some good ones. The heat takes some getting used to. If u move out try to plan it for spring or early summer. That's when everyone is hiring. If your a good tech pretty much can write your own ticket. A lot of guys that don't know what their doing out here. If u do commercial let me know. Don't know much about the residential market. I'll try to answer what questions u got

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    WV
    Posts
    17
    I have done residential for the last 10 years mostly with some light commercial ie. gas packs/ heatpumps. I did low temp for about 5 before that, still help some resturants out from time to time. From what I see the rates for a decent tech seems to be around 25 an hr, what's your thought on that? I'm thinking on brushing up on refrigeration to try and beat the heat but I really hate being a grease pit at the end of the day. I don't mind the heat, but then again I have not had to lug tools and change out compressors in 100 degree heat eithier. I have one more move in me and there is alot about Arizona that I like, just would like a better feel on working conditions there. I see units mounted on home roof tops there is that the norm? Anything you feel I might want to know just throw it my way. Thanks for your reply Paul

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Phoenix
    Posts
    29
    Yeah your about right on pay scale for light commercial/refrigeration. There's not a whole lot of home rtu's. The problem is the air handlers are probably in the attic 95% of the time. So if u need to go up there in middle of summer going to be hot. Everybody told me gotta make it through the first summer then your good. It's hard somedays with the heat but summer ends eventually and then it's beautiful. I'm workin with one of the largest companies in the valley right now. They got refrigeration. Light commercial lot of water cooled heat pumps inside and smaller rtu's and split systems. Then I take care of the larger accounts with chillers. So if u do come out I can give u the company name or see what they got going on at that time. It's a really good company to work for. You really have to watch who u get on with out here. Cause it's so hot everyone thinks they are an hvac company.

  5. #5
    I'm a U.A. member working in Tucson as a travel card. The "Commercial Service Journeyman" in HVACR starts at $29.70/Hr. in Tucson and $33.00/Hr. in Phoenix, this covers mechanical equipment under 100 TR (this, in reality, is Light Commercial). The "Applied Service Journeyman" in HVACR is for Chillers, Boilers and over 100 TR. Down sides are 5% working dues (working assessment), no real HVACR training, no UA National pension and if you live outside Phoenix, no local reps. Upside is great pay, decent Health and Welfare with a low deductable. I've done my research not even large non-Union companies such as Trane, McQuay, Hussman, ComfortSystems USA, Linc Services or Source come close to these on-the-check. Maybe only if you're a Chiller teardown specialist for Trane or McQuay, you'd be in the playing field. Try Bel-Air Mech. in Phoenix, contact me if you're interested in Tucson.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    WV
    Posts
    17
    I am working in Virginia and I know about hot attics, clocked one a couple of weeks ago in a small attic,and could not stand upright, at 116 degrees. What should have been a two hour job to me 4 and half, never fails, they may have 3 systems but the one that is always down is in the attic. How is the economy there? I see alot of short sales on house's but hey with 1.5 million people as long as you don't have alot of call backs I would think you can stay busy year round, which brings me to the heat season. I understand you have only been down there a few months but what have you heard about the heating side? I always thought, right or wrong, that you went crazy busy for 8 months more or less and then slowed down untill the next heat wave. I also looked at Tucson but my thinking is that the larger the city the more chance of working all year long, since I plan on buying a house there and just thought it would be easier to jump in there. Never have worked on chillers or very big stuff. Only have worked for 4 companys over the years and found that just stayin up on Oil,A/C,H/P,light Com.and Refrigeration was hard enough, but thanks about info on Tucson. But I can't wait till the day to where I can sit down and have a beer and just watch the sunset there. Thanks Paul

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    All over the western U.S.
    Posts
    9
    Considering your experience, you should have no problem finding a good position. Your pay estimate is about right. Phx is mostly residential, then commercial and not a whole lot of industrial (what is there is pretty much locked up with a handfull of contractors). Union would be the way to go if you can get in. Residential shops can slam you with work for 6 months straight and 70 hours a week of hard work. When I worked there, in the summer, a lot of hard working days ended at midnight.
    If you havn't luged tools or done compressors in 100' heat, you will have to in the summer, which seems to last 5 months there.
    Az is a real nice place, so it does make the brutal work-worthwhile.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    106
    Phoenix has better work opportunities but is extremely hot, dry and dusty, HUGE, asphalt jungle. Tucson is smaller, gets a more rain, but the job market is a little tighter. Although experienced techs seem to always be in demand, based on job postings I see. I've only been working in this trade a few months now, for a small residential shop. The hours are long and the pay seems to suck for everybody except the service techs. Most of the attics aren't too terrible, except the shingled roof attics are usually in the neighborhood of 130-160 degrees if the AC is down. Roof top compressor and reversing valve change outs do suck. But most of the customers are extremely hospitable. I'm in Tucson by the way. I've heard Phoenix is mostly heat pumps on pitched roofs.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    All over the western U.S.
    Posts
    9
    I've only been to Tucson a couple of times to work on some Pet store chain, but I know people that say Tucson is a lot nicer and more fun than Phx.
    The 'good' thing about working in Az summers is that you can make more money than you have the time or energy to spend & you can live better than most people there..save the money for the winter.
    Phx customers are very hospitable aswell, but the imbicile population seems higher than the national average.

  10. #10
    The U.A. is the way to go, no non-Union shop seems to come close. Under 100TR, Light Commmercial with some Residential is "Service Journeyman-Commercial" starting at $29.70/Hr., since there's no Metal Trades Jm in this U.A. Local.
    Source is hurting for people, they start around $25/Hr.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Richmond, working under tarps
    Posts
    504
    MechIncl, I'm assuming your in local 469, mind Pm'ing a list of commercial/indust refrigeration that you would recommend from the contractor list?

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by indy2000 View Post
    MechIncl, I'm assuming your in local 469, mind Pm'ing a list of commercial/indust refrigeration that you would recommend from the contractor list?
    I can't PM. I'm new out here, so I don't know the shops' work loads. I suggest you contact the shops that have Tucson addresses. CMLLC does have a Tucson location. JC is usually looking. Carrier just closed its office here. Siemens and Honeywell are non-existent here. No Emcor either. Trane, McQuay and Linc are all non-Union here.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Kansas City, Kansas, United States
    Posts
    13,833
    you should make your last stop kansas city!

    cold winter hot summer, great wages and cheap housing
    I WILL SELL WORK,GENERATE BUSINESS, GO GET NEW CUSTOMERS!
    YOU SHUT THE HELL UP AND QUIT RUNNING YOUR MOUTH!

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