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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    62

    Question what pays the most

    What jobs pays the most for owners and for techs. Residential, commercial or commercial refrigeration. Is their a large differencs in proffits between these jobs?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    27
    Lowest to highest, in the order you listed. That is if you consider ammonia and supermarket work to be commercial refrigeration. Heavy commercial/industrial would be between light commercial and ammonia.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Sherman, TX
    Posts
    9,441
    From an owner's point of view, supermarket work is a tough business. It takes a much higher skill level than resi or commercial hvac, but is tougher to make good margins on. Many supermarket chains will set markups for parts, labor rates, and in many cases provide the refrigerants....which means that you are selling your skill, period.

    HVAC more lends itself to profitability via parts and equipment markup.
    Technical incompetence is NOT a sales tool....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    62
    Im curious as well. If a contractor worked equal hours at each what would the ballpark pay difference be?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Sherman, TX
    Posts
    9,441
    Quote Originally Posted by georgehvac View Post
    Im curious as well. If a contractor worked equal hours at each what would the ballpark pay difference be?
    People like to get hung up over "pay".....as if that's the only thing that matters. I suppose, to some, that IS all that matters.

    What about freedom to move about within the trade, even within the same shop? What about freedom to shop your skills and sell them to the highest bidder?

    You might get higher "pay" in many cases by going union....but you also sell your soul to the process, in the process....
    Technical incompetence is NOT a sales tool....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Kansas City, Kansas, United States
    Posts
    13,832
    fish scale got it right!!!!!!!!!!!!

    here in KC residential contractors or successful ones do pretty well!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    by far the highest profit MARGINS and lowest cost of doing business!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    light commercial heavy commercial are pretty good margins except for property management companies will beat you down!!!!!!!!!!1
    and pay slowwwwww!
    dispute every bill!!!!!!!!!

    if you do heavy commercial for an owner occupied property they do not shop you as much and you can do a better job and do stuff right because you are not getting shopped on everything over $50!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    industrial HVAC is great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    great margins and you never get shopped!!!!!!!!

    DDC controls are high profit margins!!!!!!!!!!!

    sorry and i know i will make enemies but the truth is the truth!!!!!!!!!!!!

    nobody wants to to supermarkets, lowest profit marging in the entire industry!!!!!!!

    big stores usually set caps , markups , labor rates and percenteges and at best are cost plus!!!!!!!!!

    then of course you have to get PAID!!!!!!!!!!!


    and to boot it is labor intensive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    high labor costs and extremely low profit margins = bankruptcy!!!!!!!!!!!

    like all industries, if you hang on long enough you will get to bid on the new rack where you can make good money$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    assuming you win the bid against the other 100 contractors???????????


    Quote Originally Posted by John Markl View Post
    From an owner's point of view, supermarket work is a tough business. It takes a much higher skill level than resi or commercial hvac, but is tougher to make good margins on. Many supermarket chains will set markups for parts, labor rates, and in many cases provide the refrigerants....which means that you are selling your skill, period.

    HVAC more lends itself to profitability via parts and equipment markup.
    I WILL SELL WORK,GENERATE BUSINESS, GO GET NEW CUSTOMERS!
    YOU SHUT THE HELL UP AND QUIT RUNNING YOUR MOUTH!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Columbus Ohio
    Posts
    1,980
    The best paying jobs for both owner and tech are the jobs that very few people can do....

    Large tonnage chillers
    Large horse power boilers
    Ammonia systems
    Controls
    Boiler and chiller re tubing


    There is a nitch in these fields that not many get training for. You may have to travel long distances to perform your work but your paycheck will reflect it.

    The highest payed guys I know have found one of these nitches and mastered it.

    As for the lack of 'freedom to move' and 'selling your soul' comment.... These guys could leave their shop today and have work tomorrow, they are money makers and shop owners know this.
    UA LU189

    10mm, because it's better than .45acp

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Kansas City, Kansas, United States
    Posts
    13,832
    where i live
    the chiller market is flooded
    too many chiller guys not enough chillers but mostly a lot of companies want the big chillers for the status.

    I bid a teardown on a 500tr cvhe in a tight tight equipoment room absolutely no room for a gantry!!!!!!!

    there are two centravacs right next to each other you can not even open one panel without hitting the other!

    i bid it at $16k

    or 160 hours

    another big contractor bid both chillers for $18k.

    all the big chiller work here goes out to bid and gets bid at a loss or break even!!!!!!!!!

    unless it is owner occupied !

    as for the mechanics, around here the most well rounded and diverse mechanics make all the money!

    yeah a good chiller guy or a good boiler guy can make a few bucks over scale, but still may not get 2000 hours?

    a good boiler and chiller and rtu guy can make a few bucks and get a few hundre hours OT!!!!!!!

    but all areas and all locals are different.
    I WILL SELL WORK,GENERATE BUSINESS, GO GET NEW CUSTOMERS!
    YOU SHUT THE HELL UP AND QUIT RUNNING YOUR MOUTH!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Kansas City, Kansas, United States
    Posts
    13,832
    oh!
    of course if the big chiller guy can steal the big chiller accounts from his current contractor?

    then he will get hired immediately and make BIGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG freakinnnn $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I WILL SELL WORK,GENERATE BUSINESS, GO GET NEW CUSTOMERS!
    YOU SHUT THE HELL UP AND QUIT RUNNING YOUR MOUTH!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Kansas City, Kansas, United States
    Posts
    13,832
    BIG $
    I WILL SELL WORK,GENERATE BUSINESS, GO GET NEW CUSTOMERS!
    YOU SHUT THE HELL UP AND QUIT RUNNING YOUR MOUTH!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    62
    Thanks all for the indepth replys. John-Im not hung up on pay, I just have a large family that I need to think about and plan for. I like all angles of this trade.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Sherman, TX
    Posts
    9,441
    Quote Originally Posted by supertek65 View Post
    where i live
    the chiller market is flooded
    too many chiller guys not enough chillers but mostly a lot of companies want the big chillers for the status.
    Yup...and depending on the facility, some places wind up doing their own chiller maintenance, in-house....because of the cost of hiring an outside firm.

    Some guys get big "status" out of supermarket reefer work....doing the heavy stuff. I've seen my share of broken-down old men, who used to taunt my Dad because they bought freon in 50# jugs while we were buying 15s and 30s....Now you see those guys at the store or in restaurants, riding around in electric scooters, with their replaced knees and hips....

    I enjoy supermarket work....but I get no particular thrill in replacing compressors. That's grunt work. I like doing the little things that make them last for years and years.

    Bragging on who's bigger is for the high school locker room....
    Technical incompetence is NOT a sales tool....

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Kansas City, Kansas, United States
    Posts
    13,832
    most guys at my shop have been able to work until they are about 53!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    this big stuff is heavy!!!!!!!!!!!!

    shoulders, hips, elbows, back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    but it beats the little stuff ladders!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



    Quote Originally Posted by John Markl View Post
    Yup...and depending on the facility, some places wind up doing their own chiller maintenance, in-house....because of the cost of hiring an outside firm.

    Some guys get big "status" out of supermarket reefer work....doing the heavy stuff. I've seen my share of broken-down old men, who used to taunt my Dad because they bought freon in 50# jugs while we were buying 15s and 30s....Now you see those guys at the store or in restaurants, riding around in electric scooters, with their replaced knees and hips....
    I enjoy supermarket work....but I get no particular thrill in replacing compressors. That's grunt work. I like doing the little things that make them last for years and years.

    Bragging on who's bigger is for the high school locker room....
    I WILL SELL WORK,GENERATE BUSINESS, GO GET NEW CUSTOMERS!
    YOU SHUT THE HELL UP AND QUIT RUNNING YOUR MOUTH!

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