Been in it 7 years and have finally made it where I want! LOVE what I do and make a lot more than most of my friends that have $70,000 in student loan debt. Great choice if you're willing to put in the effort.
Entered trade school at 19. Worked 28 years for K-12 school system. There wasn't a ladder. We were scum of the earth, just above janitorial staff, unless the central office A/C unit was down, then we were considered gods! (until it was repaired, then back to scum).
I was 19 when I got outta school spent 1 of the worst summers of my life in an attic wrapping duct in an attic in Mississippi. Took me 7 yrs to get over it b4 I got on with a commercial cooking equip Svc company moved from that to hvac and refrigeration 20 year ride wouldn't trade it unless the money was big.
I was 22. I fell into it. When I took the job I was under the impression the the company just went around installing window units in mobile homes. Boy was I surprised on the first day when I found myself running flex duct for a package unit under an old mobile home set about two feet off the ground!