Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    2
    NEW TO THE FORUM JUST A QUESTION TO ALL YOU TECS OUT THERE, IAM 23 AND READY FOR A CAREER CHANGE I HAVE BEEN A DEISEL P.M. TECH FOR THE PAST 5 YEARS, I RECENTLY FILLED HAVE BEEN OFFERED A JOB AS A HVAC TECH THROUGH THE SHEETMETAL UNION HERE IN THE SAN FRAN BAY AREA, THE QUESTION IS WAHT IS THE MAX PAYSCALE FOR THIS POSITION AND IS IT A REWARDING AND GUARANTED WORK CAREER? ANY REPLIES WOULD BE APPRECIATED THANKYOU

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    SE Michigan
    Posts
    17,941
    Go to college and become a geneologist. Find the terrorist gene and develope a toxin that will destroy it. You'll make zillions.
    Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people.

    Theodore Roosevelt

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Parkersburg WV
    Posts
    345
    Well People are always going to need cooling and people are always going to need heat. Depending on how dedicated and how much passion you put into it is a direct reciporcate of how much you can make and fullfilling it will be to you.

    There will be days you work 20 hours and there will be days you barely work any. There will be days where you sweat like a horse and days you put on 10 pounds.

    There will be days you turn wrenches and use mechanical tools. There will be days you read and use manuals and study how a machine works.

    There will be days you can't figure anything out and there will be days that you were the only one in your company that could figure it out.

    There will be days you have to work in a crawlspace with dead animals, cat pi$$, insulation and snakes. There will be days you sit in class room all day and wear the same uniform the next.

    I hope this helps and I'm sure there is alot of guys on this website that can add to this and elaborate. But I hope I have helped.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    delaware
    Posts
    102
    well said i couldnt have agreed with you nmore.....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Middletown, Ohio USA
    Posts
    571
    That is the HVAC life. CW0682 hit the nail on the head.
    What he said is so true. Been doin' this for twenty-five years and his description of HVAC has been my general experience in the trade. Yeah, and some days you feel like a putz and some days 'ya don't. Nor rain, nor sleet, nor snow, nor the dark of night shall stop the HVAC technician in his endeavors (but unlike the post office, there will be times of work over the holidays!). But like he said, there is always a demand for heating, cooling, and refrigeration. The possibilities are many.
    See, the human mind is kind of like... a piñata. When it breaks open, there's a lot of surprises inside. Once you get the piñata perspective, you see that losing your mind can be a peak experience. ~Jane Wagner

  6. #6
    Hmmm, not to bright are we. The union has a payscale for starters. Seems to be the highest around. Market techs in your area are at $48 an hour???

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    5

    Late comment

    Damn. I think CW hit the nail on the head. You can get specifics from others, but that's the truth as I see it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    76
    abemack

    I am second generation in the HVAC field.....first its a job.....then it becomes your career.....if monies what you after....put your heart and back in it....it depends what you want to do with your job.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    right, here! in the heartland of the homeland!
    Posts
    737

    just what are they offering u in a pay range?

    if its that area, its high cost of living, and should pay at least 38hr minimum, no less and thats forty hr work week guarenteed, if not somethings wrong!

    talk to the rep, and a couple guys in the union, and ask them, and a couple of union companies on their list or that the supply house knows are union,,,
    give em a call, check around!

    i say go for it, unless u make good money, and have job security!
    if not u got nothing to lose and nobody to blame, lol
    and u might enjoy it, i know what i know and i do, for the most part!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Near Chicago, IL
    Posts
    3,317
    Originally posted by abemack
    NEW TO THE FORUM JUST A QUESTION TO ALL YOU TECS OUT THERE, IAM 23 AND READY FOR A CAREER CHANGE I HAVE BEEN A DEISEL P.M. TECH FOR THE PAST 5 YEARS, I RECENTLY FILLED HAVE BEEN OFFERED A JOB AS A HVAC TECH THROUGH THE SHEETMETAL UNION HERE IN THE SAN FRAN BAY AREA, THE QUESTION IS WAHT IS THE MAX PAYSCALE FOR THIS POSITION AND IS IT A REWARDING AND GUARANTED WORK CAREER? ANY REPLIES WOULD BE APPRECIATED THANKYOU
    You have the right to call the union hall and ask them questions about pay scales and benefits. At my local there is a sheet of paper that specifies wage rates for apprentices and journeymen. That would be the easiest way to get the correct information.

    Another important question would be about seasonal unemployment percentages.

    A guaranteed career? You gotta be kidding, right? The only time I worked more than 2000 hours in a year was as an apprentice. Been less than that since I was a 4th year apprentice every single year. This year has been the worst- I bet I will lose at least 3 months pay by the end of the year and next year is shaping up just as bad- and probably worse as the residential market collapses (just wait until all the build and quick flip speculators are squeezed out of their interest only ARM mortgages and the bankruptcies explode).

    I am classified as "sheet metal" not "service tech". I can do basic service and troubleshoot, but I haven't found a company that is willing to hire on a green but teachable tech at journeyman rates. Sad, because I have done better at it than a lot of residential service guys I have worked with.

    Yes, people will always need heating and cooling systems installed, and then those systems will need to be repaired and eventually replaced.

    The problem is getting customers that are willing to pay for that work to be done properly. If, as a union employee, you earn $38 an hour on the check (plus bennies), how much do you think your boss needs to charge to make a profit and cover your package per billable hour? Probably at least $90 an hour.

    That is getting harder to do with all the cutthroats out there that also see HVAC as a good career, but willing to work for $12 an hour and supply the tools and truck to do the job- essentially a 1099 subcontractor.

    Of course, some in the non-union sector still charge their customers $90 an hour- the owner just puts more in his/her pocket.

    As the traditional "middle class" wage earner is exported to China and India, how many hours does that customer need to work to afford a single billable $90 hour to repair their equipment? The local car dealerships here are at $130 an hour (their union techs are at $27 an hour), and even at $38 an hour as a union HVAC service tech, you have to work almost 3.5 hours (before taxes) to cover one of the hours needed to fix your car at a dealer.

    Pretty strong incentive to find a cheaper repair shop, eh?

    When will the race to the bottom end?
    Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance

    "There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price only are this man's lawful prey. It's unwise to pay too little.
    When you pay too much, you lose a little money -- that is all. When you pay too little, you may lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do.

    The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot -- it can't be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run. And if you do that, you will have enough to pay for something better."

    John Ruskin


  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    69
    Go with a union shop up there in San Fran/ bay area. Since you have some mechanical background you could get started as a Tradesman 1 not a parts driver, maybe 12 to 14 to start. I think Journeyman scale up there is about 36/hr but may have gone up a bit. But after 10 or so years of being a real performer you can get overscale by a few dollars. I'm not talking about the "total package" stuff, just what you see on the all important check. By the way I have nothing against non-union and dont want to start the dreaded and never ending debate which is better thread (understand everyone). By joining the union it gives you a chance to take classes and learn. You can also take classes at a junior college or trade school. Also you will learn the most from the guys you work with union or not. Hope that helps.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    69
    Oh forgot something. Some people say to specialize in a certain part of this biz like chillers or refer but really you want to be a jack of trades to a degree, be able to troubleshoot a chiller then fix some walk-in cooler somewhere. Focus on electrical and the refrigeration process and you'll be fine. But diesels are great and I love them but you'll make more in a/c work.

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