As far as your last statement, much of the work we do and equipment we work on is being dumbed dowm. The brazing rings, dual voltage motors no longer have wires to figure out. Now its a switch or reversible plug, and so on. Older equipment can be more difficult to work on because many have more controls vs new equipment that has a board or two. Tells you what error codes and so on.
I think the more we dumb down the trade, the dumber the applicants seem to be.