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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    30

    Should I leave a $21 hour job?

    I am thinking about crossing over to controls - I prefer electrical over compressor change outs but know that I may have to take a cut in pay while training. Is this smart? Who has crossed over from conventional HVAC to controls and can tell me if they made a good choice. Is the type of work better?

    Thanks

    hotandcoldair

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    Posts
    3,924
    You have to like it, you have to want to learn it, you have to spend alot of your personal time, you have to love it, you have to want it, you have to wake up in the middle of the night and read goofy forums with wierdos with names like ChrisW, Crabmaster, Orion, Osiyo, Dapper, Amigo, Kontrolfreak, klrogers, Matrix, that work on systems that you don't work on or don't have proper access to and want to learn or in the case of Tridium have more experience and have helped you learn FASTER cause your the only one that knows it where you work and you have no one to look to.

    Be prepared to stay late and get there early, on your own time to move up through the ranks, know how to use a computer, read any manual you can get your hands on, buy controllers off Ebay so you have something to monkey with.

    Be prepared to go home with your head hurting worst than your back every did, laying awake at night running and rerunning logic through your head to make sure the mechanical is side is protected and is working at the fullest efficiency.

    Now, if you have said yes to all that we can start getting deeper into what your asked(if you answered no to any, we already have those guys and they don't cut it with the ones of us that do what needs to be done)

    Its not about the pay I work with guys that love changing and rebuilding compressors, that wasn't my idea of fun, but each person was different. About 8 or 10 years into my career as a HVAC mechanic we picked up a Trane Tracker system and someone had to work on it, I always liked computers, I was pretty smart, and it was something different. After getting the manuals on the system on my own, buying the cables, I went out there and plugged in and fixed the system that day and I was hooked(jobsite had a modem, I actually dialed up the site on the weekend and renamed every unit according to where it served and took a floor plan and transcribed to the floorplan for free, just to have the chance to learn. After that day I worked to do controls full time, it took me 5 to 7 years but I finally made it and I have never looked back-and I was a good hvac mechanic.

    You have to do what you do because you like it, not because of the things you mentioned(of course location and money ain't half bad).

    BTW heres a PS, if your lucky enough to work with one of the aforementioned guys or someone like them and they tell you to do something a certain way, your job is not to ask why can't we do it this way, your job is to do it the way they tell you, it will help you in the long run. No one wants something they worked so hard for ruined or changed or not listened to because you come in and think your way is better.

    Good luck and I hope this answers your question.
    Quote Originally Posted by MatrixTransform View Post
    very soon it is you that will be pwned

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    30
    joey791 -

    thanks, going to your sight right now to add it to my favorites list, next step ebay to buy some used controllers...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    30
    You mentioned get some manuals, where and what? I have been trying to get some training but that seems almost impossible. Our company doesn't work in controls, and the training seems to be open only to customers of the local distributors. I think that I need to get some basic training under my belt so that I can get a job with a controls contractor. I need to find some online training, manuals, whatever, any suggestions?

    Checked out your site - I have nine kids. Seven boys and two girls, and I am a Boy Scout Leader - glutton for punishment I guess

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    30
    You said "know how to use a computer" - you must mean more than posting to threads. What sort of computer knowledge do I need to brush up on?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    Posts
    3,924
    Quote Originally Posted by hotandcoldair View Post
    You mentioned get some manuals, where and what? I have been trying to get some training but that seems almost impossible. Our company doesn't work in controls, and the training seems to be open only to customers of the local distributors. I think that I need to get some basic training under my belt so that I can get a job with a controls contractor. I need to find some online training, manuals, whatever, any suggestions?

    Checked out your site - I have nine kids. Seven boys and two girls, and I am a Boy Scout Leader - glutton for punishment I guess
    Awesome, always happy to have another dad with us, the internet is littered with mom's sites but there aren't any places for dads to go to unload and talk about dad stuff, thats why we started the site.
    BTW the guy I started it with is also a Marine, make sure to sign up at least, there are boards you can't see unless you are a member

    First you need the bible-

    https://customer.honeywell.com/resou...s/77-E1100.pdf

    Next are you looking for a job or have an offer, I understand where your at but what is your roadmap to where you want to go?
    Quote Originally Posted by MatrixTransform View Post
    very soon it is you that will be pwned

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    375
    Quote Originally Posted by hotandcoldair View Post
    You said "know how to use a computer" - you must mean more than posting to threads. What sort of computer knowledge do I need to brush up on?
    Learn basic computer networking for a start. I've seriously had people apply that can't even set a static IP in a PC. I can teach a monkey how to do most controls, but when you're on the fly, you don't always have the time to teach basic stuff that can be learned from Google.

    Joey gave you a pretty excellent rundown on what to expect. The one thing he stated though that you will really need to consider is are you willing to sacrifice the time away from your family for your job? Sometimes in the controls world, you can't just walk away at 5:00 if you're working on a building. There are going to be more long days than easy days.

    If you're in the SLC area send me a PM or an email. I used to know some people in the area that do a lot of controls that might be able to point you in a direction of companies that may be looking for help. But like I said, with 9 kids, I would weigh very heavy on your decision of how much time you will want to dedicate to learning. Very few companies are going to send you off to training to get into the control field until they see you making a serious commitment. And it may take a couple years of working on your own time to learn and absorb knowledge. Controls isn't something you normally just pick up one day and start running with it if you want to be successful and make money at it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    What? Who? Where?
    Posts
    1,700
    Emailed you a couple including the Honeywell one linked above. AEE https://www.aeeprograms.com/store/ca...?category_id=6 has a great selection of controls books and ATP http://www.go2atp.com/HVAC-Control-Systems-P213.aspx has a great series as well.

    kontrol out
    "Open is as open does." - Forrest Gump
    "Can't we all just get a Lon?" - Garry Jack
    "BACnet: integration or interrogation?" - The Janitor
    "Open protocols? You can't handle open protocols!" - Nathan R. Jessup
    “What’s that? Aaa… open protocols? Don’t talk about…. open protocols? Are you kidding me? Open protocols? I just hope we can hardwire an interface!” - Jim Mora http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7fjDS0jKiE

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Kansas City, Kansas, United States
    Posts
    13,833
    If you like controls? go for it!!!!!!!

    where I live there are about 300 union shops.
    only one does strictly controls!
    another dabbles in alerton and quite a few of us dabble in tracer summit.

    on the union side it is kind of difficult to pay the high wages and benefits to a controls guy.
    that is because as a union member you bill for every single hour or minute.

    i know a lot of really good controls guys that are not union, i think it is due to all the non billable hours??
    just a guess?
    here in KC there are many non union low paying controls jobs, I think maybe people thought that there would be a great demand and the market here is flooded, not sure.
    Maybe alot of the controls stuff has gotten a little more user friendly?

    I also think that the younger generation really excels in the controls field?
    my 2 best friends happen to work for automated logic as union controls techs.
    they make great money and have a good job.
    but there arent many of them here.

    like i said, if you want to do controls go for it.
    if you are good at it you will make plenty of money just like anything else!

    Frank
    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 2012
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    30
    hotandcoldair@gmail.com

    My kids are older now - five are adults so I can handle the time committment. Until recently I worked another job at night.

    I definately get the sense that there is going to be a lot of commitment on my part first. That is why I am really interested in hearing from people who have made the switch. I am not afraid of the effort, I just dont want to get there and feel like I have made a mistake.

    Before I got into HVAC I was a car tech and I always got the really hard electrical nightmares and drivability cars. I love figuring out problems and I love tech so it seems like this is a good avenue to pursue.

    I am in Utah County just south of SLC - any help would be much appreciated.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    30
    I got it - thank you so much!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Kansas City, Kansas, United States
    Posts
    13,833
    wow!

    some really good books,

    but they are pretty expensive!!!!!!!!


    Quote Originally Posted by kontrolphreak View Post
    Emailed you a couple including the Honeywell one linked above. AEE https://www.aeeprograms.com/store/ca...?category_id=6 has a great selection of controls books and ATP http://www.go2atp.com/HVAC-Control-Systems-P213.aspx has a great series as well.

    kontrol out
    I WILL SELL WORK,GENERATE BUSINESS, GO GET NEW CUSTOMERS!
    YOU SHUT THE HELL UP AND QUIT RUNNING YOUR MOUTH!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    30
    Thanks supertek65,

    Im going for it - it is just hard to figure out how to get started. I danced with a company who did installation but then they walked away before start up. I don't mind some installation I like building stuff as much as the next guy but I want to learn how to make it run - anyhow I decided to wait for a different offer. Appreciate the encouragement!

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