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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Great lakes
    Posts
    41

    Starting at a union shop need some advice

    Well I finally I'm going to start at a union shop doing commercial and industrial maintenance and service. I'm starting from the bottom as a first year apprentice. But I will be on my way to the big bucks. I really don't want to mess up this new job. Since I'm going to start out doing just pm's, any advice from some of the pros out their their would be great. Like things I should be doing to every unit, so I have a better handle on a unit that is running good. I want to utilize every time that I'm on a unit. That i get some info out of it. To become a better tech. I don't just want to start out by changing out the filter, quick coil/or burner clean, then slap the panels on. then I'm gone with the wind without even knowing if the unit is running good or not. So if any one has a good check list or quick tips on how to get vital info from the unit. That I can gain over time to improve myself over the years, from having my hands on these units. Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    1,330
    tip #1..unions are a dying breed, bank as much of your wages as you can..

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    EVERYWHERE
    Posts
    197
    Quote Originally Posted by primmers View Post
    tip #1..unions are a dying breed, bank as much of your wages as you can..
    Can you not just give helpful advice and not act like a jacka$$? I have my dislikes with unions too but even if the union fails there will always be a need for HVAC techs.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Chicagoland Area
    Posts
    4,302
    Have they told you your job duties yet. What they expect from you? How you will be trained?
    Officially, Down for the count

    YOU HAVE TO GET OFF YOUR ASS TO GET ON YOUR FEET

    It was working when I left...
    Liberalism-Ideas so good they mandate them

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Western KY
    Posts
    1,221
    Manuals manuals manuals!! Tablet or smart phone with lots of manuals manuals manuals stored in it!! To many different brands and types and such, that you will be seeing, to cover here. I have small spiral notebooks in ziplock bag in all the machines I service. Cards are OK but a notebook allows you to log the machine everytime. Keep a good log in every machine and you will start to notice things. Just writing things down will drill it into your brain pan. Write it all down. Pressures temps amps volts etc. that being said as a first year belt and filter changer you may not have the time or opertunity to do much more the change belts filters and wash coils. Be patient. You'll get there. Good luck.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    1,330
    Quote Originally Posted by FixItRight View Post
    Can you not just give helpful advice and not act like a jacka$$? I have my dislikes with unions too but even if the union fails there will always be a need for HVAC techs.
    sorry, i didnt see the part that said jacka$$es need not reply...i didnt say refrigerations jobs were dying though!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Great lakes
    Posts
    41
    Quote Originally Posted by 2sac View Post
    Have they told you your job duties yet. What they expect from you? How you will be trained?





    Yes I will be starting out doing pm's then have my own truck doing some light duties working under a couple journey men, no pun intended please! Lol.. Have to serve my apprenticeship year after year for a total of 5 years or 9000 hours. Taking classes every year.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Great lakes
    Posts
    41
    Quote Originally Posted by primmers View Post
    tip #1..unions are a dying breed, bank as much of your wages as you can..

    Yeah I was non union for 10 years but you just can't beat the pay 1st year 17.00 hour with a 27.88 dollar package, 2nd year 19.53 with a 31.14 package, and so on until a journeyman 36.17 an hour with a 54.56 dollar package. Just never seen that with non union shops. And the raises are every year. I just put in two years at a non union shop started at 16.00 after 16 months they wanted to give me a 2% raise of 30 cents, and give me a story of the economy.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Great lakes
    Posts
    41
    Quote Originally Posted by primmers View Post
    tip #1..unions are a dying breed, bank as much of your wages as you can..

    Yeah I was non union for 10 years but you just can't beat the pay 1st year 17.00 hour with a 27.88 dollar package, 2nd year 19.53 with a 31.14 package, and so on until a journeyman 36.17 an hour with a 54.56 dollar package. Just never seen that with non union shops. And the raises are every year. I just put in two years at a non union shop started at 16.00 after 16 months they wanted to give me a 2% raise of 30 cents, and give me a story of the economy.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Western KY
    Posts
    1,221
    Quote Originally Posted by Dustykyle View Post
    Yeah I was non union for 10 years but you just can't beat the pay 1st year 17.00 hour with a 27.88 dollar package, 2nd year 19.53 with a 31.14 package, and so on until a journeyman 36.17 an hour with a 54.56 dollar package. Just never seen that with non union shops. And the raises are every year. I just put in two years at a non union shop started at 16.00 after 16 months they wanted to give me a 2% raise of 30 cents, and give me a story of the economy.
    Don't get caught up in the " union good or union bad" thing. Pros and cons both ways. Do what works for you and your family. You do you and be the best you can be. Everything else is just noise. Good luck.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Chicagoland Area
    Posts
    4,302
    So you've been in the industry for 10 years? Residential I assume? If you can find your way around a splitsystem, you should be able to find your way around a package unit up to 15 tons or so. Don't know how things work in your area, but in the Chicago metro area most shops utilize a filter company to do filter changeouts and employ coil cleaners, which is one step below an apprentice, so you shouldn't have to worry about that. Inspections vary from shop to shop and customer to customer. Your journeyman will have to show you what is expected during a PM. Tommy Knocker gave some good advice
    Officially, Down for the count

    YOU HAVE TO GET OFF YOUR ASS TO GET ON YOUR FEET

    It was working when I left...
    Liberalism-Ideas so good they mandate them

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    6,855
    commerical /industrial and in chi town your never going to llok back enjoy it especially with Winter MAint kicking in till 2013 the big tonnage shops are busy more now then in start up season...wait till you see the tonnages they have you hepling on...if a lead tech likes you and enjoys the day your in with him .just go with the flow take the BS that will be there...and gt out into a truck ASAP to be on your own even if it is picking up shop stuff to doing filters....keep in mind big tonnage guys grow roots on hi rise buildings....if your good with the meter and know gas fired rooftops the calls will have you busy...10 yrs in your primed to dive into the real world big cities end up with big bucks and OT....good luck
    "when in doubt...jump it out" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Px5YcOeQB4I

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Western KY
    Posts
    1,221
    If your in Chicago I have one other piece of advice. MOVE!! It's more dangerous the Baghdad up there.

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