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  1. #1

    If you could go back in time....

    If you could go back in time....would you still go into HVAC?

    I am in my late 20's and thinking of a big career switch.

    I have been in the IT field my whole life, working for a big telecommunications company and currently for a government defense contractor.

    Every old-timer tradesmen I have discussed this with tells me to stick with computers. The problem is everybody and their mother believes working with computers will make you a millionaire so the field is so over saturated...I am only making $12/hr
    (I understand I am not going to become a millionaire in HVAC, but would like to make more than $12 after 5 years of experience)

    I applied for an electricians union on the East coast, passed all their tests and made it to the interview process, where they basically told me because I had no background in any trades and because of the economy they could not take me on as an apprentice.

    Fast forward to now I moved West and got an interview with the largest local HVAC company. They basically told me the same thing, since I had no experience they could not take me on...but they advised me to take HVAC at the local community college, which they say has an excellent program.

    So I am enrolled for spring classes, and hope to get an interview at this same place again in two years (or whenever I finish) and tell them I followed their advice.

    I'm just nervous if I am making the right decision...stay at an easy "white-collar" **** paying job, or go the trades route.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Sorry for that novel I just wrote, just wanted to get it out there.

  2. #2
    Just to add: this trade seems super interesting to me.
    I have been browsing this forum for a little over a year.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Chicagoland Area
    Posts
    4,841
    My .02
    I entered this trade in my late 20's. Been on the commercial side since day one. In my mid 40's now and I sustained a career ending injury last year. If it wasn't for that, I could only hope I could continue in this trade the rest of my life. It's not easy and not for everyone. For me, the rewards have outweighed the BS. It's not like that for everyone. In addition to being mechanically and electrically inclined, you also need to be thick skinned, patient, inquisitive, and humble. You need to be willing to sacrifice things in your life like weekends and evenings and more importantly, the woman and kids in you life needs to understand and accept this.
    Officially, Down for the count

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

    I know enough to know, I don't know enough
    Liberalism-Ideas so good they mandate them

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Cal
    Posts
    1,596
    Nope, I'd go for Instrumentation/calibration/automation/scada. Kind of an occupation between what you have now and hvac. Tougher field to break into but it's not a whores market so long term is better. The military nuke and/or water guys get those jobs a lot... crosses over well I understand. They knock down 6 figures and don't have to hustle for it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    1,838
    I also entered the trade in my early 20's and am 44 now. I would do it again. My suggestion to you would be to try and set up some kind of apprenticeship/part time job with the company you talked to while you're in school. See if they would be willing to let you tag along with a technician (job shadow) occasionally for free. Even if you're just doing inventory and cleaning the shop head, you'll pick up quite a bit of knowledge. It gets your foot in the door and it gives the potential future employer an idea of what kind of person you are.
    A Veteran is a person, who at some point in their life, wrote a blank check payable to the United States of America for payment up to and including their life.
    Gene Castagnetti-Director of the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    SE Michigan
    Posts
    18,218
    I would have been a rocket surgeon.
    To put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must cultivate our personal life; and to cultivate our personal life, we must first set our hearts right.
    -- Confucius

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Altmar, New York, United States
    Posts
    5,121
    absolutely!! I can honestly say I love my job. 20+ and I still love it. I will admit that it is hard for me to get up and go some mornings but once I do I love it. no it's not bliss. i think my favorite part is when a customer signs a contract. i don't do 24 hour service anymore except for my existing customers or a special situation. having employees i think does make it better but it also adds a lot of negative effects as well.

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