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  1. #14
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    352
    College Degree Pros & Cons (Engineering)

    Pros:
    1. Can say you have a degree.
    2. Can take 8 hour state exams and say you are now an "engineer-in-training"
    3. Can take another 1-2 day exam after 2 years of working under someone, just so you can legally call yourself an engineer.

    Cons:
    1. Overqualified for minimum wage jobs, so no one will even waste the time to interview you.
    2. Under-qualified for all jobs that you actually want because you don't have experience.
    3. Thousands, tens of thousands, or hundred of thousands in college debt.
    4. End up working under an engineer for for two years, making barely enough to live on your own.
    5. Probably end up living with parents, have 6 roommates, or sleep in the living room to save money.
    6. Work long hours, doesn't matter if you are salaried or hourly, no one will pay you extra.

    But yeah I guess if you really want to get more background in HVAC, you can be a mechanical engineer. The engineering classes might actually seem more relevant since you see the theory in action.
    You can call me Sam

    It should be a crime to be a mechanical engineer in San Diego
    Summer Design Temperature: 83 F Dry Bulb ~ 69 F Wet Bulb (California Climate Zone 7)

  2. #15
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    3,424
    I grew up in a plumbing/heating family owned business. Went to college and got a BS in Industrial Arts/Technology along with a lifetime teaching certificate. Worked for a couple of large corp. in technical supervision jobs, and came back home after about 10 years and took over the family business. All of our office employees have degress (one in accounting, and two in general business). Not that a degree is actually needed, however if you are wanting the office/management/business background, it can't hurt since you're over 2/3rd the way done. I'm certified to teach "shop" in high school, so had to have the electrical, drafting, basic machine/tool classes in order to get certified. Never took a teaching job because larger industries pay double what teachers earn, but still have and keep the certification. My youngest child (son) is working in business too, but he also finished college with business degree (he's in a service truck now). But if we get caught up in service, I can use him about anywhere else because of his training. If the business fails for some reason, his experience and degree will enable him to get other employment (I hope). The way the job market is, it's kinda hard to tell!

    And the college debt thing? I worked my way thru on a work scholarship, and so did my son. So college debt was never a problem. I basically told him if he stayed in college and worked his scholarship then I'd keep him in pocket money and car gas (within reason). I did and he did so it worked out fine. All my children finished college with my assistance, but my oldest ended up with a pretty large debt because of Medical School. I helped with undergrad, but she took care of her own upper stuff. Long road, and now she's looking at "Obama-care" heading their way......wouldn't you know it!!!!

  3. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    denver, colorado
    Posts
    1

    NATE

    I don't know if this will help but have you looked into N.A.T.E.? In my own experience, I found a NATE training class which helped me prep for the NATE exam along with some good training covering IMC and R410a. My classes were 2 nights per week 3.5 hours per night, lasting 20 weeks.

  4. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    58
    I like Air1 have an Associates in HVAC and Electronics. The Electronics has served me well because i always never seem to have problems on the advancing edge of new technology in our field. But the most valuable and most marketable experience i got was when i was working in a radiator factory under the tutelage of a tool and die maker. I learned most aspects of the machinist trade, including setups and very close tolerance work. I have had to show some machine shops how to set up to do my machine work on rebuilds and getting parts made. I am finding out that these shops cannot find good manual machinists. They just dont exist. There is one machine shop in Houston which all of the OEM's and contractors use for their repair centers; along with most other industrial process refrigeration. These guys are getting older and we are wondering what the industry will do when they retire.

    Other than that I always wished I had more business knowledge. Being a wrench turning mechanical/electrical whiz has made me money; but being knowledgeable about the business side is what separates a great tech from the ultimate tech or even owner. I would say the business degree would serve you well.

  5. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    10
    im 24, went to a vo-tech high school. sadly the only thing I learned was how to braze and shot wire nuts out of nitrogen tanks lol. but when I worked two weeks/ school for two weeks I worked for a company that threw me to the wolfs and in that year and a half time period I learned so much it was insane, tested out my first year in my apprenticeship switched employers where I currently work finished my apprenticeship. so if your dad has a company I would just soak up as much industry info you can, and take over the business when your dad retires. are you in residential or commercial?

  6. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by bigsmooth View Post
    im 24, went to a vo-tech high school. sadly the only thing I learned was how to braze and shot wire nuts out of nitrogen tanks lol. but when I worked two weeks/ school for two weeks I worked for a company that threw me to the wolfs and in that year and a half time period I learned so much it was insane, tested out my first year in my apprenticeship switched employers where I currently work finished my apprenticeship. so if your dad has a company I would just soak up as much industry info you can, and take over the business when your dad retires. are you in residential or commercial?
    residential

  7. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    6,441
    Why do you only do hvac in the summer? What about H and V and even R? Get your company into building science, it helps to fill the slow times up with other types of repairs that aren't weather driven. Looking at the whole house approach and putting the V back in HVAC the past couple of years has kept my buisiness profitable 12 months out of the year in the toughest economic times since the Great Depression. We are already booked through the end of January with duct jobs, proactive change outs, crawl space humidity fixed, among other things and still have a few blower door tests lined up to do when we get time along with service calls for heat and we always find a cracked heat exchanger or bad compressor to get an emergency change out once or twice a week. We've got 5 techs we all do whatever is needed any given day service or install and me and my dad pull away to do sales calls and blower door tests when need be.

  8. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by jtrammel View Post
    Why do you only do hvac in the summer? What about H and V and even R? Get your company into building science, it helps to fill the slow times up with other types of repairs that aren't weather driven. Looking at the whole house approach and putting the V back in HVAC the past couple of years has kept my buisiness profitable 12 months out of the year in the toughest economic times since the Great Depression. We are already booked through the end of January with duct jobs, proactive change outs, crawl space humidity fixed, among other things and still have a few blower door tests lined up to do when we get time along with service calls for heat and we always find a cracked heat exchanger or bad compressor to get an emergency change out once or twice a week. We've got 5 techs we all do whatever is needed any given day service or install and me and my dad pull away to
    do sales calls and blower door tests when need be.
    Were doing heatinc calls now, but it is a tad bit slow..

  9. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    6,441
    First of all I would get that can of ac seal out of your shirt pocket, throw it in the garbage where it belongs and don't ever use it again unless its a can of 134a for your car.

  10. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by jtrammel View Post
    First of all I would get that can of ac seal out of your shirt pocket, throw it in the garbage where it belongs and don't ever use it again unless its a can of 134a for your car.
    This pic was taken on a call for a insurance company, and this particular company demands that if you put more than 3 lbs of r-22 into the system that you use "easy seal". It's in the contract.

  11. #24
    Its there money...

  12. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Pa
    Posts
    758
    What do you mean real money? This year Our techs made around 60 some 70per yr with OT. Our one guy does only PMs and he's around 40k. We do a good job keeping OT down unless a specific guy wants it, we spread it out evenly because everyone has families. Our plumbing foreman, plumbing service manager and a few others make a little under 100k (includes Xmas bonus) but they work the tail off and probably average 55-60 hrs a week.
    There are a number of different segments to the industry such as service, install, design, management, sales etc.

  13. #26
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Houston area
    Posts
    1,493
    Quote Originally Posted by sto2299001 View Post
    ........Unfortunately, skills such as electrical, housing diagrams, etc are not offered in colleges, and therefore makes transferring my credits worthless. I left school because "college is a joke" meaning 90% of college majors are non technical and do not lead to good career jobs in my opinion..............
    Horse manure.

    I have a BSME with a triple minor in electrical engineering, mathematics and statistics from a fully accredited state university.
    The picture in my avatar is of the Houston Ship Channel and was taken from my backyard. I like to sit outside and slap mosquitos while watching countless supertankers, barges and cargo ships of every shape and size carry all sorts of deadly toxins to and fro. It's really beautiful at times.....just don't eat the three eyed fish....

    ¯`·.¸¸ .·´¯`· .¸>÷÷(((°>

    `·.¸¸..· ´¯`·.¸ ¸.·´¯` ·.¸>÷÷(((°>

    .·´¯`· .¸>÷÷(((°>

    LMAOSHMSFOAIDMT

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