Quote Originally Posted by sto2299001 View Post
I have been working as a helper or apprentice with my dad who is a licensed HVAC contractor since June. I have also been attending a HVAC training program at my community college/training center since September. I am enrolled in a 12 month HVAC program which follows the curriculum of the NCCER. I wish I could see the future and know which path would be the better of the two. In the long run a union job would provide me a retirement package, benefits, and a great salary, my dad plans to retire in 4-5 years. As of now we are growing the business: have a website, doing local advertising, working with 3 different insurance companies etc. Anyone ever been faced in a similar dilemma? When you run your own business everything falls on your shoulders, and right now I have been acting as the apprentice, administrative assistant, accounts payable, etc...but the business does have it own perks. Any insight..

-plus me and my old man bump heads alot, and its frustrating.
You will only get those union benefits if you work enough hours and you will only get that union retirement if you are able to continue working enough hours through the years as you get older until retirement. Partial pension credits and breaks in service will really hurt.

In my area, in the sheet metal union, internal union politics instead of skill plays a huge role in whether or not you work those hours during economic downturns. The BA's can either leave you alone (not do anything either way), help you or hurt you. Your "union brothers" can do the same. When it is busy, the demand for bodies will sustain employment.

When you hit 50 around here, work starts drying up. Companies will not hire you unless you are well established or have some help from someone already working there... or politics.

Many well qualified, hard working and decent people that I know have been forced into early retirement, at a substantial penalty, because they can't get a job and would be ineligible for that union subsidized health care because they aren't working enough hours prior to retirement.

Once you retire, there are clauses that trigger revocation of benefits if you take a job to supplement your income. The list of prohibited jobs/fields is long.

All of those things that appeal to you as a potential union employee are available to you as a business owner. If the business is viable, you would be a fool to toss that aside and go union as an employee.

Stop bumping heads with dad, pay attention and show an interest in taking over and growing the company. That will get you further than a union card.