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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    18

    Please help HVAC Service Tech or HVAC Controls Tech

    Im at a point where I have opportunities and I gotta make a decision. Im looking which is better job security and paywise long term.

    Im a licenced HVAC Tech right now working commercially for ok money with little upside where I am and Im not really learning much new.



    I heard controls jobs pay more long term and that there are more of them so you have more job security.

    Im wondering after a little school what you start out at and how long to get to about 20 an hour.

    also

    is there job security or more of it in that than as a service tech?


    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you all.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Eugene, Oregon
    Posts
    1,018
    I worked for a large controls company and the highest paid guys were the HVAC mechanics that were part of the pipe-fitters union. We made ok money but the pipe fitters made considerably more. Most jobs were prevailing wage though. Controls techs did not get PW.
    For a good controls tech you should have pretty good job security. Union jobs and union pay are going away. So long term I would say controls has the better earning potential.
    If you have the right qualifications, you should be able to get a entry level job in the controls industry. You may have to relocate though.
    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten". --Benjamin Franklin
    "Don't argue with an idiot, they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience". --Mark Twain
    http://www.campbellmechanical.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    115
    I have been a HVAC Tech for 6 years now and I just made the switch to Controls (actually I start next week) and I am above 20 per hour and don't have a lot of DDC experience. But I have considerable knowledge as a Tech which they liked. And the rest just fell into place. Good luck on whatever you decide.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Prattville, Alabama
    Posts
    2,107
    Your body will be happier after a career as a controls tech compared to after a career as a HVAC tech, IMO.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    So-Cal
    Posts
    581
    Quote Originally Posted by Nuclrchiller View Post
    Your body will be happier after a career as a controls tech compared to after a career as a HVAC tech, IMO.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Somewhere in the world.
    Posts
    1,614
    Being from the HVAC side for many years has given myself a broad range off experience and exposure but if you really want to expand your potential go for the controls side then you will have both pieces of the puzzle and far more to offer to a potential employer JMHO !
    Arguing with your Boss is like wrestling with a pig in
    mud.
    After a while you realize that while you are getting
    dirty, the pig is actually enjoying it.

    It is not exactly cheating, I prefer to consider it
    creative problem solving.

    25 years ago we had Bob Hope , Steve Jobs , and Johnny Cash today we have no Hope no Jobs and no Cash !
    I can fix broke but i can't fix stupid !

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Eugene, Oregon
    Posts
    1,018
    Quote Originally Posted by york56 View Post
    Being from the HVAC side for many years has given myself a broad range off experience and exposure but if you really want to expand your potential go for the controls side then you will have both pieces of the puzzle and far more to offer to a potential employer JMHO !
    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten". --Benjamin Franklin
    "Don't argue with an idiot, they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience". --Mark Twain
    http://www.campbellmechanical.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    11
    Educate yourself in as many areas as possible. Good HVAC techs should have a job forever. I've seen guys never improve their skills and paint themselves into a corner and out of a job. Good tech in my area will make $30 + an hour plus incentives (non union)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    4,340
    I'm actually starting full time controls this coming week.

    Why am I making the move? I have 17 years of mechanical experience under my belt. Every job interview, I have ever done has asked about DDC experience. I can do it physically for a long time. I find it as a new challenge.

    As far as money, I'm fortunate enough to be making a side ways move. I'll be making close to same money. The only problem is lack of overtime. As a mechanical tech I can get insane overtime, but as a control tech not as much. This is due to most controls work is project based and mechanical is service based.

    I don't know where you are at experience or location wise, but $20 an hour seems awful low for either being a mechanical or controls technician.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    City That Never Sleeps
    Posts
    66
    I can speak for NY only..24+ years HVAC service technician a large chunk of it had been with factory service. I moved to a couple of smaller companys as the pay was much better. Won't make that mistake again the small shops suck. Back on topic, I have controls/BAS knowledge and was called on 3 interviews for controls company's.. They don't pay, hvac tech mid 40 hourly, the controls jobs were offering low 20 hourly and low to mid 30 hourly if your lucky when they taught me I was told.. And this was after I passed there tests ddc, modbus, lontalk fancy test.

    Your body may thank you but here in NY your wallet will hate you.

    Good luck

  11. #11
    Low $20s in NYC for a non-Union BAS Tech? Does this include HBS, JC, and SBT?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    City That Never Sleeps
    Posts
    66
    Quote Originally Posted by MechanicallyInclined View Post
    Low $20s in NYC for a non-Union BAS Tech? Does this include HBS, JC, and SBT?
    JC there HR contacts no one so that one I dont know, I know someone in there and still cant get in. Im sure you could get close to $40 with JC union shop.

    And yes the ones I went to were all non union reluctantly just so see what they were offering. TMB also was not offering much over $30 as for HBS and SBT were not 2 that I tried. I have to go back and see what the company's I went to were, it was over 3 years ago.

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