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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    6

    NYC Newbie looking for career advice & information

    Been getting some info from this site while researching hvac so i figured I would be better off signing up and participating instead of just lurking. A little bit about myself, im 21 currently residing in nyc. I have my high school diploma and about a year and a half of college completed (marketing degree).

    I dont have much hvac experience other than working as an assistant in the bronx for family when they needed extra help. They dont have the time to train me and not having the knowledge to do much more then basic installs and giving a hand where needed there is not much i can do for them. This has lead me to start researching hvac schools so i can further learn the trade and get my hvac license. I have been looking into Boces in southern westchester for this course as it was recommended to me, but after contacting them i found out courses were filled for quite some time and the last thing i want to do is sit around waiting.

    My cousin is a manager for an hvac business so i got in touch with him for some advice. He brought my attention to looking into getting a RMO license instead as he knows how hard driving around 24/7 can be and working as an rmo you would more likely be stationed in a building (my understanding at least). I know a lot of people on these forums have way more experience than me in these fields and am just looking for any advice and inputs that i can get as the last thing i want to do right now is waste time & money.

    Some information i would be interested in receiving are the pros & cons of both hvac and rmo jobs and in your opinion which license i would be better of with and why. Is it hard to get a job with only a rmo license and little hvac experience? Working conditions of both in general. Are the schools worth the money and time for somebody who does not know much about the field other than the very basics? Details on the work i would be doing as an rmo. Difficulty of one vs. the other. And any other advice you think i may find useful. Also as I stated I'm new to the field so the easier you can explain it the better.

    Also the school I would be attending for an rmo course would be Turner in NYC (http://turnerschool.com/course1.html) So if anybody has any information to share on that school that would be great as well!

    Thanks in advance, i know i am asking for alot of information here so trust me when I say I really appreciate any help provided from you guys!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    6
    Nobody can help a new guy out with some advice??

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    21
    I also live in NYC and I went to both to technical school (TCI) and turner school for my RMO.

    In the area there are few trade/technical schools to choose from:
    Apex, stay away from unless you just out of prison.
    Lincoln Tech, in NJ, I don't know a lot about them really.
    The Refrigeration Institute, pretty good from what I hear but you have to cough up all the money upfront I hear.
    TCI, the most respected non-union school in the area. which also gives you an degree (Associates), but is very expensive, focuses a lot on theory and the school is facing some economic hardship right now so its future is cloudy.

    If you really want to be an HVAC technician the best approach is to try and get with a union company and start out as a helper making $10/hr. After you prove yourself they will put you in the union (hopefully) and send you to union school for free. To go this route you have to know the right people though, does your family or cousin have any connections to an union shop? But don't be fooled HVAC work is tough, even in a union shop it is very physical with little respect to worker safety and you have be to outdoors in all weather. Plus you will have no life in the season your company specialties in (heating or cooling).

    Getting the RMO through turner is okay from the beginning it takes 8 months to complete I believe. I only went to review for the written and study for the practical test. They really just prepare you to take and pass the written, then practical RMO test. Once you get it they say they will send your resume out, but I got my RMO more than a year ago and haven't had one single call. To get a job as an engineer is very tough, I will not sugar coat it, it is nearly impossible unless you have the right connections and or are extremely lucky (winning the lotto lucky). A lot of people want that job because its indoors, not stressful and pays relatively well with no OT.

    Your main asset is that you are young, a lot of companies like young guys to teach and mold. Also it means you don't have a family and should be willing to work more than some of the older guys.

    As for me, since I am older, after deciding being a tech was not for me and not being able to get a RMO gig I work for a distributor in sales, which I like very much since I still use what I learned at TCI, but get to go home at a reasonable hour and have my weekends to myself.

    Still whatever you choose good luck!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    6

    NYC Newbie looking for career advice & information

    Thank you for the great response! I think what ill do in that case is go for the rmo course right now while I have some free time and see if with the people I know I can get into that field. If not I'm sure it's still useful knowledge to know in the field especially for future prospects so I could always get back into hvac work as a apprentice and start trying to learn as much as I can on the job and hopefully work my way up to something more comfortable in the future. I definitely know what you mean when I was helping out in the Bronx it was tough work. I don't mind it now as like you said I am still young and in shape but as I would like to Pursue this as a career running around not being stationed somewhere is definitely not something I would like to be doing once I'm older and less able.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    469
    Quote Originally Posted by elgreco View Post
    I also live in NYC and I went to both to technical school (TCI) and turner school for my RMO.

    In the area there are few trade/technical schools to choose from:
    Apex, stay away from unless you just out of prison.
    Lincoln Tech, in NJ, I don't know a lot about them really.
    The Refrigeration Institute, pretty good from what I hear but you have to cough up all the money upfront I hear.
    TCI, the most respected non-union school in the area. which also gives you an degree (Associates), but is very expensive, focuses a lot on theory and the school is facing some economic hardship right now so its future is cloudy.

    If you really want to be an HVAC technician the best approach is to try and get with a union company and start out as a helper making $10/hr. After you prove yourself they will put you in the union (hopefully) and send you to union school for free. To go this route you have to know the right people though, does your family or cousin have any connections to an union shop? But don't be fooled HVAC work is tough, even in a union shop it is very physical with little respect to worker safety and you have be to outdoors in all weather. Plus you will have no life in the season your company specialties in (heating or cooling).

    Getting the RMO through turner is okay from the beginning it takes 8 months to complete I believe. I only went to review for the written and study for the practical test. They really just prepare you to take and pass the written, then practical RMO test. Once you get it they say they will send your resume out, but I got my RMO more than a year ago and haven't had one single call. To get a job as an engineer is very tough, I will not sugar coat it, it is nearly impossible unless you have the right connections and or are extremely lucky (winning the lotto lucky). A lot of people want that job because its indoors, not stressful and pays relatively well with no OT.

    Your main asset is that you are young, a lot of companies like young guys to teach and mold. Also it means you don't have a family and should be willing to work more than some of the older guys.

    As for me, since I am older, after deciding being a tech was not for me and not being able to get a RMO gig I work for a distributor in sales, which I like very much since I still use what I learned at TCI, but get to go home at a reasonable hour and have my weekends to myself.

    Still whatever you choose good luck!

    DITO Sponsorship by a union company
    Customer is alWays opposite of Left

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    6,965
    if you go into a building the equipment within is your experience as the years go by...being out in a service truck every day is different and the customer interaction is a major part of the job.no to many operaing engineers bail and go into service trucks..tons of guys give up the truckin' around Manhattan for a building they did service in,but most are local #94 and having your refer ticket is just a step.service companies don't care if you have a refer ticket all you need is a clean drivers license and freon cert card.suggestion is dive into the service field get 10 years in then see the difference and if you get into a union shop 638 with the bennies and training you'll never regret it...the politics within the office buildings from the maint shops will make you glad to climb into your truck and go to the next call believe me...
    "when in doubt...jump it out" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1qEZHhJubY

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Western KY
    Posts
    1,221
    Move. Notice you have been told at least twice you need "connections" to get in. You and a stack of certifications won't get you squat in that sess pool. Go some where that YOU matter. IMHO. Good luck.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    6
    Very helpful I formation I appreciate it. Def going to be doing as much research as I can before I make a big decision. Hopefully I will be able to have a good chat with my family in the business and see exactly where they stand and what fields they could help me in more as it seems today knowing somebody is the key to getting in especially in a place as crowded as NY

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Westchester, New York
    Posts
    19
    I'm the same age as you, and from the same area as well. Monday is my last day at Southern Westchester Boces, and I have to say the course was great, I would definitely recommend it. I haven't really started looking for work yet, but I know a few people with connections. It certainly helps if your have your EPA Universal, and a little bit of classroom experience, but you also have to look in nearby areas and be willing to travel if you have to.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    6
    Quote Originally Posted by Deadcool View Post
    I'm the same age as you, and from the same area as well. Monday is my last day at Southern Westchester Boces, and I have to say the course was great, I would definitely recommend it. I haven't really started looking for work yet, but I know a few people with connections. It certainly helps if your have your EPA Universal, and a little bit of classroom experience, but you also have to look in nearby areas and be willing to travel if you have to.
    Thanks for the info. I've been getting mixed feedback when contacting boces about which semesters are already full seems like every person I talk to gives me a different answer. So I signed up for one of the free orientations in about a week so I can go see how it is and hopefully talk to somebody there who actually knows what classes are still open etc. after asking around it seems I'd have better connections in the hvac field for now and hopefully later down the road I can get into something better

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Woodbridge Twp, NJ
    Posts
    1,307
    I used to teach at Apex so i can tell you that Lincoln Tech in NJ is a better program. I know they run busses from NY to and from the school. I had a guy working for me that went to BOCES and Apex.....look at Lincoln Tech.

    I'm a graduate of the program and im currently enrolled in the Green Technology class as this was not available when i was a student there.
    Every customer you take for granted today will be someone else's tomorrow.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    52
    I'm not sure what RMO is...is that for getting your contractor's license? Back in the 1900's when I went to refrigeration school (R.S.I.) it was only six months, and most graduates had a local journeyman's license in mechanical refrigeration and a second journeyman's gasfitter's license. Most graduates also got placement in local jobs as well.

    I taught at the school for about a year and a half while waiting to get in the local union, and it seems like we had a bunch of students from out of state who came to Phoenix for the weather in the winter but graduated before the heat hit. Just a thought.

    I graduated there in 1978, and have been out of work maybe three days since then. But it helps to live in a place where no one wants to live without air conditioning and cold beer.

    Vicki in Phoenix, where it will be 72 today

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    6

    NYC Newbie looking for career advice & information

    Quote Originally Posted by hvacmam View Post
    I'm not sure what RMO is...is that for getting your contractor's license? Back in the 1900's when I went to refrigeration school (R.S.I.) it was only six months, and most graduates had a local journeyman's license in mechanical refrigeration and a second journeyman's gasfitter's license. Most graduates also got placement in local jobs as well.

    I taught at the school for about a year and a half while waiting to get in the local union, and it seems like we had a bunch of students from out of state who came to Phoenix for the weather in the winter but graduated before the heat hit. Just a thought.

    I graduated there in 1978, and have been out of work maybe three days since then. But it helps to live in a place where no one wants to live without air conditioning and cold beer.

    Vicki in Phoenix, where it will be 72º today
    Well thanks for rubbing in the nice weather haha. Due to other reasons I'm really trying to stay local. So although I am considering all options right now I am definitely more looking for a place around ny. As of right now boces is the plan as I know a few people who went there and enjoyed it, the price is reasonable. And it's not too far of a drive for me.

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