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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Baltimore
    Posts
    4

    Is 43 too old to pursue this field?

    I started in the trades in my early thirties, first as a wood finisher, then as Corian countertop fabricator and installer, then as a cabinet builder and kitchen installer, and now for three years as a commercial repair/handyman. In the last three years I have done a ton of basic plumbing and electric and faced issues more mechanical and technical in nature. I have even had some hvac issues come up...

    I am currently immersed in reading Modern Refrigeration and Air Conditioning which I have been told is the "HVAC bible". All I know is that I love it and believe that this industry is where my heart is...but I am 43. I am not too proud to be an apprentice, but I don't know that I could survive the cut in pay - I don't have a family, but I am a homeowner.

    Is it too late for me?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    120
    the only time anything is too late is when they're hammering the nails in your coffin lid

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    6,353
    It's never too late, it may be difficult to find someone to hire a greenhorn at that age though.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    1,460
    I say go for it. It's a young man's game. My advice- keep pushing forward with your education so that you can transition out of the field and into a less physically demanding position.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    1,657
    Quote Originally Posted by jtrammel View Post
    It's never too late, it may be difficult to find someone to hire a greenhorn at that age though.
    I would much rather have an older person than a younger one. From my expierence the older guys are very dependable,hard working, and less likely to leave. Three of the best workers I have ever worked with were over 60. Maybe a little slower but always curtious and excellent work.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Baltimore
    Posts
    4
    Perhaps I should edit my question. It is NOT in fact too late for me - I am the only one that can answer that. I AM pursuing this. I guess I am seeking advice on how to do it under my circumstances. I have skills and experience in the trades, I am mechanically and electrically inclined, and I'm not a kid. But the state of MD requires 1,750 hours of apprenticeship over two years (I think) to be eligible to apply for journeyman. Again, I'm not too good or proud to start at the bottom. It's an issue of practical-ness. Any advice is appreciated and thank you to those who already replied.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    1,460
    I will reiterate- go for it. Crawling under houses and climbing into attics will get old, or make you older. Pursue your ambitions, but plan for the future.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Toronto Canada
    Posts
    1,090
    I can say one thing that is my biggest pet peeve about this trade. Age seems to play a role in how people seem to think of thier knowlege. I follow behind a 40 something HACK and everyone thinks he knows alot cause he is older then me has no Lic no training etc. We have both been in the trade same amout of time but me being late 20 and having all my lic etc people still Think he is more knowlegable even after I come and save the day. I just rewired a whole lennox RTU cause he left them for 2 weeks cause he Told them the proplem is deeper can't find it "WHAT!" The customer still told me I must have learn all I know from Him

    So what I am getting at is i think it will be alot easier to get a job over a young kid as long as you got the Lic for your state clean driving rewcord crimnal check etc

    GoodLuck
    LEARN HOW TO READ WIRE DIAGRAMS!!!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Baltimore
    Posts
    4
    Maybe they give him credit because he is literate.

    GoodLuck
    LEARN HOW TO READ AND WRITE

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New York, ny
    Posts
    188
    I a funny you say that my father is 51 and he was always handy but always worked in restaurants ... I in essence was following in his footsteps but one day woke up and decided to do HVAC.. so now I am on my own and have my dad leaving the restaurants and coming to help me on projects. I am trying to get him into the rese school so he can learn more then be able to be a project manager or at least go and look at jobs and price them.. something to keep him busy and out of the restaurant.

    Good luck and learn as much as possible..

    Sent from my SGH-T999 using Tapatalk 2

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    152
    Go get it!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
    Posts
    381
    Quote Originally Posted by fliks View Post
    I would much rather have an older person than a younger one. From my expierence the older guys are very dependable,hard working, and less likely to leave. Three of the best workers I have ever worked with were over 60. Maybe a little slower but always curtious and excellent work.
    Couldn't agree more...

    To the OP, get your 608 and keep reading. Also, visit this site often. Ask questions here, the wealth of knowledge in this community is amazing. Get your post count up and apply for pro status so you will get access to the education section.

    HVAC is very rewarding if you like helping people and take pride in a job well done.

    Best of luck!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    847
    Wood you are old.... Lol
    Ok.. Im 43 also but I got 24 years in it.
    My advice as long as u keep fit
    Hit the gym.
    My installer is over 50, but he is in great

    You can work for school district, city
    They just do the service stuff,easy and light work.

    Working for service company is a lot more physical

    Hit the books hard and ask a lot of questions here
    Know your technical stuff really good and you'll be ok

    Good luck old man..lol.

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