Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 14 to 26 of 32
  1. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    NC/VA
    Posts
    85
    Quote Originally Posted by WoodNbass View Post
    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?
    Well, Lets see,

    I hope 43 is not to old.

    I just turned 44 today.
    I am in student debt up to my eyeballs, and Currently in HVAC school fulltime.
    I consider this my last shot at a meaningful trade.
    Yes i have lived my life in the "other building trades".

    I dont think our age, (early 40's) should be a bad thing. We have much to offer an employer.
    lots of background experience. And we not to old to learn new tricks.

    By the time i have my 5 years base experience in this trade, i will be 49 years old. thats still time enough to be good and viable in this field. (i plan on working until i am 60).

    The money i make from this trade is all going toward a house boat, minus the expense of student loan repayment. so thats all down the road. i not even thinking of down the road

    the work load of school is all i am living breathing and eating HVAC. As you will be as well if your going to school.

    Go for it with gusto. Study hard. and give it your all.

    being a carpenter, laborer, truck driver,ditch digger and all around handy man has been paying me the same $10-$12 hour for years now.
    no reason starting the same wage as an apprentice in HVAC, a specialized trade, cant be beneficial in the long run. the wage can only go up from there.

    I know there is money to be made in this trade. right now i try not to think about the dollars, I am in learning mode. not earning mode.

    I study out of the same book as you. 7th edition.

    Best of luck to ya.

    B
    Travel and work,

  2. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    California
    Posts
    93
    We hired two people about 5 years ago: one with 27, one was 40. The one who was 40 was a painter, carpenter, mechanic, worked for the railroad, previously. The one who was 27 was a security guard. Needless to say, we kept the one who was 40 and he's a great installer now. So go for it! I will say, however, since he was the youngest installer experience wise, whenever we had a crawl job we had our "old man crawl boy" on it...so be prepared for something like that.

  3. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    2,010
    With all your other skills you could even do apt maintenance work which requires a/c and elect also. Some of those jobs pay decent. Here they pay 40-60k a yr. I did that for awhile and had my own company also. Gave me time to build up customers. Another advantage was you always had time to expierment and if you accidentally screwed up it didn't cost you anything. As everyone knows some maintenance guys make mistakes.

  4. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    22
    I started HVAC school last summer at the age of 50. I recently turned 51. You're never too old. I'm enjoying school, learning a lot, and looking forward to a new career. I too, am a cabinet/countertop man from the past. I've built custom furniture, cabinets and countertops, including corian. I'm a carpenter by trade, and can hold my own in electrical and plumbing. I'm finding the transition into the HVAC field very easy and very comfortable.

  5. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    SE Washington
    Posts
    559
    lol, im 55, still doin what i love, i run our sales and install on the retro side, still go out and install one in an emergency, and the youngsters STILL cant keep up, because after 25 years in trade, im methodical, always think ahead, skilled and above all else, Love what I do, still drive my 1/2 ton toolbox, and at times fix a unit at a sales call instead of selling them, no charge as i keep a stock of old caps and such on my truck, i think the trade gets easier and as long as my body holds out, ill be good!. Good Luck to You!
    Total Energy Management, inc

  6. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Western KY
    Posts
    1,221
    My cousin left a great manufacturing job at 45 to jump into HVAC 5 years ago. I'll give you the same advice I have him. Do it. But steer towards service. Avoid install work if you can. Very hard on the body and we, I'm 42, ain't as nimble as we once were. He is in a service truck for a reputable company making good money and loves it.

  7. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    143
    I think everyone has covered the fact that you aren't too old as long as you are motivated and fit, but your concern about making enough money hasn't been discussed. If you don't have money saved up, you will probably lose your house. Pay for entry level helpers is painfully low if you've ever made good money. If I still had my house, I would not have been able to make the notes. I've had to intentionally default on 2 credit cards in order to negotiate a stop on penalties and interest and get myself a decent payoff plan (wrecks your credit temporarily, but it was a decision that I knowingly walked into to get into this trade). Before you jump into this you seriously need to do the math to make sure you don't end up homeless with nothing but a bunch of free "Joe's AC & Heat" t-shirts to show for it. Plan on struggling for 1-3 years depending on your progression and work situation.

  8. #21
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    888
    I started working in the trade when I was 44. Have been doing it 8 years, about to start my ninth summer. Started in residential, working in commercial for two years now. HVAC work is seasonal in many parts of the country. Commercial work is steadier than residential work. I'm getting 40 or more hours per week working commercial, I had some really slow mild weather weeks working residential. I wouldn't have been able to do it if I were the sole bread winner. The prospect of another year with a couple of mild weather weeks drove me to commercial. Many companys hire during the summer and fire to thin the herd during the fall.

    Had a co-worker with 20 years experience go to work for a school system to gain stable income.
    I am for doing good to the poor, but...I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. I observed...that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.
    ― Benjamin Franklin

  9. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Near Chicago, IL
    Posts
    3,317
    Quote Originally Posted by WoodNbass View Post
    Is it too late for me?
    From your perspective, age may be just a number.

    I think you will have a heck of a time getting meaningful employment though.

    Good luck.

  10. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Baltimore
    Posts
    4

    Thank you...

    Quote Originally Posted by cajunhvac75 View Post
    I think everyone has covered the fact that you aren't too old as long as you are motivated and fit, but your concern about making enough money hasn't been discussed. If you don't have money saved up, you will probably lose your house. Pay for entry level helpers is painfully low if you've ever made good money. If I still had my house, I would not have been able to make the notes. I've had to intentionally default on 2 credit cards in order to negotiate a stop on penalties and interest and get myself a decent payoff plan (wrecks your credit temporarily, but it was a decision that I knowingly walked into to get into this trade). Before you jump into this you seriously need to do the math to make sure you don't end up homeless with nothing but a bunch of free "Joe's AC & Heat" t-shirts to show for it. Plan on struggling for 1-3 years depending on your progression and work situation.
    In my second post I did rephrase my question as to HOW could I do this? No one else has really answered that part - not that I don't appreciate everybody's encouragement. The reality for me is that I am currently working to get my house sellable so that I might escape from the state where are currently live (because of politics). If and when that happens I'll have money in the bank and no mortgage. I'll just have to decide where I want to go to be a mid-40's apprentice for a couple years.

  11. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Lake Ronkonkoma, New York
    Posts
    664
    Graduating from the HVAC program at Suffolk Comunity College this spring. I just turned 60 a few weeks ago. You're still a kid
    If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.

  12. #25
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    8
    Quote Originally Posted by WoodNbass View Post
    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?
    It's never too late go get it and 5 years from now you will be a Journeyman..Good luck..

  13. #26
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Tenn
    Posts
    139
    WoodnBass, you mentioned that you were an electrician? If so, you can count that time as experience, or atleast a lot of people in this business do count their time as electricians toward their experience. Truth is a lot of former electricians get into AC&R later in their careers. I've never worked with the union, but non union companies may even pay you the same you were making as an electrician. Around here there are three ways into AC&R, trade school, the military and electricians wanting to get into the business. Since most everything is electrical, except aborbtion, electricians aren't behind in this business.

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Comfortech Show Promo Image

Related Forums

Plumbing Talks | Contractor Magazine
Forums | Electrical Construction & Maintenance (EC&M) Magazine
Comfortech365 Virtual Event