Commercial technician, thinking about switching to residential. - Page 2
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  1. #14
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    Mar 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by jayguy View Post
    residential repairs are not mandatory...if they don't have money...you no worky. plus they can get more bids. because of this, the profit margins CAN be slimmer, however, they can be higher too because the customers tend not to have any technical knowledge.

    commercial repairs are mandatory (generally) because of business requirements. but commercial customers tend to be more knowledgable because they need to be.

    residential work tends to be exactly the same 'day in and day out' but then you get to really know the equipment and the problems pretty quickly and you also get to go home at night

    commercial work tends to never be exactly the same everyday. this is where it can be challenging, however, since it is always different, it tends to be difficult to stay 'up to speed'.

    a great tech in either field is very valuable.

    i prefer commercial and industrial work. lots of it. i love the challenge!
    Agreed, every day is a new day and every machine has its own quirks. Even control systems vary building to building....

    I'd only go back to residential if it were absolutely necessary to feed the family.

  2. #15
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    Mar 2011
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    North Carolina Piedmont Area
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    I would go where the money is. Its that simple. Ask any residential guy what he makes at the end of the year, and compare that with an experienced commercial or better yet an industrial tech and I am certain its not even half as much.

    There are 2080 regular man hours a year in a normal work week. This does not even included the overtime hours which a good tech is almost guaranteed to have. Ask any residential guy if they are busy right now and that should tell you everything you want to know.

    Also you need to consider the turn around for a residential service company. There are many guys that have worked for the same commercial company for over 20 years and making prevailing wages and many who are over this pay scale.

    Leave residential to those who want it, and from the sound of it you are a perfect candidate.
    But I am still learning and looking for a new mentor.
    _______________________
    In a strict sense troubleshooting is not part of the repair..........understand the symptoms and you will find a solution.

  3. #16
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  4. #17
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    May 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by comoutsid322 View Post
    s
    40's!!! Are you serious, there's a guy at my work who is 76...

  5. #18
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    Jul 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by alcomech View Post
    I would go where the money is. Its that simple. Ask any residential guy what he makes at the end of the year, and compare that with an experienced commercial or better yet an industrial tech and I am certain its not even half as much.

    There are 2080 regular man hours a year in a normal work week. This does not even included the overtime hours which a good tech is almost guaranteed to have. Ask any residential guy if they are busy right now and that should tell you everything you want to know.

    Also you need to consider the turn around for a residential service company. There are many guys that have worked for the same commercial company for over 20 years and making prevailing wages and many who are over this pay scale.

    Leave residential to those who want it, and from the sound of it you are a perfect candidate.
    Over 20 years? wow! I have never seen a commercial service guy in action.... When they arrive to the job, who do they report to? or do they just start workin?.... If something breaks down who do they tell?

    What is the average time it takes to do a tune up?

    How many units do you see in 1 day?

    While im doing commercial service work, is there someone that will walk me through major repairs, like compressor change outs? If someone can walk me through it over the phone once or twice i can do it by myself the next times.

  6. #19
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    Jul 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by mason View Post
    40's!!! Are you serious, there's a guy at my work who is 76...
    Wow!

  7. #20
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    Mar 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by comoutsid322 View Post
    Over 20 years? wow! I have never seen a commercial service guy in action.... When they arrive to the job, who do they report to? or do they just start workin?.... If something breaks down who do they tell?

    What is the average time it takes to do a tune up?

    How many units do you see in 1 day?
    I haven't worked in the commercial end of things aside from where I work, so I'll answer it how things work at our place.

    The time it takes to get the work done is pretty much like this: you stay on the one that you're at until the problem is resolved, period.

    As far as how many you get in a day, that all just depends. You may spend 3 or 4 days on one then the next one 2-3 hours. Any call I run I am there for a minimum of 2 hours or so. Big machines require a lot of patience and A LOT of attention to detail. Unless of course you like callbacks......

  8. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryan1088 View Post
    I haven't worked in the commercial end of things aside from where I work, so I'll answer it how things work at our place.

    The time it takes to get the work done is pretty much like this: you stay on the one that you're at until the problem is resolved, period.

    As far as how many you get in a day, that all just depends. You may spend 3 or 4 days on one then the next one 2-3 hours. Any call I run I am there for a minimum of 2 hours or so. Big machines require a lot of patience and A LOT of attention to detail. Unless of course you like callbacks......
    So if the problem is intermittin, and you cant figure it out.... You would have to work there for 3 or 4 days? What if you still cant find it?...

    How does parts work? if i need to replace a part, then do i need to call the owner.... or how does that work?

  9. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by comoutsid322 View Post
    So if the problem is intermittin, and you cant figure it out.... You would have to work there for 3 or 4 days? What if you still cant find it?...

    How does parts work? if i need to replace a part, then do i need to call the owner.... or how does that work?
    Intermittent problems are pretty tough. Logical approach, help from this site, and sometimes just dumb luck works. I sat on a bucket and watched a chiller for 2 hours once that was going out on a low oil alarm. Finally it did it almost exactly 2 hours in the run and finally saw the problem. A lot of the newer machines have electronics in them and log the fault/data and time stamp it which will help.

    If something is blown up and out of commission, it is what it is. Get the part here as soon as possible and get it going. If you can figure out a way to make it run safely and not cause more damage, then you need to think creatively. We have a freezer that has $15,000 worth of product in it. Most of the guys I work with are scared to death of it. The more you do this, the more you will find yourself having a checklist in your head, kinda like a flow chart of things to look at in a certain order. It takes a lot of time chasing your tail before you really "get it".

  10. #23
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    Mar 2011
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    North Carolina Piedmont Area
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    How Old are you?
    How long have you been in the field?
    Have you completed an apprenticeship program yet?

    I think you maybe going about your career the wrong way. Any tradesman will tell you that you MUST complete your apprenticeship in an accredited program such as with the Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JATC) or equal to be a be a qualified tech. If not expect to have at least over ten years experience to even think you are qualified to be a master technician.

    On your own it would be physically impossible to be exposed to the proper training let alone gain field experience to work on the commercial/industrial side and say you know the business.

    As for the work load you will have your own dedicated accounts. Its not likely that you will be counting the equipment you work on but instead you will maintain the equipment as if it were your own. A good mechanic will always provide a service in the best interest for the customer. If not plan to be fired or loose your clients.

    There is nothing glamorous about this trade but you will be entitled to good wages and if you are a good mechanic you will be able to guarantee yourself work and a long career. If you are smart you will ONLY work for the BEST company in your area and no one else. That's it.

    Follow some basic steps and you will and you should be successful.

  11. #24
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    Jul 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryan1088 View Post
    Intermittent problems are pretty tough. Logical approach, help from this site, and sometimes just dumb luck works. I sat on a bucket and watched a chiller for 2 hours once that was going out on a low oil alarm. Finally it did it almost exactly 2 hours in the run and finally saw the problem. A lot of the newer machines have electronics in them and log the fault/data and time stamp it which will help.

    If something is blown up and out of commission, it is what it is. Get the part here as soon as possible and get it going. If you can figure out a way to make it run safely and not cause more damage, then you need to think creatively. We have a freezer that has $15,000 worth of product in it. Most of the guys I work with are scared to death of it. The more you do this, the more you will find yourself having a checklist in your head, kinda like a flow chart of things to look at in a certain order. It takes a lot of time chasing your tail before you really "get it".
    Intermittin problems scare me.... I dont want to run into one and have my boss say "WHAT IS TAKING SO LONG" or what if i go to a service call at like 4 am, and its an intermittin problem, and i cant fix it right away?

  12. #25
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    Mar 2013
    Location
    Joplin,Missouri
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    310
    The thing I love about my job is variety. While I do 80% commercial I also do some residential. Sometimes I have days like I'll go look at a problem residential unit that has been giving the other techs problems then off to one of the YMCAs to work on a dectron unit then go do a couple commercial RTU startups then to a casino to work on the lieberts in the server room or one of their big Aaon units then maybe run by a school to look at a chiller just a little bit of everything and I like it that way.

  13. #26
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    Jul 2011
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    68
    Quote Originally Posted by alcomech View Post
    How Old are you?
    How long have you been in the field?
    Have you completed an apprenticeship program yet?

    I think you maybe going about your career the wrong way. Any tradesman will tell you that you MUST complete your apprenticeship in an accredited program such as with the Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JATC) or equal to be a be a qualified tech. If not expect to have at least over ten years experience to even think you are qualified to be a master technician.

    On your own it would be physically impossible to be exposed to the proper training let alone gain field experience to work on the commercial/industrial side and say you know the business.

    As for the work load you will have your own dedicated accounts. Its not likely that you will be counting the equipment you work on but instead you will maintain the equipment as if it were your own. A good mechanic will always provide a service in the best interest for the customer. If not plan to be fired or loose your clients.

    There is nothing glamorous about this trade but you will be entitled to good wages and if you are a good mechanic you will be able to guarantee yourself work and a long career. If you are smart you will ONLY work for the BEST company in your area and no one else. That's it.

    Follow some basic steps and you will and you should be successful.
    Im 23 years old, only 2 years and 4 month experience. 2 years of school, and 4 months of residential.
    Most companys here are private... Where do i startt an apprentiship, there isnt a union here for technicians, only sheet metal workers.

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