Completely New - First HVACR Job - Advice Appreciated
Today I got the joyful news of being accepted by a 30 year old well established commercial/industrial HVACR company. I was hired as a first year apprentice based upon having a strong mathematical background and a great interview.
I am prepared to put in the hours at work and after work. This site will hopefully be a big help to me going forward. I have a lot of talk I need to back up from my interview!
I start in two weeks and was told to be ready to work and expect to start with powerwashing.
I suppose I'll start this thread with asking, what sort of things should I try to accomplish in the 13 days leading up to my first day? I already got a list of books to pick up for my schooling (which starts Aug 19th, twice a month) so I will start there. The books are detailed as "Refrigeration Manual, Soldering & Brazing Manual, Smart Mark Set, Electricity Book".
Thanks in advance.
First Year Apprentice Tips
-Don't give your Journeymen any attitude, He shouldn't have to ask you to do something, you should always be mentally involved in what is going on and be proactive.
-Work your butt off when your supposed to be working, take a break when its break time.
-If its work time, Do not be on your cell unless its for business purposes. Turn it on vibrate.
-Get to know where every tool goes in the tool pouch and in the truck, always keep the tools clean and oiled. Put everything back in the same place where it was before, this prevents tools from being lost and makes the job go along more efficiently.
-If your journeyman is sweating and your not, there is a problem.
-If your journeyman forgets a tool or a part no comment, if you forget a tool or a part expect to turn around and clime down that ladder to get it.
-Be his/her shadow but dont stand in their light.
-Read, practise, ask questions, repeat.
Know when is a good time to ask a question, if he is trying to figure out a difficult problem, dont pumble him with questions, give him space and when he has it all figured out he will hopefully run you through what was wrong. Just remember, he wont know everything, and he's not reading the books as hard as you are, but he most likely has 10+ years in this trade that you dont have so be modest and never try to show him up in front of a customer.
-Always where proper PPE ALWAYS, even if he isn't wearing it! No questions asked. If something happens and you weren't wearing proper PPE, Negligence is no excuse!
The first year of your apprenticeship you want to take the knowledge slow and try to really grasp the core of the trade, its more important that you work as hard as you can and never complain, everyone has gone threw the same thing you will go through so dont ever think that you are the only one. It will be tough but always stay positive and remember you are new but one day you will have an apprentice under you, and as hard as it is to be an apprentice its twice as hard to be a journeyman.
-If you have a uniform, wear it properly, If they allow you to have facial hair make sure it is neatly groomed. Just remember that when the customer first sees you she has no idea if you know what you are talking about, but if you are clean cut, wearing your uniform properly, and are friendly, polite and professional she will think you are a pro!
These are all things that I have experienced and if you take anything away from what I said, always be known as an honest hard worker, never be known as a lazy hack.
Good Luck in the trade, you will do well.
PS, If you are using a power washer to wash condenser coils be careful on how close you get, they are made out of paper thin aluminum and they will bend in and the performance and appearance of the coil will be ruined.
Thank you for all the helpful advice RACMT. I will take all you had to offer to heart and then some.
What kind of tools should I be picking up over the next 2 weeks? Should I contact the company to see what they would like me to have early on? On their website it says that they provide all their technicians with the really expensive equipment, however they worded it.
I'm prepared to spend money to make money, and would like to at the very least look somewhat prepared day 1.
Do some pushups you'll need your strength.
It's not if your doing it right it's whether your doing the right thing that is important.
Always be willing to get dirty. Later, the apprentice will get dirty for you.