New from California
After 30 years of mortgages and insurance have had it with selling and paper pushing businesses. I'm starting HVAC school this month, and plan to seek apprenticeship position with a firm during my days, and go to school at evening for nine months.
At 53 years old gong back to school and sitting in the same classroom with 18 year olds was a concern to me, however the night school traditionally draws older crowds with similar needs as my own.
I hope this is a profession that would allow me to retire within 10-12 years of hard work.
When I was in school it was about a 50/50 split between the young guys 18-22, and the adults 40 years and older. We where all there for the same reason and got along fine.
Good luck to you, and welcome to the site by the way.
Thanks Mike for your response.
One of the best things you can do in school is to get some of the other guys phone numbers and keep them. Once you get in the field (especially new) it is great to be able to call someone else who is not in your company and ask questions, or just have someone to ***** with. Many times on a difficult problem, you just need a different set of eyes and ears to help find a solution.
Depending on your company, sometimes asking too many questions internally can hurt you.
One company I worked for promised me the moon and stars, and then fired me after 1 week. The service manager said "We are not paying you a training wage". I later found out that I was the seventh guy he did that to.
What school and where do you plan on working
Is that a real picture of you? So far, I've talked to two nationally known vocational schools in my area and one has quoted $ 12,800 and the other one $ 18,400, both approximately 9 months, and classes M-TH from 6 to 11 p.m., both offering combination of forgivable grant and student loan.
Originally Posted by Roncool
OK I will offer some input of which I am very qualified to do so .
Yes that is my picture except I had a noise Job got into a accident clowning around.
I enrolled at San Joaquin in 1999 and completed the school in 14 months . The down side was it's a AA program of which you take classes in English history and other subjects other then HVAC.
I too sat in class at 49 looking around at all the 25 year old guys and said what the hell am I doing here ???
I found out two things that helped me decide to stick with it just change course a little.
1 HVAC is somewhat a young mans game when it comes to getting started . Lots of attics craw spaces and high and low temps. in com you may find yourself climbing 2 stories of latter straight up a building with tools or hauling up a 5 ton compressor with a rope. not easy for us old guys
2 My school counted for 2 years in the field as to allow me to apply for a contractors lic with only 2 more years of employment in the field. (Huge deal)
Thats was important to me as at some point I realized # 1 and thought it may be tuff getting a job at 51
I also enrolled in the community collage at the same time. 3 nights a weeks.. I borrowed some money and bought a computer and found this site and have posted almost everyday for 10 years. There are guys here that hate me or love me . I don't really care. Without this site I would of not made it at all in HVAC.
2013 I have a shop with 10 employees that may do 1 .3 mill this year and have risen to one of the larger shops in the area.
I think this a great business and a great opportunity for you. At your age consider my route and work for someone for 2 years then apply for lic and just start your own business . it's not that hard to hand your sign out and with some business back round you could do well. Just my 2 cents
Today, I took my 1040's, DL and SS card, applications, and consents to the HVAC school and they had me apply for my student loan on a computer and once I was finished, she told me that my grant and student loan is not enough to cover my tuition, and I would have to pay the difference of $ 1,600 cash out of pocket, or they would accept 8 installments of $200 per month payable immediately following in the next 8 month.
I'm glad that it has worked out for you and wish you lots of luck on your future larger location.
Originally Posted by Roncool
I've known some guys that go to the votech schools, Lincoln tech, tesst tech, both offering programs from 6 months to a year and a half. Prices are outrageous. Like $12,000- $20,000. These prices are extremely high for what you learn in my opinion. A lot of the guys still don't know a lot, and find it tough to get a job. And they do not graduate with a Journeyman license, which is key in this business.
I recommend an apprenticeship program- such as ACCA, which is also a national thing. You have to work for a company who is a member of ACCA, which a lot are. It is a 4 year apprenticeship program- two nights a week for 9 months a year. When you graduate you get your Journeyman license. Also, along the way, you take tests for your CFC license, you get NATE certified, and other licenses. This program is only $1300 a year- $5,200 total- and many companies will fork the bill.
I can't see how Lincoln Tech costs near $20,000 for a program that's barely 2 years, if that, and a Journeyman license doesn't come with.
Welcome and praise you for making a life change
Roncool: great advice! As an old guy coming in, and being burnt out on owning a business, I found the tech work, rooftops in the middle of the night, and weekend on call as therapeutic! But age caught up with me, so I manage and get out with the guys now and then. But when I retire, I intend to hang out a part timer shingle for a couple of my favorite customers. Great story and thanks for sharing it! This can be an old guys game, too; if you play it right...
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