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Thread: Apprentice

  1. #1

    Apprentice

    Hello,
    I am currently in the military and will be seperating in 2 weeks. I have spoken to the local union back home and will be on my way to getting an apprenticeship through helmets to hardhats (I was told that I just need to show up but I'll see how that goes). My major worry is that I have no HVAC experience. This didn't bother me until I have been researching the job and it seems many people with prior schooling and experience start apprenticeships. I just bought a study book for HVAC so I hope that helps. My main question is for anyone that has either gone through an apprenticeship program or has any knowledge of whether or not they will start from square one. I really don't want to be that guy that just holds everyone back, but I also want to be proficient at my job.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    2,801
    The fact that you are worried about it tells me you'll be fine. Go in with an open mind ,listen carefully to the things you don't yet have a concept of yet, and you will recall that info when it comes around.
    ___________________________________________


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    6,859
    that military experience will jump start you into the field in just being organized and working with other the rest will come as the jobs go.actually on job work beats any schooling and if your somebody that can pick up things by watching and not afraid to ask question you'll be OK
    "when in doubt...jump it out" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Px5YcOeQB4I

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Western New York
    Posts
    1,029

    Thank you for your service!

    The fact that you have military training behind you puts you way ahead of the pack. But remember, everyone starts with an apprenticeship of some sort. Take any opportunity for advancing your education, try to meet as many people that are skilled in the trade, and work (and study) your butt off.

    JMHO- try to stay commercial. Better pay, better working conditions, and more interesting equipment.

    Focus on your goals, don't let anyone deter you. Vets are the BEST!
    Experience is what you have an hour after you need it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Western New York
    Posts
    1,029

    Just read Maxter's post...

    On the job training is vital, but consider quality schooling as the foundation of your knowledge. If you only know how to complete a task, but not the theory behind it, you are limiting yourself. Without a solid foundation, even the most impressive building will fall.
    Experience is what you have an hour after you need it.

  6. #6
    Thanks for all of the replies. I hate change so I think that is what is starting my nerves. I just signed papers to switch to the reserves and will go to some training in Oct. or Nov. Until then I have a guy who will let me work with him until the apprenticeship starts in Jan. so hopefully that can give me a better hands on understanding. My current job in the military is completely mechanical so the thought of electronics has me worried. My current training on it is just a multimeter, and making sure I shut off power before hooking up cables so basically none. But as you said everyone starts somewhere.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Canton ohio
    Posts
    865
    I remember before starting kindergarden being worried because I couldnt read.It's very nearly the same.You'll have information coming at you faster than you can process it.Look around the room and you'll see the same bewildered look on the rest of the class.I just finished an apprenticeship.What area is "home"?GoodLuck!
    Go RCR!

  8. #8

    In similar situation

    Hi guitarman!

    I am in a similar situation as you. I just finished a masters degree in mass communications and am starting at square one in order to learn HVAC. Because study and theory come easy to me, I am grounding myself well in that area before I seek out experience in the field.

    I come from a long line of masons/plumbers/carpenters. My family is HVAC and electronics deficient, however, and I want to fill in the gap.

    I am taking online course work from Penn Foster. Despite my high education and even that I have taught college, this field is totally new to me. The first course gave an overview of different heating and A/C systems. The second course taught me all about DC (direct current) and now I am in a unit learning AC (alternating current) which is
    quite a bit harder.

    I know enough about the business to know that the real learning is hands on, but when I get to that step, I will at least know what a compressor, condensor, and transfer valve are. I had never heard of dessicant. My husband rolled his eyes at me. Anyway, I will have a basic understanding of electricity and how a refrigeration cycle works and a lot more. The best part is that I am learning the new vocabularly. I had no clue what SEER or COP meant before the course. There are a whole slew of chillers (absorptions systems and centrifugal somethinng or others) and different types of heating systems....its a lot of learning.

    One of the nice things abouut the Penn Foster course is that they will let you start for 10.00 down and the totall cost is under 600.00. I rememberr that the military approves their certifications, so it may be free for you. I'll be interested to see what experienced HVAC people have to say abouut this type of coursework....

    You sound really motivated and so my bet is that getting a basic course will set you up to feeling really confident. One more thing, I know that when I finish the course (about 8 months average, though I am going faster) you get a certificate to go get certified with the EPA in handling refrigerants....

    let us know how you are doing, Okay? If you want a study partner let me know. StormyTetreau@aol.com

    Stormy (ie. yes, its my real name -- great for a climate job, eh? lol)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Port Saint Lucie, FL
    Posts
    1,594
    I would hire a vet with minimal experience over a career parts changer any day of the week.

  10. #10
    Thanks, Air Pro that is nice to think about that it will not be looked upon badly by some people that I didn't go to trade school or have any experience. I am really excited to get this job as I like to work on things and especially when I looked at the benefits and pay. I am looking to move to New Jersey haven't totally decided what part yet. I would like somewhere near the beach but that is in a perfect world, it is an expensive place to live.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Kansas City, Kansas, United States
    Posts
    13,817

    helmets to hard hat

    [QUOTE=guitarman747;1605345]Hello,
    I am currently in the military and will be seperating in 2 weeks. I have spoken to the local union back home and will be on my way to getting an apprenticeship through helmets to hardhats (I was told that I just need to show up but I'll see how that goes). My major worry is that I have no HVAC experience. This didn't bother me until I have been researching the job and it seems many people with prior schooling and experience start apprenticeships. I just bought a study book for HVAC so I hope that helps. My main question is for anyone that has either gone through an apprenticeship program or has any knowledge of whether or not they will start from square one. I really don't want to be that guy that just holds everyone back, but I also want to be proficient at my job.

    I am sure that in kansas city you would not need any experience!
    you will get 5 years 26 weeks 4 hours a nite!
    how much do you need?

    Frank
    I WILL SELL WORK,GENERATE BUSINESS, GO GET NEW CUSTOMERS!
    YOU SHUT THE HELL UP AND QUIT RUNNING YOUR MOUTH!

  12. #12
    Frank,
    Thats how I felt at first the whole 5 years to learn but after reading previous posts and other information elsewhere it looked like people would get apprenticeships when the all ready had job experience. So it was weighing on my mind a bit. Feeling better about it now. Very much excited to be working and being a "free man" (well kind of I did sign up for the reserves for the next two years). Thanks for the help.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    131
    guitar shoot me a mail at

    plick27 at yahoo dot com

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