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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Joliet, IL
    Posts
    1

    Confused Lookin for a great career!

    Hi guys, i have a hugh favor to ask to you. i live in joliet and i want to start a careea in hvac, (union maybe, i dont know). how do i get started, should i go to community college? i just want a good start! thanks for the advice up front.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    1,673
    If you are going to work for others for a living, books like these are pretty eye-opening.

    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw...ghts&x=15&y=15

    http://www.amazon.com/Employers-Righ...6177245&sr=8-1

    You'd be surprised what your boss can get away with and what you can't get away with.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    South central WI
    Posts
    257
    Vocational Technical College.
    Get an education then make a decision if its union or non-union.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    1,673
    Your future employer will want to know three things:
    Can you do the work?
    Will you do the work?
    Are you desperate?

    To prevent the last one, always have another career unrelated to your primary career.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Coming to a town near you soon
    Posts
    774
    One bit of advice, if you do go to tech school find one that actually teaches the classes. alot of schools are just giving out text books, telling you what to do and expecting you to learn this way. Ive done it both ways and if you have a teacher that is good you will learn 100% more from his experience than what you will learn from a book. dont get me wrong books are very important but they cant teach you everything.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    South central WI
    Posts
    257
    Quote Originally Posted by clintkennon View Post
    One bit of advice, if you do go to tech school find one that actually teaches the classes. alot of schools are just giving out text books, telling you what to do and expecting you to learn this way. Ive done it both ways and if you have a teacher that is good you will learn 100% more from his experience than what you will learn from a book. dont get me wrong books are very important but they cant teach you everything.
    +1,000
    My instructor worked in commercial refrigeration and has taught me how to think systematically and think for myself in troubleshooting and service. You will find out in this career college is the very tip of the ice berg it's a career that can be a life long learning process. There are so many types of systems and controls you would never learn them all in one lifetime. Expect to spend the rest of your life in school as well as in the field if your passionate about hvac/r.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    17
    Quote Originally Posted by cunfuzed View Post
    Hi guys, i have a hugh favor to ask to you. i live in joliet and i want to start a careea in hvac, (union maybe, i dont know). how do i get started, should i go to community college? i just want a good start! thanks for the advice up front.
    I live in Ohio, and I'll be graduating with my associates degree in HVAC Technology next may. I'm also planning on joining the United Association (plumbers and pipefitters union) next year as well. You can learn plenty of stuff by going to school for it, and I would reccomend it. One of my instructors told us about how a lot of people get in the field but they dont know the basics about the refrigeration cycle, electricity, reading schematics, etc and they dont make good service techs. So, I would reccomend looking for a nearby college that offers an hvac degree or certificates and go for it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    110
    I was lucky to get a union apprenticeship right after receiving my associates degree. My advice is that if you want a union apprenticeship next year or 2 years down the road... START APPLYING NOW! And apply as often as it takes


    I know a lot of people expecting to get into the union after school and 2-3 years later are still waiting for a call.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    1,673
    If you can understand the ASHRAE books you've got it made.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    SE Michigan
    Posts
    17,951
    "i live in joliet"

    As in the prison Joliet?.
    Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people.

    Theodore Roosevelt

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    steeler nation
    Posts
    2,072
    start taking classes at the community college, if you start a 2 year tech school it will cost a bundle, and if you get in the union you can just stop taking the classes. also try to stay from electives from like psychology and try to pick the technical classes. also the ua is geared to construction and welding is king. take some weld classes or ask them if you can practice welding in their school. you would be suprised at how cooperative they are.

    keep talking to the union officers and take the test everytime it is given. you may need to pass it several times before you get in. some years they take alot of apprentices in some years they don't. depends on their work projections. i knew a guy who passed the test twice and still didn't get in. he went down to the hall and asked them if they knew where he could get a job until he got in. these guys know people. they helped got him get in the laborers union. he worked his but off for a year then took the test again and got in.

    where i'm at the most important things they look for is:

    1: your commitment to the trade. paying for school shows a commitment.

    2: will you show up every day. they figure if you show up they can teach you what you need to know. someone that shows everyday is more valuable to a employer than a prima donna genius mechanic who "can fix anything, but doesn't feel like it on mondays and fridays". plus they want their dues.
    there seems to be alot of 18-20 year olds that have gotten in lately that call off alot. this has led the local in my area to hesitate to bring in young guys. having a relative in the trades that can vouch for you orkick your ass if you screw up helps. after a couple years in this trade some guys say screw this. its too brutal and they drop out to go back to school or try something else.
    having perfect attendance in school or with a employer will help gain their confidence.

    3. while you are trying to get in and going to school try to get a job where you are using tools. roofing or any kind of construction. alot of young guys just don't know how to work with tools. go to supply houses and ask guys for a job. tell them you will work for anything. even just for a day if they need extra labor. the more experience the better. if your employed get your employer to write a letter or call to let them know you are a good reliable employee. keep a job while you are going to school. you will have to do this if you get in the apprenticeship.

    my local gives a written test and then a interview. during the interview wear a suit. be respectful even if you feel they are hard on you iduring the interview. don't talk like you know it all. nobody does. emphasize that you will SHOW UP EVERYDAY.

    and once again don't get discouraged and don't give up.
    IV IV IX

    use your head for something other than a hat rack.......Gerry

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    7
    Viceman,

    Regarding talking to supply houses looking for a job. How receptive are they to people just walking in and dropping off a resume? I live in Las Vegas, and the job market here is really screwed up right now. A local 7-11 received over 100 applications for an $8.50/hr cashier's job. I'm lucky just to have a part time job right now, although it's unrelated to HVAC and the trades.

    I did apply for apprenticeship with Local 525, and I scored an 87% on the test. Average is 81%. I'm still waiting for the letter in the mail regarding the interview. I have a good feeling that I'm not going to get in because I saw several preapprentices show up to take the test. They already have relevant work experience. I don't.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    chicago suburbs
    Posts
    4,422

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