I have an employee working for me for 4 years. Just graduated VOTEC and really wants to be a service tech. He has been on call for about 6 months, every 3rd week. He has worked with me about 85% of the time, and I over explain to the point of drawing out diagrams on cardboard and explaining for an hour as to drill it into his head visual and verbally. Once he gets to a call that is more advanced then a cap bad, he looks for 10 different issues and spends 2 hours at the call. While being through is important, I can't wrap my head around what he is doing. He and an installer went to a maintenance of 5 units in a residential house. I speak to him, 4 out of 5 units are good, checked charge, filters changed... Two hours later I call to see where they are at and get a text response that they have issues with 3 out of 5 units. A seven hour maintenance for 2 guys. Then I get on his timecard that we need to go back and clean out the condenser coils (They were cleaned out last year). My main tech goes back for 45 minutes, sees issue with one unit, which was an inefficient compressor, and finds no issue with the other units. I have given these guys years of hands on training, and I still get terrible results. I think if a guy is a true tech, he needs support to understand when he is in trouble, but needs to make the mistake for himself to learn, and not use a cellphone as a crutch on every third call. I would much rather have a guy short a board from misfiring and trying for an hour then hemming and hawing at it and then calling me, and utilize what he has learned, and learn from his mistakes. In closing, a lead service tech should be available to help when needed, but if you want to be a great service tech, don't fear the mistake you will make in getting down the road to getting there, learn quickly from your mistakes. I am not saying this at to a point of not being safe or putting yourself in danger, but the reality is, this is a dangerous job, and if you don't know what could hurt you, stop doing it. If your boss fires you because you made a couple mistakes with educated decisions, he is not a good boss. If he fires you because you keep making the same mistake over and over, or lean on the head tech to much, look in the mirror!