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  1. #79
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Medford, N.Y.
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    4,535
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    I got paid minimum wage to start as a know nothing apprentice...$2.50 per hr, w/ a wife/ w/ a child/w/ rent w/ a car payment. I realized that I needed more than 40 hrs/week or more money per hr. I realized rather quickly that more knowledge = more $. So,I studied a lot, I asked lots of Q's. And now I charge $1,000 per 8 hr day, and I still read & study a lot!!!!!

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  3. #80
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Mn the state where absolutey nothing is allowed
    Posts
    2,166
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    i started out with nothing and still have most it left!
    my boss thinks its possible to repeal the laws of physics

  4. Likes Fender60, BennyD, BBeerme, lions_lair liked this post
  5. #81
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Marietta, GA
    Posts
    1,484
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtrammel View Post
    I started at $0.00/hr (born into trade 3rd generation 1986-1998) then made 5.15/hr (1998-2002) then made $9 or less/hr for 5 years from 16-21 (2002-2007). Now I make a lot but I paid my dues and I still do the shat work on occasion. Most importantly I still learn a lot of stuff everyday, have a passion for what I do and spend a lot of my “free time” working on the company or on learning new things pertaining to the trades or work related stuff and spend a lot of time on hvac-talk learning and helping others with trade related problems.

    The day you stop learning is the day you die, whether you’re making money or not.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Gangsta
    wHen I diE I hOpe gOd haS mErcy oN my SiNful LifE

  6. #82
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    WA
    Posts
    2,641
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    I was getting paid $20/hr straight outta two year tech school seven years ago. OP... find a better company, preferably commercial. Commercial tends to pay better. You do need to prove yourself. When I was new, I always pushed for challenges and got a reputation for handling tough, important calls. There’s good money to be made in the trade for the right people, with the right company.

  7. #83
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Tx
    Posts
    882
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    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    A coil cleaner, air filter changer that can also change out capacitors and contactors, isn't worth 25 to 30 bucks an hour.

    I hope no one told you that you would be able to make good money right out of HVAC school.
    bINGO . only experience & knowledge will bring higher pay.
    I would every now & then get an applicant just out of a trade school that would demand $25+ an hour cause "the instructor said thats what was a starting wage" .
    Some folks are only worth $11.50 an hour after years in this trade.

  8. Likes jtrammel, psehunter liked this post
  9. #84
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    20,036
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldguy1949 View Post
    bINGO . only experience & knowledge will bring higher pay.
    I would every now & then get an applicant just out of a trade school that would demand $25+ an hour cause "the instructor said thats what was a starting wage" .
    Some folks are only worth $11.50 an hour after years in this trade.
    Some aren’t even worth minimum wage


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Heating/Cooling Services Inc.
    www.andersonhvacservice.com

  10. #85
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    1
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    I started out of school at entry level pay and quickly realized how much I did not learn in school. I kept notes on the areas I was weak/unsure about. After work I would research the topic online in forums like this or watch hours of informative YouTube videos to build my skill set. I let my employer know that even though I was green I was eager to learn and capable of proving myself if I was given more responsibilities. I was honest about my current skill set so I would not find myself in over my head too often. I requested to know what I was scheduled for the next day so if I had not attempted it before I could research the task beforehand. My employer appreciated my attitude and my pay went up with my skill level. I got real good at researching topics and pulling up specs on my phone til I gained experience. When I found I wanted more money that I was making as a service tech, I applied for a level 1 building controls position and began the learning process all over again at a higher pay. I am always trying to keep up with this trade and make myself worth the $ I ask for. With a good attitude I found people were always willing to give me a shot. I knew less than others that got let go because they over represented their true skills and failed to perform at that level.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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  12. #86
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    344
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    Your screen name has nj in it, if you are in New Jersey, go to uanj.org and download apprenticeship requirements, apps go out 1/2/18. If you hustle you may be able to get everything together. Be at the hall early that day.

  13. #87
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    5
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    I’m still a relatively newer tech in the big picture of things but have a few years under my belt at this point. In Highschool I took a 2 year vocational HVAC course and graduated with my Unversal cert, couple various OHSHA certs, and some other certs that don’t necessarily hold any weight so to speak. I had a job at a small commercial/residential HVAC company literally soon as I graduated, (had interview/hiring process while in school.) I was making 12$ an hour as a tech, I eventually made up to 14$ within the year at the company.

    I was essentially doing pm type work and thrown into a few service calls that I had no business doing at the time. While the HVAC courses were nice, they did not leave me prepared for the field by any stretch of the imagination. Within 6 months of working there as an 18 Y/O, all of the other service techs quit leaving me in the dead of winter without a single person to rely on but myself. I was working on anything from resi-splits, to WSHPÂ’s, to boilers/chillers with essentially no experience. I some how made it through till the spring time heading into the summer and was readily looking for a new job. They finally hired someone and I was off to a different company.

    New company I started at,(still currently with,) is a significantly larger commercial/industrial company. I started here at $18 an hour. I’m 23 now and I’m currently making $26 an hour, probably could be making more if I pushed it; I’ve had offers from others that are higher. I work on essentially anything that’s out there but continue learning everyday.

    You have to prove your worth. Best advice I can give is to take pride in your work, the money will come. When diagnosing a piece of equipment often there are several issues in place. There may be one part that is bad but that very well could have been caused by something else that’s either not set up right or functioning properly. But it absolutely could just be as it appears. These are machines designed by humans, built by humans, installed by humans, and serviced by humans. If you ask me there’s a lot of room there for mistakes!

    Just like a call I had yesterday. They had a board that was bad, evidently this occurs every couple years. Well they have a bunch of different relays/controls that are being powered off the board that were not intended to be there by design. They have to have a 5 amp fuse in a 3 amp slot for the system to not have intermittent trips due to running right at 3 amps. Ok, simple fix. I grab some IDEC relays and a separate transformer. Isolate the relays from the board and viola!

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  15. #88
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    13,340
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    Get a printing press!
    My Apple thread, I turned out to be right on every prediction! Sent from my IPhone X the future of smartphones!

  16. #89
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Holt Missouri
    Posts
    21
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    Not sure why trade school guys think they are worth so much more than guys who learn on the job. I have been doing this 20+ years and have always made good money. I am now the sole HVAC engineer for PnG in my area. I am in charge of contractors, repairs maint. etc. I make damn good money and have some of the best benefits you could ask for. I did all of this without trade school. I recommend to you this, if you want something, take it. Make yourself the best tool in the company toolbox. Make yourself a known competition I tell every boss that I am working for you but you should think of me as your competition. I was before I started and I will be when I leave.
    You can get the "big money" if you go union, which has it's drawbacks. If you choose to walk this path you are on now, I suggest you take my prior advice.

  17. Likes Jettinvr6sc liked this post
  18. #90
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Holt Missouri
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    21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craigmeednj View Post
    Helpers should get paid min 15$, this line of work brings it a lot of money there’s no reason for what I’m getting paid I’m better than that


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    So, it's up to you to fix this. Go find a better job. You know why you are doing maintenance? So you get used to the process. This way you develop motor skills from doing and seeing the same things over and over. You subconsciously learn things so you'll be able to apply them later in life. Even union guys do PMs in their career. It has to be done. A good tech doing PMs stands to be a hell of a seller if he knows how what he's doing. It's an opportune time to replace parts before they fail. Have you showed any intuitive knowledge to your bosses, or do you just complain that you should be doing more? I appreciate young eager help, but I get irritated quickly with people that like to tell me what they know.
    After 20+ years in the HVACR field, I took a job doing HVACR maintenance at the only plant in the world that makes Dawn/Gain/Joy. Most of my job is doing maintenance on HVAC units that range from 5000 btu/hr window units all the way up to 900 ton chiller. Just when I thought I knew it all, I learned quickly that I didn't. I felt like a rookie walking in here. I know alot, but I am not above learning more. So here I am in the polar opposite role of you. I went from running 10-13 calls a day, 300 mile driving days, and 12+ hours, humping 50-100 pounds up ladders, earning my keep, making my employer money hand over fist; to sitting behind a desk 4-6 hours a day living a good life. I keep my skills sharp by still training guys and running calls for an ex employer. This career requires drive. Ya have to show it, not talk about it. Make your desire known, maybe they see something in you that you refuse to see.
    I understand your struggle, but you'll have to do your time. Be proactive, maybe look for premature failures on these units and use that to show your worth. Trade school is cute and all, but it really doesn't offer employers much, because most want you to work to their standard. Trade schools seem to only benefit the schools.

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  20. #91
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Bay Area California
    Posts
    18,991
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    We had a guy who recently did 105 hours of PM's and never found a single thing wrong.

    Plus he'd leave panels off. And leave extra materials on site when done with a job.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kris Shaw View Post
    So, it's up to you to fix this. Go find a better job. You know why you are doing maintenance? So you get used to the process. This way you develop motor skills from doing and seeing the same things over and over. You subconsciously learn things so you'll be able to apply them later in life. Even union guys do PMs in their career. It has to be done. A good tech doing PMs stands to be a hell of a seller if he knows how what he's doing. It's an opportune time to replace parts before they fail. Have you showed any intuitive knowledge to your bosses, or do you just complain that you should be doing more? I appreciate young eager help, but I get irritated quickly with people that like to tell me what they know.
    After 20+ years in the HVACR field, I took a job doing HVACR maintenance at the only plant in the world that makes Dawn/Gain/Joy. Most of my job is doing maintenance on HVAC units that range from 5000 btu/hr window units all the way up to 900 ton chiller. Just when I thought I knew it all, I learned quickly that I didn't. I felt like a rookie walking in here. I know alot, but I am not above learning more. So here I am in the polar opposite role of you. I went from running 10-13 calls a day, 300 mile driving days, and 12+ hours, humping 50-100 pounds up ladders, earning my keep, making my employer money hand over fist; to sitting behind a desk 4-6 hours a day living a good life. I keep my skills sharp by still training guys and running calls for an ex employer. This career requires drive. Ya have to show it, not talk about it. Make your desire known, maybe they see something in you that you refuse to see.
    I understand your struggle, but you'll have to do your time. Be proactive, maybe look for premature failures on these units and use that to show your worth. Trade school is cute and all, but it really doesn't offer employers much, because most want you to work to their standard. Trade schools seem to only benefit the schools.
    A skilled Tech would solder a relay on that board and call it good to go.

  21. Likes buttwheat liked this post
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