I don't know if we are allowed to discuss money on this site. Wouldn't want to tick off anyone. Besides might be another employee of my company on this site. And that is a big no no with my company.
Quit acting like we live with socialism and that big brother is going to swoop down and take your job if you utter the forbidden payrate. Part of the reason the pay scale is so low in some geographic areas is that employers strive to keep you in the dark as to what others are making.
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I do agree with the OP on this subject. I've seen it myself. My advise would be, work for the bigger Co.'s. Mom and Pop shops have no future for the workers. Your only making them rich. Even if your new to the field, bigger companies will still hire you.
I spent 12 years in Michigan. I had a job I really enjoyed there. Do to some health issues with my 3 year old son we relocated to the Dallas area for some medical programs offered here. That was 3 years ago. I have found a great company. As an installer, we average 50 to 70 a year. Some techs have pushed 100. Comfort advisors, yeah very nice. There are many companies here that get ya cheap. The higher paying jobs are out there. You have do a little research and the pot of gold is there. Dont get me wrong, we work our butts off. But I would anywhere. So why not get compensated for it. The pay system is all flat rate. As an installer, I averaged 30 to 40 per hour a week. I dont figure its bad to work avg of 50 hours a week for avg of 1200.00 Full service uniforms provided, medical, dental, 401K. We have a bonus reserve program that pays in the weeks where you didnt receive your 40 hr salary. A minimum paycheck each week.
We are always looking for installers, techs, and comfort advisors. It is well worth your look. Not from Dallas, use your relocation dollars. Its well worth the look.