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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Swartz Creek, Michigan
    Posts
    3

    Associates Degree

    I hold an Associates degree in Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration as am wondering if this really helps my chances of land a job in this field? I am located in the Flint, Mi area. Thank You.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    S.C.
    Posts
    931
    Quote Originally Posted by dandad02 View Post
    I hold an Associates degree in Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration as am wondering if this really helps my chances of land a job in this field? I am located in the Flint, Mi area. Thank You.
    In short, if you are speaking in terms of a technician the answer is NOPE!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Bennington, Vermont U.S.A.
    Posts
    13,864
    It used to be that you could hire a kid off the street and teach them the trade. Things were slower paced back then and the trade was not as technically complicated.

    The chances of hiring someone off the street in today's world and making a successful technician is about 20%.

    I have come to realize that it is better to hire an young person with an associates degree in HVAC/R than it is to waste my time and the company's money on a string of duds. Our minimum for hiring a guy now is a certificate from a trade school with a EPA universal. We perfer an associates degree.

    From what I read the mid west is not the best place to be right now but the east coast is starting to pick up.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Rochester, New York
    Posts
    392
    Quote Originally Posted by benncool View Post
    It used to be that you could hire a kid off the street and teach them the trade. Things were slower paced back then and the trade was not as technically complicated.

    The chances of hiring someone off the street in today's world and making a successful technician is about 20%.

    I have come to realize that it is better to hire an young person with an associates degree in HVAC/R than it is to waste my time and the company's money on a string of duds. Our minimum for hiring a guy now is a certificate from a trade school with a EPA universal. We perfer an associates degree.

    From what I read the mid west is not the best place to be right now but the east coast is starting to pick up.
    Is this purely off the street people or anyone? What I mean is if I have been in the business for 10-15yrs and don't have a degree, am I discounted from your company?

    I think the A.S. gives you an advantage to get your foot in a door. BUT, you have little/no real world experience so I would still start you as a 1st yr helper and see how you did.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Beatrice, NE
    Posts
    2,271
    The AS degree is just the start of your education in this field, it shows employers that you are willing to work for something. Just don't think that because you have a degree your done learning. I got my AS in this great field over 31 years ago and thought I knew most everything. Today with all the experience, certifications, service schools and seminars that I have went to I am finding the more I know, the more I find there is to know. Don't give up, good people are always in demand!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    110
    I have an AAS from Mott too. I think it helped me get into the union considering I knew nobody.

    If you're not finding a job right now, it's not because you're degree doesn't matter. It just means that companies aren't hiring. It's rough out there, especially in Flint. It's HORRIBLE actually.

    Have you talked to Gary Hayward? I know that he gets leads every now and then.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    23
    After having earned a degree and also having worked in the field before earning a degree, I can not tell a difference yet. I have not yet had anyone offer me a job based on my degree but it has helped me get a few interviews. Still, the two years counts towards experience to get a contractors license in the state of CA and that is worth something. Also, unions should recognize a degree for getting a card.(see my previous post, "unions:an easy way to get in")

  8. #8
    I would agree that an associate degree will at least have someone look, but it is limited without experience. But that doesn't mean it isn't worth it. I would look into the union. I went to tech school before entering the apprenticeship program. The company I was placed with was able to have me do more than others which was a big deal. They can charge higher rates for you while you work cheap. After awhile all the guys quickly caught-up and I became just another good tech, but it really helped me to get going. I've been in the trade for 15+ years and I am currently completing my AS through WCC to attend Ferris State and get a BS. These are setup through the UA.

    Keep trying and never give up. I can't imagine doing anything else.

    Best of luck to you.
    Anyone who says this trade is easy, aint doing it right!

    If you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans.

    Proud member of the United Association.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    540
    What's the difference between a two year vo-tech certificate and an AS degree in terms of curriculum and hands-on experience? Are they functionally equivilent?
    Low Pressure Forever!

    If you know heavy metal, you can work anywhere-Dave Andreson

    Anchors Aweigh my boys, Anchors Aweigh!
    Farewell to foreign shores, We sail at break of day. Through our last night on shore, Drink to the foam. Until we meet once more. Here's wishing you a happy voyage home!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    23
    The difference is at SCC is that you have to complete the 56 units of general ed classes which then qualifies for admission to a state university.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    673
    Just my two cents but I am in school right now and I hear horror stories about how its so bad out there, just look through the forums here and everyone seems to be upset about not landing jobs or the pay that comes with them.
    I think that schooling is important and it may not give 100% real world experience but atleast where I am they have a huge dept dedicated to the trade with numerous hands on heat pumps, furnaces, commercial equip, AC units, refrigeration, etc......... so I feel even a little more secure about getting out into the field once I am done even though I know it will be at the bottom of the totem pole.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    54
    I just landed a job at a local hospital after being laid off for 4 months. I have been in this trade for 18 years(half of that as an installer/duct man, other half as service tech) and the powers that be at the hospital want me to go back for the Associates Degree. I would like to have the paperwork, but at this point I don't see the point(especially considering the paycut).

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    673
    Quote Originally Posted by coolman2007 View Post
    I have been in this trade for 18 years and the powers that be at the hospital want me to go back for the Associates Degree.
    are you kidding me? after 18 years they believe that an associates will teach you something you dont already know? I am all for continuing education and being up to date with new codes and certs but going back for a 2 year degree seems a bit much.

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