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  1. #1
    I will soon be graduating from Environmental Technical Institue in the Chicago area on July 7,2004. I will have my EPA 608 Universal, EPA 609, Rheem 410a, Rheem 90+, Weil-McLain Steam and Hot water boiler certifications. I've had hands on training with gas, oil and electric furnaces; sheet metal fabrication,boilers, pipe sizing and I'm finishing up A/C and refrigeration systems. My family and I are relocating to the Fort Myers, Florida area in the beginning of August.
    I'd like to find a contractor in that area that will help build on what I've been taught in class and in the hand on labs. I want enhance my knowledge of the A/C service field and not be a parts driver for someone. Also, what can expect as far as pay rate? Any feedback is appreciated.

    [Edited by cbarker5913 on 05-23-2004 at 03:23 PM]

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Beaufort, SC
    Posts
    2,821
    Not much, there is little or no natural gas in SW fl. pay scales for a rookie are low. What you went to school for will help you very little in Fl. most of the systems are electric heat with straight cool.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    4,990
    I did the same thing your doing 28 yrs ago. Graduated tech school and moved to Fla. Its minimum wage and not much more than that for people out of tech school. Luckily I was single, no way I could support a family on that. The only way I made it was working 60 to 80 hrs a week in the summer. In the winter I was lucky to get 32 hrs, thats when I packed it in. From what Ive seen its not any better today. Best of Luck.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    315

    Lightbulb

    man stay in chicago wages are great. in flordia you will be working in hot attics, in chicago you got basements.I am telling u this cause i started like u any worked my way up to lead installer with good pay. in flordia u make nothing

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Sarasota. Fl
    Posts
    1,272
    Let those guys scrape their cars off.

    I hear more complaints about lack of work from people up north.

    Down here a complete rookie starts at probaly 11 an hour.

    Just like up north.

    I was running "no cools" in December.

    There reallly isnt much of a slow down.

    I wish there was a week I only worked 32 hrs.

    Hell, that would be like being on vacation.

    As for attics they can be Awful....

    But so are new construction installs in the winter up North.

    Its 130 degrees or negative 6....pick your poison.

    Find a county that has mostly vertical air handlers in closets.

    There are plenty of them.

    Try to stay on the coast,ala=Ft Myers,Tampa.Sarasota,Miami..etc.

    The pay is better and the companies are more advanced.

    Buy a "wave runner" and hit the beach with your off time.

    I was at home( michigan) for Christmas.

    After about three days I was like "where in the f$ck did the sun go"....

    Damn, talk about depressing.

    I lived there for 21 yrs ..... I will never live there again.










  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    1,214
    I had my own business in Florida. Tech pay scale is not good compared to other regions and it is getting more expensive to live there. However there are is no state income tax.Much better taking the test and running your own show but the exam and licensing fees are not cheap hell they even require Strippers and panhandlers to be licensed in some places to make up for the no state income tax. December and January are slow but I had a few restaurants that kept me busy then as it was their busy season . November picked up because i had snow birds that would come down then and I would do their yearly maintenance. This goes back a while but Service Experts were paying their top techs $16 an hr plus comission for whatever they could rape the customer for. You could probably get hired on there but having gone on a few second opinions of SE condemned units that are probably still running today I would have to say you will probably need to check your ethics at the door every morning.
    thehumid1-------I live in NJ, a state where it's free to come in but you have to pay to leave!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Office and warehouse in both Crystal River & New Port Richey ,FL
    Posts
    18,836
    Originally posted by cbarker5913
    I will soon be graduating from Environmental Technical Institue in the Chicago area on July 7,2004. I will have my EPA 608 Universal, EPA 609, Rheem 410a, Rheem 90+, Weil-McLain Steam and Hot water boiler certifications. I've had hands on training with gas, oil and electric furnaces; sheet metal fabrication,boilers, pipe sizing and I'm finishing up A/C and refrigeration systems. My family and I are relocating to the Fort Myers, Florida area in the beginning of August.
    I'd like to find a contractor in that area that will help build on what I've been taught in class and in the hand on labs. I want enhance my knowledge of the A/C service field and not be a parts driver for someone. Also, what can expect as far as pay rate? Any feedback is appreciated.

    [Edited by cbarker5913 on 05-23-2004 at 03:23 PM]

    Call Bill Grant at Islandaire,tell him Dave Hutchins said to call,if he doesn't have an opening I think he will help you find someone who does.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Spring Hill
    Posts
    34
    If you are dead set on moving to Ft myers, then a company called Modern Services or Home Tech are your best bets. If you have refrigeration skills it will help. I have worked for Modern Services years ago and it was a great place to work. My old boss works for Home Tech so I'm sure it is a good company as well.

  9. #9
    I have heard good things about Kenmark Air and Sunset Air. I've sent them letters of introductions and my resume, but nothing yet. Could it be that I'm still an out of stater?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    LEE COUNTY FLORIDA
    Posts
    4

    Thumbs down FLORIDA

    STAY AWAY FROM FT MYERS AND LEE COUNTY
    I HAVE LIVED HERE FOR OVER 20 YEARS AND I WILL TELL YOU THE PAY SCALE SUX'S, THEY WILL WORK YOU LIKE A DOG AND FIRE YOU IN A HEART BEAT.
    THE ONLY WORK HERE IS IN NEW CONSTRUCTION DUCT WORK, ROUGHINS.
    THEY THINK THEY ARE DOING YOU A FAVOR BYE PAYING YOU $8.00 HR AND SAYING THAT THEY GOING BROKE AT THAT PRICE.
    I KNOW A LOT OF THE COMPANYS OWNERS' MOST OF THE BIG BOYS IN TOWN AND I WILL TELL YOU THAT THEY ARE DOING 3 MIL + A YEAR AND ARE ONLY WORKING ON A 6% GROSS PROFIT MARGIN.
    AND THIS AREA JUST TOOK IT IN THE REAR WITH REAL ESTATE. THE COST OF A NEW HOME IS THAT OF THE MID WEST WEST WITH THE PAY SCALE AT 1/3 THAT OF THE REST OF THE COUNTRY.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Office and warehouse in both Crystal River & New Port Richey ,FL
    Posts
    18,836
    That's not what I hear from that area.Granted it's still Florida,but techs and installers are making more than double that ,from what I've been told.

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