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  1. #1
    I am being told, in my area .... the pay rate is so bad I will never make what I could doing what I was before.

    How awful.

    I was told I would make more doing A/C work. Just simple everyday run of the mill commercial or even residential A/C work.

    Is this true? Do market service techs make less than the other facets of this serivce industry?

    Or is my particular employer just pulling my leg? Or is he just a bad businessman and cannot land a deal where he makes the money to pay the help?


    I like this company. I want to stay here. But I have to be able to earn a living wage. And I for one, do NOT count overtime as part of my budget wages. It is something that is considered extra.
    I dont want to have to count on overtime just in order to make ends meet each month.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Earth
    Posts
    4,879
    A good Market man is worth his weight in gold, and your boss knows it.

    A Diamond is just a piece of coal, that made good under pressure!

  3. #3
    Originally posted by frozensolid
    A good Market man is worth his weight in gold, and your boss knows it.

    So by my accepting a paycut by taking this job ... am I playing the part of the fool?
    This is five an hour LESS than my last position.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Earth
    Posts
    4,879
    Are you a good market man yet? Fifteen is not bad entry level.
    A Diamond is just a piece of coal, that made good under pressure!

  5. #5
    Originally posted by frozensolid
    Are you a good market man yet? Fifteen is not bad entry level.
    If it's not bad for entry level ...then I will keep my trap shut. Thanks.

    But where is the ceiling on this trade? Is it in the thirties or is it in the twenties?

    I can live with another ten an hour. Much less than that ... and maybe I need to seriously re-think what I am getting myself into here.

    I am making the boss money. I am fielding technical service calls.
    Once I have the diagnosis done, I am a tiger with the repair.
    I just have to know the system and it's sequence of ops first. Otherwise I am just guessing.


    Like yesterday ... I was up in the motor room when the guy who was changing belts on the RTU's came in. he noticed that two racks had high suction pressure displayed n the CPC controllers.
    He looked down and sure enough ... all the units in those two racks were off.

    I happened to remember that whenever I had changed belts on those RTU's condensors ... I had to reset a unit or two back down in the motor room.

    I guess he didnt realise that.

    Since I knew the sequence of how this rack functioned, I wasnt too worried about it being down.

    Just as long as I can figure out what the system is expecting to do ... I can diagnose the trouble.


    So the question ... "how good am I?".... that is relative to what I am working on at the time.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Earth
    Posts
    4,879
    You seem to have a good knowledge of refrigeration theory. You just lack the hands on experience in Market systems.

    Don't worry you'll get there quickly. I have said it before, your mind, is the most important tool you carry.

    When your stumped, Take a break, sit down and think about the whole picture. The distance helps sometimes.

    When you get to the point where those cranky store managers smile and say, "I'm sure glad they sent you Bob". Thats when you say "hey boss, how bout a raise".
    A Diamond is just a piece of coal, that made good under pressure!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Gold Coast of Connecticut
    Posts
    4,579
    Just pay your dues and keep in touch wih other refrigeration contractors in your area. Always attend copeland tear downs ect and speak to other mechanics to see what they are paying and talk to company owners about the trade ect. I know in Ct the top pay is $29.00 per hour pluss $3.00 per hour in your pension for a 5 year (super) Market man. Build your reputation and network and people will be calling you with job offers in a year or two.

    I had people calling me with job offers with maybe a year in the markets, but i BS with every one i see.lol

  8. #8
    Thank ..I see your point.



  9. #9
    Wages in this trade are subject to a number of variables including how good you are. If you are not a union memeber the better you are at making money for your employer the more you can ask for. If you are a union member you can still negotiate extras as in foreman scale verses jouneyman scale (usually a 10% increase)

    The biggest influance I have seen is where you are living and working. I lived and worked a short while in Northern Idaho and made less than half of what I was making in the bay area doing the same thing. Here in the Bay Area there are 4 local unions and all of them have differant wages scales. Get out of the Bay Area and the wage drops about 10/hr. So do housing costs. The only exception is for the market refrigeration people who are governed under Hussmann's national agreement that governs total wage package. These people make less than a/c and other commercial refrigeration people in the areas that they live and work in, and there is some formula that determines the wage package for each area that I don't pretend to understand. Technically if a refer guy is working in a market his employer can pay him the reduced rate for market work. If the next call is a food storage plant, or even a restraunt, the employer is supposed to pay the higher rate. It is an accounting nightmare and few mechanics or employers bother with it.

    The real question you need to ask yourself is are you happy at your job and are you making a fair wage in comparison to others in your area that are doing the same type of work.

  10. #10
    "The real question you need to ask yourself is are you happy at your job and are you making a fair wage in comparison to others in your area that are doing the same type of work."


    I know one outfit in the area pays their men about fifty five a year. But that includes all the overtime guys have to perform also.

    I guestimate a guy makes 20 an hour. This if forty K a year. Then another ten thou a year or more for overtime. This is kinda seat of the pants accounting. But id does give me an idea of what's being paid.

    Plus that same outfit has the best medical you ever heard of.
    Plus, they have a motor home for the guys to use durig vacation time each year.


    Odd ... 12 years ago I got hired on my a crazy guy and he paid me $18.25 an hour.


    Now I am making less than that and worth so much more than that. hmmmm...

    Oh well ... at least i have a good job that will always be in demand somewhere. And I am learnig soemthing new everyday.


    Now when I figure out how to rewire one of these rack control panels so that all the safety's work ... I will feel like I have reached a milestone!


    Thanks for all the advice guys.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    12,077
    Listen,

    I know the midwest pretty well. I know the supermarket business pretty well.

    Between Detroit, Chicago, Milwaukee, Madison, Minneapolis/St. Paul.

    If you work for a chain as in house refrigeration tech, such as Krogers is here, you make around $25 per hour and whatever there benefits are, which aint that great. Thats for the guy who knows what he's doing, can prove it on paper and in action. Everyday consistently. Average in this environment would be 20 to 22 per hour.

    Other big discounter chains like wally world and other similair regional type discount chains. They often use there own in house and call in outside contractors for weekend emergency and or if they get too overwhelmed in peak periods. Gennerally these type rack guys make the least and for the most part know the least. 17 to 22 an hour. And they get the primo outside contractors too for their after hours stuff. Cause the primo reefer companies think this work is the bomb. It's very good work because, generally your fixing something that was totally screwed up by their in house, all premium rates and material. They think your the bomb then.

    Outside, Independant contractors. Depending on there affiliation as a union employer or not. Union guys. They get a very good bennies package, including a pension and a 401K, great medical and the trimmings and about anywhere from $27 to $32 an hour depending on the metro area your in from the list above. Chicago being the highest. Non union up this way in markets is simply not very popular but does exist. The techs get about the same in pay an hour and they do get similar bennys but, that pension ( remember that pension is money every month and your medical when your old ) The non union shops just aint paying for the bennies. They do have em, but I guess I'd say there not as good or generous as the union tech would get. The non union guys will say he gets more. Up here, you can't beat the pay and bennies for a union journeymen. There at the top of the food chain in pay and bennies.

    The only thing I have to say about this live old age argument of the cost of living versus pay is by my own personal experience. I was knocking on the door of 90 grand when I quit and went to work for myself. Those last couple years were unbeleiveable. It's how you live. It aint about how much you make. So I made great money, knew that, appreciated that. And I lived beneath my means which has made me more wealthy. In the bank and in my mind.

    I have read all the grocery guys on here from the south talk about their pay and what ever. Good God people. What the heck are you doing giving your work away for that. You all need to have a huge meetiung and raise your prices and pay these men.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    186
    What is the co.rate per hour? From my past exp 2.5 times the pay rate is service rate. If I pay 15hr I charge the customer at least 37.5 hr
    I hired another tech 2 weeks ago he has assoc degree 3yrs g/store exp I started him at 15hr plus 5% parts he sells, I charge 38 for him. He used to make 9hr at his old job and was very unhappy. My commercial electric crew make a little more plus they get a % of net profit divided by hour worked.
    I try to pay my help well and some extras. Without good quality help I don't have much. The company reputation is only as good as it worst hand. In a small town like here reputation is everything. I don't like call backs. My help knows this, spend extra 1/2 hr to do it well. saves in the long run. A lot of my customers complain about their past call backs(I had them out here 4 times and it still don't work)
    If your a top tech the company should give you top pay. Give it enough time to prove yourself. I have had customers call asking for a certain hand to show up makes me feel good about them. It means alot.
    Because chicks dig it.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    12,077
    If your charging 38 an hour for rack work, your part of my biggest problem trying to make more money.

    What are you?

    A charity?

    DO you all see this right here. This is what I hammer home on here all the time. You got guys like this who give it away. And it hurts our entire industry. It hurts how much you will earn R12.

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