some perspective from pennsylvania
I've been in hvac for 22 years. plus four years as a boiler tech in the US Navy. Do i know everything? nope. There's always something new to stumble across.
4 years ago i was looking for a new job. I had been working for an hvac company that did all new home construction. You know the deal. 8 dollar/hr helpers that can't read a tape measure. etc. so, I put in applications at a few different places. As for me, I have a Universal Certification and have worked on everything from industrial boilers and chillers to residential HPs. That's installation and service. I'm not perfect. But, I'm a good tech.
Anyway company X calls for an interview. looks at my resume and says looks like your well rounded, good work history etc. then offers me 13 bucks/hr. I got up and walked out. pissed too! Company Y calls for an interview and offers me a job at it's other location. a 45 mile drive to work. an $15/hr. NAH.. Company Z calls an offers 17.50/hr for a commercial install job. No on call. 50 hrs a week. Yes, I'll do that. Having been on call 20 years...Well, 4 weeks into the job, company Z needs help in Service. Ok, i'll help out. Till the spring rush settles down. Next week here comes a call schedule with me oncall 4 times a month. Wooo doggie. I ***** and ***** some more. So they send me out to clean 5 residential oil boilers..... That was my last day with those folks...
I wouldn't recommend to anyone to get into the hvac trade. It's a slum job. You have to be an electrician, plumber, tinknocker, welder, pipefitter, control tech and more. for what?
So, you can work 50-60 hrs a week and be oncall at all hours of the freeking day or nite. Hope you don't like your family !! Or have any hobbies, cause you can throw them out the door too. HVAC is the pits. And that's from a lifetime hvac tech.