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  1. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    up in the hizzy
    Posts
    1,405
    I' used to live in florida and around 9 years ago I' moved to NY,I' still have family and friends down there,some of them working 2 full times jobs just to get by,One of my friends is an electrician and for the past 6 years he's been with the same company making the very same 12 bucks with no bennis.Florida is a great vacation spot beside that it aint much!

  2. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Port Saint Lucie, FL
    Posts
    1,594
    No offense, but If your friend has been making 12 bucks an hour for the last 6 years as an electrician, he is either 1)a drunk,2)a drug addict, or 3)lucky to have not been electrocuted to death yet because he is such a piss poor sparky. I start guys with NO experience at 10-12 per hour (if they are willing to learn), a 2 year hvac degree will get you in the door at around 14-15. Not at all bad in my opinion.

  3. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    128
    hawk where are u located ?

  4. #17
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Sarasota. Fl
    Posts
    1,288
    Originally posted by Hawk327
    No offense, but If your friend has been making 12 bucks an hour for the last 6 years as an electrician, he is either 1)a drunk,2)a drug addict, or 3)lucky to have not been electrocuted to death yet because he is such a piss poor sparky. I start guys with NO experience at 10-12 per hour (if they are willing to learn), a 2 year hvac degree will get you in the door at around 14-15. Not at all bad in my opinion.

    Exactly.

    I have 5 years experience.I just received my NATE certification for Core and Heat pumps.My employer paid for the NATE testing.

    I have Health,Dental and "Gap" insurance,paid time off,holidays......etc

    I make 17 + an hour and a small commision. (we dont hustle anyone)

    My "review" is on Feb 18th and Im good for a dollar more an hour.

    Its January 1st and I have my windows open.(77 deg)

    The beach is 3.4 miles away.

    Enough said.
    It is the job of thinking people not to be on the side of the executioners.

    ~Albert Camus

  5. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    77
    Let me tell you something about Florida that no one told me: the cost of living isn't all that much lower here, and I am certainly not the only one who thinks so.

    I was living up in Boston, one block from the beach, top floor with a panoramic view. I was making $16/hr as a lead and I wasn't even ready for it. But the rent was high and I didn't like the snow. Woah is me. So I moved to FL where my brother lives.

    Down here, I'm paying $525/mo for a two bedroom, two bath apt. Not bad huh? But I'm paying on average $120/mo for electric, about $80/mo for water, almost the same for cable, which I dropped. I had to slap down nearly $400 in deposits just to get all of my utilities turned on.

    If you buy a home, that $120/mo electric bill of mine will look like a REAL bargain to you. That's one of the biggest selling points for HVAC contractors down here: Get a new system, save on the power bill. People will actually spend thousands of dollars to lower thier power bill.

    I'm paying on average $750/mo between rent and all utilities. I'm making $12/hr as a lead and p/t tech. I started at $9... with 2 years experience and good references. I worked my ass off and earned $3 more/hr inside of 1 year, but that's it. I'm stuck now. If I go someplace else offering $14+/hr, I suspect I'd be worked to death with a rediculous amount of stress and responsibilities in turn of earning the privilege of the pay being offered. Think you can try threatening to leave for more money?

    Warm weather isn't job security either. I don't have a problem where I work, but plenty of guys down here are applying with other companies just to get a full 40 hrs a week, barely scratching out a living during the "beautiful winter weather".

    There is no massive difference between what I'm paying now for the two-bedroom and a studio apartment down here. If I move into a studio, I'd save maybe $100/mo, but then I'd lose the rent my brother is paying to stay in the other bedroom. I'd actually be WORSE OFF moving into a smaller place.

    For $750/mo, I could have kept my small apt on the beach, paid the utilities and made $4-6 more an hour, maybe even more. I might be able to afford cable too.

    I'm sure you can find a good situation down here, don't get me wrong, but as a person who has lived and worked in HVAC in several parts of the country, I believe Florida is by no means a top choice.

  6. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    15
    Hi, I wanted to chime in on this post since I currently live in the sunshine state. There is no doubt that Florida has caught a lot of criticism on this website, and I would say some of it is well placed. The first point I wanted to make is it seems like there are some squared away people on this site that are offering, in my opinion, a good deal to work in Florida. However, the labor and wage situation in the state is pretty disappointing. I'm in the process of updating my skills so I can enter the HVAC field so it is difficult for me to comment too much on the field, but HVAC seems to offer higher wages than many other types of work in the state. I know I was shocked when I moved down here and started to look for work. I have a few years of experience in the troubleshooting and repair of electronic equipment in general. I worked on communications gear in the Navy and precision measuring equipment in Ohio after I got out of the military. I made about $15 per hour in Ohio although there was some interstate travel involved with that line of work, but my expenses were about what they are here in Pensacola. Here in NW Florida it is difficult to get those kinds of wages. I interviewed for a job doing troubleshooting and repair on office equipment and when asked about the range of pay I expected I said at least $10 per hour. The person's response was that they were thinking more along the lines of $7 per hour, and maybe I could make $10 per hour in 6 or 7 years. I did not think that made much since given the fact they wanted people with experience in repairing electronic or mechanical equipment. It seemed to me they wanted experienced people, but did not want to pay for the experience. I talked to a person on the phone about a job doing repair work and they asked me the same question so I told them at least $10 per hour and they said that was reasonable, but that when people tell them they want more they had to give them the “welcome to the panhandle speech”. I guess that is suppose to mean welcome to North West Florida so don’t expect a decent wage. Well, I moved on. I interviewed for a job doing appliance repair, which I don’t have specific experience in but I believe I could pick up on since I have worked on things like motors, pumps, and switches. This job was only offering $8.50 per hour, and they made a point of complaining about people not showing up for work, and did I have reliable transportation. Well, I have a jeep that runs well because I pull the maintenance on it and make sure it runs well, but I feel funny when I go into an interview for a fairly low paying job and hear that the other people before me bailed on the job. I mean those other people may have been problems, but it is still somewhat of a red flag. What’s the deal with that? Then I picked up the local paper and saw a large advertisement that was targeted towards business owners. It basically said, hey bring your business down here because your employee’s will feel like they are working in a vacation resort climate, but your bottom line will show something different. That last part I am almost directly quoting. Man, I thought that was bad. I mean it is like saying; hey people won’t be pissed about not making any money because the climate is great, and you can save money on wage expenses, which is one of the highest business expenses. Well, I think that is a sad commentary on the labor and wage situation in the state, but again it seems there are some people in the HVAC field, on this site, that are offering a fair deal for people to come work in the state. I know I am crossing over to this line of work because I believe it is a valuable line of work in today’s society, but I don’t know whether I’ll try to come back to Florida or not. It’s hard to say since there are good and bad situations everywhere.

  7. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Tampa Bay
    Posts
    131
    Being an Air Force short-timer, are you interested in working on MacDill AFB? Currently have an outside contractor doing all the CE work on base. Every field is accounted for from Grounds to Engineering. Pay scale is determined by the Dept. of Labor's SCA wages. Currently around $17.75 for HVAC tech. 5 year minimum, universal certification, security clearance a bonus.
    Coming from commercial refrigeration and the longest possible hours imaginable, not to mention never seeing my family and missing every special event with them, working 7:30 to 4:30 M-F with ALL of the federal holidays off makes up for the drop in pay. As long as your spouse is working, it is affordable. Let me know if your interested...
    Some people just aren't smart enough to be stupid....

  8. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    63

    Cool

    I've been in business for 10 years in the Fl Panhandle. I know what other companys are offering but we offer starting $20.00 hr. for level 3 mechanics and $14.00 hr. right out of tech school. NATE certifications a plus. Thats assuming that you can do more than talk technobable. You must actually be able to walk the walk ,invoice and collect the money,and maintain total customer satisfaction, otherwise you're all talk. With NATE certifications, continuing education,and high motivation towards customer service, I see continued wage increases that will run ahead of the cost of living. The men who can do more than the minimum requirements will get compensated for their extra effort. For the others-go home to Momma.

  9. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    OZ Aka SW Florida
    Posts
    1,830

    Thumbs up

    Hey Are You Hiring In The Future?

  10. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    63

    Cool

    Originally posted by cracker
    Hey Are You Hiring In The Future?
    Right now we are putting out the help wanted sign. Not supposed to talk about it at this site location. So I'm not soliciting you but I'll tell you our dilemma.We are covered with service and replacement work and restaurant equipment service and repair. Hiring a level 3 mechanic would be great to help w all the service calls but he would also generate yet even more work perpetuating the back log of work. On the other hand hiring a level 1 mechanic and apply him to the existing back log and existing PMs. So right now it would be nice to add on one of each. Why you thinkin about relocating?

  11. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    fort walton beach fl.
    Posts
    790
    The pay in the panhandle is slowly getting higher. I saw a ad in the paper that was paying 27 dollars a hour.Don't know if its true, but they probably have alot a applicants.Oneacman is right if you can talk the talk and walk the walk you can make a good wage in Florida.

  12. #25
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    OZ Aka SW Florida
    Posts
    1,830

    Talking

    YES

  13. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Earth
    Posts
    4,879
    There are a lot of hack companies in Florida. These companies will try to pay you the least amount you will let them.

    If you are five years experienced and trained by the military, this tells me you are probably well trained and well disciplined. In Central Florida eighteen to twenty two is possible, South Florida twenty to twenty five.

    It all depends on if you can run with the big dogs or not. FYI we don’t need a heating season.
    A Diamond is just a piece of coal, that made good under pressure!

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