I am somewhat new to the HVAC field. I took 2 years of vocational HVAC schooling during high school. During the summer of my junior to senior year, I got a job (thru the class) working for a commercial HVAC company. The company gave me a range of jobs; from sheet metal installation to refrigeration. It was great! After only doing one week of refrigeration work as a helper, the guy I was helping got pneumonia. For the next three weeks, I was on my own brazing all the lines myself until someone was sent to help. I only worked there for the summer but it was great experience.
I then did apartment maintenace for about a year. Good company but pretty much dead end future. Didn't want to live in an apartment the rest of my life.
I have my Associate's Degree in HVAC and now work for an HVAC manufacturer from the midwest. I am an engineering lab technician. I am up close and personal with the residential equipment all day and love it. I have been here for 5 years. The pay is probably average, but the hours, benefits, and work enviorment are wonderful. I hope to stay around here for a long time.