Ok, Here I go with my first post on the forum.
Background. Working for a large company at a specific skill which has no future. The job may last one month to two years then it is on the unemployment line at say 50.
I like to fix things, work with my hands. I did not want to go back into auto repair like I did in my teens and early twenties. Anyway, I hear about the HVAC field. I do a little looking around, there are jobs posted around for HVAC people. This is good because there are no film technician jobs posted. I head to the local community college and sign up for courses at night. Now a few years down the road, I am a math, physics, and english course short of my AAS with Honors in HVAC. I passed the ICE exam for residential and light commercial with a much better than the average grade. The same goes for the EPA exam.
OK, I am book learned, 50 and wondering what did I get myself into? How many of you guys have done the same thing? How has it turned out? I have talked to two people who worked for the company I am working for now and were laid off. They both Took HVAC training one throught the college level, one through the BOCES level. Both are happy as can be they went into the field. Both wished they did it years earlier.
So, fill me in a little please. Is it as great a field of work as I am told?
A little late to ask that question, isn't it?
Of course, the answer is an unequivocal YES.
Ours is the best kept secret in the world.
Nobody on the "outside" truly understands what we do.
Different challenges every day.
Different scenery every day.
Gotta love it.
(Welcome to the forum.)
could not have said it any better than bwald2. 45 years old with 35 yrs doing this. never bored with going to same place every day. never know what i will be doing tommorow.
don't know if i would want to start a job this physical at 50 though. good luck
I've been doing this off/on for about 30 years (mostly on) and for the most part look foward to going to work every day.The only thing is, I wish I was as smart, or should I say as technically versed as some of the posters on here.There isn't a time I log on here that as a rule I don't learn something; hence my handle. Of course no job is perfect but getting paid for something you enjoy is icing on the cake.If you like variety you can't ask for a better job.Good luck to you.
do a search on the topic entitled: Top Ten Things To Know"
maybe it's top 10 things to know .... not sure.
That thread will speak volumes to you!
By the way ... I like your sig file.
There is another thread which is helpful: "what do y'all carry in your tool bags?"
That should point out what ya need on a daily basis.
As you might have gathered here by lurking ... we dont cotton to cheap tools, as a general rule.
Especially not cheap test insturements.
In fact, one guy here runs a burial grounds for UEI meters.
He calls it the "End of the line" .....
Welcome to the greatest online gathering of HVAC/R industry core people.
We propose the projects.
We bid the jobs.
We sell the jobs.
We spec the equipment.
We work the other trades into the picture.
We install it.
We commission it.
We maintain it.
We fix it.
And some times we even pray over it to keep on working when the customer wont replace it.
Everyone else in the industry is just incidental and suplemental.
They either write about it or legislate about it or build it to the least tolerable level of ISO9001 standards.
They are just the supporting part of the industry.
Your in the part that does the most good, has the least say so about things and bleeds the most.
We get dirty while they dictate policy.
Dont worry, you'll learn all this over time.
Stick with us, you'll go far.
Thanks all for the answers so far
Despite my book learning and such, I sure don't know everything. That is why I am registered on this forum and why I am asking the people who do the work what the story is.
One thing I have found is it is never to late to learn something new.
As to the physical part of this job well, I will have to burn that bear when I cross it. Hard work has not killed me yet nor has the cold of winter or heat of summer. Lately it just means I take some asprin and add a heating pad. No, I am not 25 anymore but the way some 25 year olds work these days, I can still work circles around them.
Good tools are worth their weight in gold to me. I found that out in the auto trade. Yep I could get ten cheap wrenches for one good one but after having to drill out a rounded off fastener on a customer's car set me to thinking of true tool value.
I could go on and on here but I won't, I have some reading to do of other areas. There are a couple of things I have been advised to check out and look up.
Plus, I just have to stop at the joke section. G'day
I'm 48, also at a crossroads in my career life. 20 years in the printing business and the industry is sinking fast. I'm going to go to BOCES this fall which will be paid for by the state. In the meantime, I'm going to take 2 classes at BOCES night school for Heating repair and Trouble shooting and also A/C-1. Sept. starts 300 hours of HVAC training ,then it's off to find a job.
I've been going through the same questions, what am i getting myself into! But it's either now or never. Make the switch,bite the bullet and hope the wife can get a good paying job while I earn $12/hr. I gotta bust my ass, learn fast and become valuable to a boss ASAP to get the much needed increase. I might even have to live with the inlaws to help save money on rent. I have a 4 year old daughter and I want to have a career and money to support her as she grows up. I want my wife to have a few dollors to buy things. This is a good field with plenty of work. So age can't become a factor. As far as the physical demands, I've been in worse.
So, you're not alone as I'm right behind you. Keep me posted if you don't mind,feel free to e-mail me with thoughts and experiences. I'm at : email@example.com
I believe it's never too late. I am 41 and I have done a lot of things like logging, oilfield, electrician and a few other jobs not worth mentioning. HVAC has given me the most pride in my work. You can get a really good feeling when you go to fix a furnace for an elderly customer that has been worrying about having no heat. There's also those other customers that appreciate your help in there time of need.
Well, im not that young when i started also. I stared at age 36. I which i also started at a early age but i never look back. I love this trade. If down the road you find it hard, you can weight your options and try doing something else in the hvac field like comercial work or building controls instead of residential work. DON'T get me wrong i like residential but,working in attics can be a little much in the summertime. just to hot up there.a lot of heavy lifting too. but its great if you don't mind.
[Edited by green_apprentice on 04-05-2005 at 09:28 PM]
to be fair i never read your post but i don't need to i read "is it wort it" and after careful consideration i'd have to say, no!