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Thread: DFW Dilemma

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    136

    Lightbulb

    I recently completed the Installation/Technician courses at my local college ( TCC ) and am now actively searching for a job, but my biggest problem is my work history.

    The main reason I went to school was due to the fact that all my expirience was in computers, but when the .com ball dropped my job prospects went south fast. Now im stuck with a four year gap ( worked for myself, but that doesnt count I guess ) in my work expirience topped with the fact that I have no prior HVAC expirience except for my schooling.

    Now im not trying to "start at the top" ... I have applied for apartment maintenance, installer positions, hotel maintenance... etc.

    I thought having my EPA and ICE certifications would help with the apartment maintenance, but I guess the work history is killing me.

    Anyway im very discouraged... what would you guys do to get started in a situation like this? I like hard work, but thats hard to prove with a spotty work history like I have.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    11,357
    Apartment maintenance...I've been there and I can tell you what a property manager or management firm wants when they're looking for applicants. They want someone they can hire and plug in and away he goes...fixing a/c's, plumbing, electrical, cleaning the pool, ordering supplies, etc. That's for the lead maintenance position. If you don't have that kind of work experience you can still get a foothold in apt. work, but usually as a make-ready, porter, or assistant maintenance person.

    If you go the apt. route, you be as much in the interviewing seat as the one interviewing you. Don't go work for any cheezy property looking for a warm body. If you have to start out doing make-readies and you have a decent lead for a boss, he'll possibly want to see you grow your skills so he might not have to shoulder so much of the burden. You just have to win his confidence, first. Some of the temps I've used when I was lead maintenance I wouldn't trust them with a set of gauges to save my life.

    I got my start in the hotel maintenance scene years ago, but I have a feeling that angle may have changed some from then. Many hotels are now run on razor thin budgets by those only interested in milking the building till it pukes. Not a great place to be. The well-run hotels usually have a staff that likes being there and positions don't come open as often.
    If you can find a decently run hotel that will take you as an entry level "engineer" (maintenance), go for it. I understand the DFW Airport new hotel is hiring...go check it out.

    Lastly, if you can hold out till the weather here in DFW gets solidly into a hot, miserable state, you'll find an installer position. It's probably slow right now because the weather's still dinging around until the really hot stuff settles in. When it's hot, there's not enough people to keep up with the work, and when it's not, it's hard to get hired. You may or may not be kept on after the heat wave, but you'll then have trade related work experience. If you give it a solid shot and your employer sees you have real potential and growing value to the company, you stand a chance of weathering slower times.

    Hang in there. This trade isn't for the faint of heart. If you really want to do this work, you'll find your spot and grow.
    • Electricity makes refrigeration happen.
    • Refrigeration makes the HVAC psychrometric process happen.
    • HVAC pyschrometrics is what makes indoor human comfort happen...IF the ducts AND the building envelope cooperate.


    A building is NOT beautiful unless it is also comfortable.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Dallas TX
    Posts
    2,216
    What city do you live in? I have a spot I need to fill but I really need some one who lives closer to Lewisville and is ready to work and learn. I personally am not looking at work history when a guy is a student. I teach at a community college as well so I understand how hard it can be to work and go to school at the same time. My email should be in the profile.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    136
    Sent email to your Yahoo account.

    I live kinda far from Lewisville, but my wife makes about the same commute every day and im definately willing to do it until we can move over that way.

    As for the apartment maintenance I havent been lookin at the lead maint positions... just the standard positions. Problem is if you cannot get an interview you cannot convince them that your really willing to work hard, and not take sick days ( unless your actually sick of course ) or screw around on the job.

    I didnt think starting at the bottom would be this hard, but I know that once the ball starts rolling things will be good.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Office and warehouse in both Crystal River & New Port Richey ,FL
    Posts
    18,836
    Check for the Texas ACCA website,email members your resume ,ask the chapter president or staff, for some help in finding a job.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    136
    WOOHOO! I got a call back today to come back in and fill out paper work for a job on Monday!

    Its with a very reputable high class hotel, and the pay is definately what I was looking for. The only downside is that I have to work graveyard shift, but im perfectly willing to do that at this point.

    If all goes well I should be starting next week... cross your fingers for me!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    92
    If this interview doesn't go well, send me an email. Research and Development Lab (HVAC) in Carrollton. I almost always need techs.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    136
    Will do!

    I'm just so ready to get out there and start applying what I know, and learning new stuff from the guys that have been doing this for so long.

    Only thing i'm even somewhat concerned about is its an hour drive from where I live, and its graveyard shift... wonder if im gonna be all sleepy when I get off and go crashing off a bridge or something!! Oh well lets hope not... lol.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    136
    Update...

    Went for orientation today and signed all the paperwork... got the grand tour ( almost passed out on the heliport... im rather afraid of heights lol ) and I start work tomorrow!

    I will be working on much more than just AC ( washers, driers, pretty much anything mechanical ) but I think the overall experience will be very very valuable to me.

    Im super excited, and hope this is exactly the boost I needed to have a career in HVACR!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    11,357
    Good going, jingo!

    Keep HVAC-Talk handy, some of us here have experience with washers, dryers, etc.

    A heliport? Is this the new hotel out at the airport?

    At any rate, congrats!

    • Electricity makes refrigeration happen.
    • Refrigeration makes the HVAC psychrometric process happen.
    • HVAC pyschrometrics is what makes indoor human comfort happen...IF the ducts AND the building envelope cooperate.


    A building is NOT beautiful unless it is also comfortable.

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