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  1. #27
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    831
    Crappy luck dude. Sorry to hear. All the same it's better to get some schooling in before you head out in the truck. Those units you're allowed to mess up on and learn from. It's better that way. You'll be taught the right way and you'll know the basics and the tools which will make you a better tool mule than the journeyman having to go and teach you all the specialty tools which will just slow him down at the end of the day.
    Get money, get paid.

  2. #28
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Puget Sound area, Wa
    Posts
    130
    Quote Originally Posted by oneinamillion View Post
    On a side note he explained to me that he has installers and service technicians and they don't work together. Is it better to start out doing one before the other?
    I started out in installations and IMO it's where most should start. This will allow you to see how it should work, given it works at the time of start up. After seeing brand new equipment for many months you will know what the sequence of operation is and so diagnostics becomes easier for you. I performed installations and start ups for a year and when I made my transition to service it was a cinch. Did I still struggle, a little because when the customer is standing behind you asking what's wrong and you just took the panels off it can be kind of intimidating but you get used to it.

    GOOD LUCK and welcome to the trade!

  3. #29
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Winston-Salem NC
    Posts
    1,133
    I would not allow someone to work for free with my company.
    Too many liability issues and insurance issues.
    I would consider hiring someone on a part-time, minimum wage basis if they approached me wanting to learn OTJ while attending school.

  4. #30
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    6,945

    Trane ,Willowbrook Ill

    drop your resume over in that office they might be interested in an apprentice...push the contractor work with your uncle and say school is next to get a foot in maybe they will grab you great learning experience if they hire you school or no school....your young...
    "when in doubt...jump it out" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1qEZHhJubY

  5. #31
    I started school, I'm taking a refrigeration class and EPA cert. I have my EPA test at the end of the month but hopefully I get a universal card. School is good, its nice to be in the shop and getting to check out the equipment. The thing is they kind of spoon feed HVAC to you. They give you a prerequisite class like electric circuits where your final is wiring 2 or 3 feet of conduit and a couple of switches to a trainer unit. They wont let you work on any of the big commercial equipment until you spend a year going through all the prerequisites. For some people brazing and sottering 2 or 3 connections a day is important but I'm capable of working at a much faster pace. Like learning how to evac/charge a unit was really useful to me but its like there is 10-15 guys standing around a AC for 3 hours while we wait for the recovery machine or the vacuum pump. It seems like we could set the machine up and do something constructive while the machines are running. They give us one simple task and have us do it for 3 hours, at least every week we get something new to do.I guess its a matter of getting through it and moving on to the more challenging things.

    Like my Uncle in his house had me install his AC and furnace. Spending 2 weekends with him was equivalent of 4 weeks of Schooling. In the school they don't really explain things to you very well either, its kind of like go to the lab and "ok men slap on some guages" or "de-burr that copper good" I had to have my uncle yell me out and show me what a good de-burring actually looks like, because they didn't show me. They give you all this homework too which forces you to read the book. I found that if your actually reading the books it helps you plan out your actions or makes things easy. But they give you 500 pages to read and say yeah at the end of the class 15 chapter of homework and quiz's are due. You really have to have outside connections to enhance your learning.

    After I get my EPA card hopefully I can find a apprenticeship because honestly HVAC is a lot of fun. School is nice because they have all the equipment/material and you can make mistakes, like my uncle tells me take advantage of the situation do things that you wouldn't normally do, because I'm not gonna let you ruin my copper. They just don't push me enough, the book reading and homework is a bit overwhelming because we don't get to see much of a application of it in class. I'm really liking the installs too because when I look at my gas pipe routing or my duct sheet metal work its a beautiful thing.

  6. #32
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    831
    Quote Originally Posted by oneinamillion View Post
    I started school, I'm taking a refrigeration class and EPA cert. I have my EPA test at the end of the month but hopefully I get a universal card. School is good, its nice to be in the shop and getting to check out the equipment. The thing is they kind of spoon feed HVAC to you. They give you a prerequisite class like electric circuits where your final is wiring 2 or 3 feet of conduit and a couple of switches to a trainer unit. They wont let you work on any of the big commercial equipment until you spend a year going through all the prerequisites. For some people brazing and sottering 2 or 3 connections a day is important but I'm capable of working at a much faster pace. Like learning how to evac/charge a unit was really useful to me but its like there is 10-15 guys standing around a AC for 3 hours while we wait for the recovery machine or the vacuum pump. It seems like we could set the machine up and do something constructive while the machines are running. They give us one simple task and have us do it for 3 hours, at least every week we get something new to do.I guess its a matter of getting through it and moving on to the more challenging things.

    Like my Uncle in his house had me install his AC and furnace. Spending 2 weekends with him was equivalent of 4 weeks of Schooling. In the school they don't really explain things to you very well either, its kind of like go to the lab and "ok men slap on some guages" or "de-burr that copper good" I had to have my uncle yell me out and show me what a good de-burring actually looks like, because they didn't show me. They give you all this homework too which forces you to read the book. I found that if your actually reading the books it helps you plan out your actions or makes things easy. But they give you 500 pages to read and say yeah at the end of the class 15 chapter of homework and quiz's are due. You really have to have outside connections to enhance your learning.

    After I get my EPA card hopefully I can find a apprenticeship because honestly HVAC is a lot of fun. School is nice because they have all the equipment/material and you can make mistakes, like my uncle tells me take advantage of the situation do things that you wouldn't normally do, because I'm not gonna let you ruin my copper. They just don't push me enough, the book reading and homework is a bit overwhelming because we don't get to see much of a application of it in class. I'm really liking the installs too because when I look at my gas pipe routing or my duct sheet metal work its a beautiful thing.
    Well, the thing with school is there will be guys who need a little more hands on time than others. They have to take the kids who fell for the funny YouTube enrollment videos (A hot job in a cool industry lol) that can't do anything and teach them from the ground up. I wasn't the worst, but I wasn't the best. My dad couldn't use a screwdriver to save his life. If it wasn't for my stepfather being a bus mechanic I probably wouldn't have gotten anywhere near the trades. I know what you mean though. Waiting for a pump or a recovery machine chewed up some shop time here too. Funny in the same school I was in there was a Travel and Tourism course (read: parents are forcing me to go to college but I don't want to) and they got to go to Mexico for a month, but in our shop we had to tear apart old units for scrap copper to buy tools.

    2 or 3 connections a day? That would be okay for maybe an hour in the field. If I did 2 or 3 a day in the field I would be jobless lol.

    Speaking of old units if you can find some at the junkyard try tearing them apart carefully like they have to work again. That will get you some good experience. Just watch out for bees nests. Strip it down to nothing. Even take the fan blade off the motor (P.S. don't bend the blades).

    All and all I will say this. On my first day in the field (Daikin three headed monster. Still remember it) my journeyman told me "Take everything you learned in trade school and blow it out your @$$. This is where the real learning starts."

    Know what you mean about the beautiful thing err...thing. I look at my piping or venting and just say:

    And damn it feels good to be a gangsta...
    Gotta take pride in what you do. When you show the customer at the end and it looks good they will be nothing but impressed.
    Get money, get paid.

  7. #33
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Stumptown,USA
    Posts
    1,250
    Google UA and Associated Builders and Contractors. Check out the apprenticeship program. If you have the qualifications (high school diploma, Algebra 1 with a 'c' or better) you can put your name on the apprenticeship list or you can knock on doors and see if somebody will hire you, and then you can join the apprenticeship program. Most employers will pay for your schooling in the apprenticeship program. Also check out www.rses.org Good Luck!
    Challenge yourself, take the CM test --- Certificate Member since 2004 ---Join RSES ---the HVAC/R training authority ---www.rses.org

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