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  1. #1
    Guys, can you please help me!! I gust graduated from trade school with a technical diploma in hvac/refrigeration.. now that I need a job badly, I need to hear from the gurus (you guys of course!) on which is the better side to get into




    if u guys can help me out any that would be greatly appreciated

    p.s. i wanna be in the field and work moderately with refrigerants..


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    East Stroudsburg, PA
    Refrigeration is the only real trade left.

    The other two have been bastardized into terms for hvac workers, in general, IMO.

    Guys that call themselves steamfitters are usually members of the steamfitters onion, and DO work on steam, but probably not exclusively. Sheet metal workers can either be in the same boat as steamfitters, calling themselves that due to their affiliation with organized crime, or they might actually knock and bend tin for a living.

    I do refrigeration.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    chicago suburbs
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by condenseddave
    [B]Refrigeration is the only real trade left.

    i think that all those chlorofluorocarbons are affecting your brain function.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Gold Coast of Connecticut

    Red face Market men are the real deal.

    Originally posted by condenseddave
    Refrigeration is the only real trade left.

    I have never agreed more fully with Dave. If you want to be Fully Imursed in it become a supermarket tech, you will be a very self suffecient service tech after 5 years in the markets.

    Aire Serv of SW Connecticut- Gas heat, dual fuel and central a/c systems installed and serviced

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    I am going to say , become a Millwright

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    And you really expect a straight answer from us.

    Go to college and become an engineer.
    Contractor locator map


    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    As if Engineers get treated with any respect out of this crowd?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Dude stay away from the trades go to school and get a degree and do the design work not the grunt work. A old man told me years ago that what is required to work in a trade is a strong back and a weak mind, the more I stay around the construction industry the more I see that he was right. Save your back, strengthen your mind, sign up for classes today. Sheet Metal Work has been good to me but if I had a do over I would not do it that way LOL

  9. #9


    LOL! so refrigeration is the answer?.. does anyone know about the "est" sheetmetal tech if what i am hearing is true the guy does more servicing on the equipment than working in the shop bending metal.. i wanna be out in the field getting a hands on training not just being in one place all day alone snipping & shearing metal...

    u guys (gurus) are helping me ... please continue!.......

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2004

    So we are clear, no one owes you a job, that is something you have to find on your own and earn. That said there is a real shortage of techs in this industry. Knock on some doors and present yourself fairly. I'm not hopefull that a refrigeration company whos work keeps $100,000 worth of product from going bad is going to throw you into a grocery store alone.

    You really have to decide what you want to do. There are HVAC/Refrigeration companies who will give you opportunities to gradually work into refrigeration. If you choose installation, you will gain some working knowlege that trade school never touched on and with the mentoring from a seasoned installer you can move into service in a few years. I will tell you that if you try to get into service right off the bat, odds are you will be slamming filters and changing belts for a couple of years losing recently aquired knowlege. Company owners simply cannot afford to send a green tech on potentially complicated service calls and rarely will they pair you up in service but they will happily let your do PM's.

    I wouldnt race to get into a Union if you need work. There are too many opportunities that dont require you to deal with the politics. Find a family buisiness where the turnstyles are not located in the employment doors.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2005
    lawn guyland, ny
    Basically, what aspect of the hvac/r industry is the most satisfying to you? the great thing about our chosen industry is that there are many ways to go. sheet metal, refrigeration, electrical. plumbing, etc. I did a few years pushing a truck doing everything from a/c install to boiler to hot air furnaces. worked in a sm shop for a while, worked as an electrician for a while. got into a union and am now a stationary engineer working on everything from high pressure steam driven r-12 (that's right) chillers to absorbers. good pay but don't start there... stagnation is a fact. try out a few ways and see what clicks with you! don't let other people decide what is best for you. they are all biased in some way, not necessarily in a negative way, but it is all based on the individuals own opinion and experiences. good luck!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Fyi; A Sheet metal worker and a Refrigeration mechanic are entirely 2 different tradespeople.
    Normally a Sheet metal worker fabs duct,lays-out for fittings (shop)fabs fittings, installs various air duct/pipe systems,some welding,etc, and also will install coils, fans, units, louvres, grilles,etc.

  13. #13
    steamfitter is a pipefitter who installs piping,pumps,chillers,boilers etc, they donot do any service or startup, sheetmetel worker is a sheetmetel worker he works with sheetmetel. if you went to school
    for refrigeration then its up to you if you want to work on
    residential a/c, commercial, industrial, chillers, or refrigeration or combination.

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