Yessir, another one. I can already sense the veterans rolling their eyes and chuckling. I'm not entirely sure if this is as much a 'job wanted' post as it is me laying out a mission statement for myself, but I figure it can't hurt.
I'm 26 years old, a native of the Milwaukee area, and I've recently completed the AAS of Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technology at Milwaukee Area Technical College. And, as such, it's time for me to attempt to enter the HVAC workforce and the first stepping-stone of an HVAC career.
As to why I decided to enter this field, I'll explain. Straight out of high school (2003) I immediately began attending a four-year college. While doing that, I picked up a job working with the maintenance department of my local municipal water utility. I really enjoyed the technical nature of it, and helping (read: I was bigger and taller than him so I was the one who always had to lift things or lean on the pipe wrenches) the resident HVAC guy there with the boilers, or the dehumidifiers in the pipe gallery was what initially got me thinking about this as a career. By the time I was almost done with my four-year degree (which I did earn) I had already decided to immediately pursue a degree in HVACR from one of the local tech schools, which I've done and here I am.
Unfortunately, every employer looking for a tech with 5+ years of experience (lovin' this current job market...) for the few jobs that are currently advertised and available puts me at a big disadvantage. That, and the fact that I'm a person who learns by doing, not by reading books and listening to lectures. One hour of hands-on time teaches more than 10 hours of lecture, in my opinion. Nothing against MATC or their (very good) instructors, but lab time is always limited and I'm the sort who can always use more.
So, I'm looking for that one job. You know, the gofer. The shop grunt. The lowest man on the totem pole. I'm not expecting to make 40k a year fresh out of school, and I'm not expecting the best job ever to just be handed to me. What I'm looking for is a genuine learning and working experience, that through a combination of hard work and experience, will turn me into a proper HVAC technician.
Now, I'll never pretend that I know every trick and trap of HVAC and refrigeration (who does?) but I did learn the basics at school. I can tell you what superheat and subcooling are, I can draw a basic cycle with refrigerant states for you, I understand why a centrifugal blower draws less amperage when blowing against dirty filters, I can solder copper together without burning off my eyebrows, I understand a TXV's function, I get the basics of DDC and pneumatics, I can make use of PT cards and charts, I can put on gages and do recoveries, I can wire a thermostat...those sorts of things. I also have practical mechanical experiences, both from previous jobs and my own hobbies, so I won't be staring confusedly at tools or trying to install bolts backwards. The rest will have to come from experiences learned in the wild.
Will I work hard? You better believe I will. I'm not a stranger to it. Will I bat an eye at 10-hour days. No. Will I be grumbly when I'm told to lug the furnace down Mrs. Smith's basement stairs (and the old one back up again)? No. Will I be surprised when you tell me to get to the shop at 5am? No. (My current job starts at 4am anyway). Will I refuse to read tech manuals or take part in additional training or education because I'm not paid for it? No.
Will I listen intently to everything I'm told, make notes of everything I see, and do my best to make the most effective use of that new information? Absolutely YES. I also do intend to better myself and improve my versatility once I've found a job. ASHOPE III and II, welding classes and a structural cert, some sheetmetal classes somewhere, things that will turn me into a more valuable member of a team.
At this point I'm not terribly picky. Residential, light commercial/commercial, HVAC or refrigeration...if you need a body and are willing to work with a newbie, I'm more than willing to take on the challenge. And, since I've no practical field experience, I haven't yet picked up any bad habits or become set in my ways...my mind is yours for moulding.
I'm a bit wary of posting my email address to a site like this, so if anyone actually does wish to learn more about me, or read a resume, a personal line dropped via the board will work just fine for me.
Thanks for reading!