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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    79

    Another fresh-faced tech-school grad. SE WI.

    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!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Southwest Missouri
    Posts
    162
    If you want to learn a lot about the HVAC job market in a hurry, call up a few HVAC contractors and offer to work for them for free until they think you're worthy of any wage. See what happens.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    northeast pa
    Posts
    118
    Quote Originally Posted by Andr00 View Post
    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!
    From what u have said here i dont think you will a problem.You.Just remember that stick to the basics of troubleshooting.It the little stupid things that have u you saying.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    wisconsin
    Posts
    159
    Im interested email me your resume bllbrink@yahoo.com I have a position available immeadiately for an entry level service technician.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Hampton Roads, Virginia
    Posts
    1,627
    Quote Originally Posted by Andr00 View Post
    ..................

    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.

    ............
    I have seen plenty of people come in for jobs who can not do much of the above, and they claim to be seasoned tech's. If you really can do the above and have good people skills, you should do fine in this trade.

    Kevin
    "There are 10 types of people in the world.. those who understand binary, and those who don't."

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    DFW Metroplex
    Posts
    4,910
    Quote Originally Posted by Andr00 View Post
    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!
    Believe it or not, based solely on your ability to construct a proper sentence as well as the lack of spelling errors...........I think you're already ahead of the curve.

    Add to it the mechanical abilities you currently possess, and your realistic expectations regarding work, hours, and pay........You should have no problem landing a job in less than a week.

    Good Luck

    .....keep us in the loop.....
    "The problem is the average person isn’t tuned in to lifelong learning, or going to seminars and so forth. If the information is not on television, and it’s not in the movies they watch, and it’s not in the few books that they buy, they don’t get it" - Jack Canfield

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    79
    Thanks for the encouragement, guys!

    I've been a little slow in sending out resumes, thanks to life and it's usual curveballs keeping me busy (my neighbor managing to smash his car into the ONLY other car parked on my street - mine! - being the most recent surprise didn't help), but now I've finally got some time to myself which means it's time to look for a job!

    furnacedoc, I'll be sending you an email shortly.
    Last edited by Andr00; 05-23-2011 at 09:38 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    79
    Here's a question for the more experienced guys.

    Cold calling potential employers.

    What would you react best to? A walk-in? A phone call from someone looking to set up a future meeting? Or a mailing which lets you see immediately see a resume and whatever else, with the option to make contact up to you?

    Like most places in the United States, the area I live in is pretty dead for work, and the few places that do need someone only want 5+ years of experience...and keep posting their want ads over and over and over. I guess they're experiencing difficulty in finding that person...har har har. So, before too long I'm just going to start making contacts on my own, but I'm wondering what your average shop manager/owner would react best to.

    Personally, I'd rather do the walking-in, but maybe that wouldn't be for the best.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    333

    Walk in

    Without a doubt walk in, show up with clean work clothes and well oiled work shoes. A firm hand shake and direct eye contact is a pretty good way to introduce yourself.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    333

    HVAC Supply house

    Dont over look your local HVAC supply houses as as huge potential to network.
    The guys behind the counter know all the heavy players in your area.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    79
    OH GOD PANIC!

    Well, not really but...

    Landed an interview. My first since finishing tech school and probably not my last either, heh. It's not a residential shop. Refrigeration job.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    DFW Metroplex
    Posts
    4,910
    Quote Originally Posted by Andr00 View Post
    OH GOD PANIC!

    Well, not really but...

    Landed an interview. My first since finishing tech school and probably not my last either, heh. It's not a residential shop. Refrigeration job.
    That's kicka$$!!

    Good luck on the interview. When ya having it?
    "The problem is the average person isn’t tuned in to lifelong learning, or going to seminars and so forth. If the information is not on television, and it’s not in the movies they watch, and it’s not in the few books that they buy, they don’t get it" - Jack Canfield

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    79
    Next Wednesday. And thanks for the luck, 'cause I'm sure I'll need it!

    They're willing to train which is nice. Hopefully they'll think I'm worth the effort.

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