I'm a maintenance guy at a grocery store. I've been doing this job for about 2 years, and have really settled on making refrigeration a career. It's my job to call the refrigeration guys whenever we have a problem, and I follow them around like a puppy asking questions. Several of the journeymen have sort of taken me under thier wing. I've gotten to where i'm pretty good, although I'm certainly no journeyman. I understand a rack system (we have 4 36 HP Hussmann protocols with Emerson/Einstein controllers) and I do simple stuff like replace gaskets on reach ins, clean the condensers on the roof, clean evap coils, replace bent/broken fan blades, clean condensate drains etc. Last week I learned how to replace a filter/dryer core and sightglass (system had water in it). Not that I'd EVER do it myself. But I could if you put a gun to my head.
So now I need to find training. Several of the journeymen that I work with are encouraging me to apply with their company as an apprentice and the union would train me for free (if/when I get a job with a union shop). The other option I have to go to trade school...a decision I hear a lot of people regretting on these forums.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated...