I have an AAS Degree in HVAC/R Technology from a school in Michigan that I completed in 2004. I worked steadily in the trade doing residential and commercial install up until 3-years ago. Due to the economy in Michigan I was forced to relocate for a job outside of the trade. (I installed Fiber-Optics on the East Coast). Now, I am home and have been going to one of the States "Big-3" Universities for the last 2-years in pursuit of a Mechanical Engineering Degree. I'm holding a 3.4 GPA and am learning a great deal, but my University is all about automotive engineering and a transfer to Ferris State for their HVAC program is out of the question. I am a non-traditional student, 31-years old and married w/ children.
I would love to continue my education but the bills are starting to rack up (despite my scholarships) and I see a good time to just go ahead and get the State License and start out on my own. I get enough seasonal word of mouth work to keep me getting by. Of course, my fear in that lies that I will not be able to get a job with any other companies due to the license.
I love system design and installation. I am not a service tech but I am getting good at even that. I either want to land a job designing the "big boy" systems (Hence the ME degree), or would like to find someone that would take the time to teach me more of the service side of the industry. Kind of like an internship.
1) What would be the best way to approach an employer, in this economy (Michigan) and convince them to bring me on with there company to learn part time? (NOT while I was doing side work of course. I would be glad to make that commitment provided I was LEARNING something). This would be during the semester and I take 13-14 credits at a time.
2) Will passing the State exam this Fall prevent me from finding a job/internship in my State? I live in the Metro Detroit area to be a little more specific.
I am an active member of SAE, ASCE and AEE Societies and am currently studying for the NATE, LEED AP and CEM certifications. I have 608 1 and 2. Would these credentials make me seem over qualified to the average HVAC company?
These questions may seem "green", but I have been out of the trade for awhile and am weighing my future options. I have no doubt that I would succeed in business, but I have MUCH more to learn. I have all of the ASHRAE manuals as well as many of the trade books that I stay current on. Still, not to many "Reputable" companies in my area are looking to teach someone anything and books don't bring experience.
What do you suggest?