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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Residential, residential / light commercial, Commercial, New Installation????

    Yep one more off the wall student ??? I'm curious about the different areas of HVAC/R. For some reason I'm leaning towards residential / light commercial as the area I would like to work in next tear when I complete school. So I wanted to get a feel for what the views of each were form the members here.

    What are the advantages and disadvantages of working in these areas? Does one area pay more than the other? Do most companies specialize in one area or do most companies do it all?? What are the working conditions like for these areas...i.e. residential you have to deal with happy home owner...

    Thanks all
    73% of Americans say that illegal immigration is a problem. The other 27% say, "No habla inglis!"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Dothan, Al


    It depends on what you wnat to do.
    Do you want to own yur own business someday - then go with residential / light comm. and installations.
    If you will be working for someone else and enjoy learning & challanges, then go with commercial/industrial - get into controls work.
    If I weren't in bus. for myself, I would ge into 'controls', DDC, pneumatics ( if there are any anymore), etc.
    But then, I 'love' troubleshooting - anything.

    Good Luck,

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Ft Worth Tx ( North Richland Hills)
    I love the variety of equipment and places working commercial. Elementary schools, Jr and Sr high schools,
    jr colleges, universities, museums, office buildings, civic centers, performance halls, theaters, national park visitors centers, game and fish department hatcheries, police departments, sherrif's offices, state law enforcement academy, city and county jails, state prisons,
    oil refineries, electrical power plants, coal mines, uranium mines, natural gas pumping stations, rail yards, airport air traffic control towers, hotels, television and radio stations, dairy farms, chicken and turkey farms, pig farms, slaughter houses, banks, water treatment facilities,
    restaurants, amusement parks, planetariums, factories, coal silos where they fill the coal trains, cement plants,
    stores, malls, warehouses, grocery stores, funeral homes, crematoriums, Dr's offices, medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, retirement homes, state soldiers and sailor's homes, military bases, underground missile launch facilities for ICBMs, Highway dept buildings, car dealerships, automobile repair shops, parts houses, resorts, hunting camps, airport terminals , hangars, research facilities, medical labs, fire stations, marinas, mansions, artists studios, ...see what I mean?

  4. #4

    Re: doglips

    Originally posted by bornriding
    It depends on what you wnat to do.
    Do you want to own yur own business someday - then go with residential / light comm. and installations.
    If you will be working for someone else and enjoy learning & challanges, then go with commercial/industrial - get into controls work.
    Good advice, start at the bottom and work your way up.
    Hey cockroach, don't bug me! ©

  5. #5
    I think you need to first realize that there is a world of difference between residential\light commercial compared to large commercial \industrial. Besides a few theories and a few laws they are really two different fields. I would not recommend doing residential at your age; if at all possible try to hook up with a commercial only contractor.

    I doubt that you will find a large commercial contractor that would even think about doing residential work, residential service takes a certain type of individual, you must be willing and able to put up with the customers, I have never bought into the philosophy that the customer is always right, in fact I would say that they are usually wrong and I never minded pointing that out to them, I had and still have a tendency to be very frank and very short with customers when they start to ramble on about something they don’t know crap about.

    You may be better at it, but keep in mind that residential service is a lot easier than commercial is, you could learn just about everything you need to know for the rest of your career in residential within a couple of months. Which would make the transition into a new field fairly easy to accomplish.

    But you will get stagnant in residential and will never learn the true art of the field, you will be hammering out clean and checks and humping filters across strip mall roofs till the day you retire or die, it’s a job for lower level techs that either cannot or just will not step up to the next level.

    Most lifetime residential techs that I know do not have the capacity to learn enough to become proficient commercial technicians.

    I don’t know where you will stand in this field after you get a little time under your belt, but if you have any innate talent at all, I assure you that it will be wasted if you choose to stay in the residential light commercial field.

    This is just my honest opinion,

  6. #6
    There is one other trap you want to look out for , supermarket refrigeration, although it is classified as commercial and has absolutely nothing to do with residential.

    Try to stay out of this area, these are the worst and dirtiest systems in the biz, typically it is the hack commercial guys that end up doing this kind of work, and it shows in the systems. If the owners of these stores only knew how bad it is.They would not sleep at night.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    I'd put a half assed supermarket guy on my payroll any day before an abosrption 400 ton chiller mechanic, even if all I did was 400 ton absorption chillers.

    Most hacked jobs of a supermarket you may have witnessed, was the genious of the mechanic to make it work, despite the customer paying ONLY two dimes to have a thousand dollar repair job done.

    You give me a supermarket guy, with good solid reefer experience and DDC and the mother scratcher knows something, and can dance on your head.

    You want to know where men separate themselves? It's if you can handle doing market work, you'll see 100 grand a year, plus be in the top 10% in the trade.

  8. #8
    Been there Dow,

    I did it for several years,

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Gaylord, Michigan
    I am sorry that us lowly residential installers come here and stink up your board, gruvn.

    Tell you what, next time one of my customers is building a 10,000 square foot house, with radiant heat, high velocity a/c automation controls and more....I'll just tell em I only know how to change filters.

    There is much more to residential than you give it credit for. High end custom homes are exciting and a challenge to design and install comfort systems for.

    I personally enjoy residential. But what do I know, I am only a business owner, or in your words a lowly tech.

  10. #10
    Very few residential contractors have high end custom homes as even a small percentage of their work. And almost none have them as a high percentage of their work. So a large company that seeks high end reseidential work, needs what ? One person that is able to service these systems. (Which are really not that sophisticated)

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